“When it came to presenting the Message to the people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.”
—Ephesians 3:8 (Msg)
How often does God use people who seem to be ill-positioned for the tasks ahead, yet, because they have made themselves wholly available, they are given licence to move?
God not only loves using ordinary people to do extraordinary things, he insists upon it—to shame the proud. And the difference is love. The desire to make ourselves available in the realm of serving others comes from love; not from ambitious gain.
The characteristics of the available—those that have the ability to avail themselves for service in God’s Kingdom—are faithfulness, openness, a teachable nature, and a servant heart.
Those after God’s Heart
Those who are available willingly seek God’s heart. They discern God’s will and do what they need to do to obey the Spirit’s leading.
They have a faithfulness about them that sets them apart to God. They are able to disappoint others if need be in order to satisfy God. This requires a high degree of differentiating discernment. But the faithful ensure they are open enough to be available.
The available have a teachable nature. They understand they have a mortgage on much knowledge, but, as everyone knows, mortgages must be paid off—they work hard to secure their knowledge. And such knowledge can only be secured through the prevailing revelation of God. Those after God’s heart are able to discern and are thirsty to learn.
To the ends of faithfulness, openness, and a teachable nature there is the servant heart which throbs beneath this Christian’s service. They serve because they love to serve; they are passionately available to serve.
God Equips the Available
As the apostle Paul has indicated in his letter to the Ephesians, there were other people who could have been more obvious choices to evangelise to the Gentiles.
But God called him, Paul. And God equipped him, because he was available, having been blinded on Damascus Road. Yes, God does tend to convince people to be available.
But once someone proves their ability to avail themselves for God’s service our Lord equips them. Added to their passion, their spiritual gifting, and whatever natural ability they have, is God’s anointing to do what God decrees must be done.
God blesses people in proportion with their ability to avail themselves to serve in his Kingdom. A willing heart is a heart after God’s heart.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.