Of course, I’ve shared how being available to God works in the BIG STUFF like moving 1,000 miles or starting a Crisis Pregnancy Center. But even harder than being available in the small stuff.
Years ago, there was a popular book titled, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Actually, my advice is just the opposite: To be available to God, you HAVE TO be available in the small stuff.
It’s the minutes that make up our years. And it’s the tiny decisions that make up our life’s mission.
But of course, we’d be crazy if we had to focus on every little detail and wonder if it’s God’s plan . . . so you don’t have to.
We need to focus on ONE THING. The next thing.
One writing teacher named Anne Lammot gives this advice to other writers when it comes to how she works best:
“All I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame,” writes Lammot in the book Bird by Bird. “This is all I have to bite off for the time being . . . just what I can see through the one-inch picture frame, just one paragraph describing this woman, in the town where I grew up, the first time we encounter her.”
The same one-inch picture frame can be used, not only for writing, but for our lives. The only thing we need to focus on is THE ONE THING that God desires for us to do next.
To be available, you must be available for that one thing . . . don’t worry about what’s after that. Just focus on what God’s calling you to do NOW. Don’t think about the future. Don’t fret about the path ahead. God will take care of it. He’s good at that.
He’s good at directing You now, in this day, exactly where you’re at . . . but you have to be available. You have to pray and ask for wisdom. You have to be open to that gentle stirring in your soul.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.”
Isn’t that awesome, to have God’s Spirit telling us whether to walk to the right or the left?
Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like to walk with Jesus on earth. To hear his words, to see the joy on his eyes when someone trusted him. To hold his hand as he walked along.
I’m sure that being one of Jesus’ disciples would have been amazing. But it also would have been very difficult. Because they had to let Him go.
When Jesus left this earth, His disciples didn’t want to lose Him. Yet He said that if He didn’t go, they couldn’t have something better. What could be better than walking side by side with Jesus?
In John 16:5-7, Jesus says:
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and none of you has asked me where I am going. Instead, you are very sad. But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Counselor won’t come.”
Jesus had to leave, so He could send something better. The Holy Spirit.
The disciples walked side-by-side with Jesus. Now our Teacher comes by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks, and our ears are opened to the voice of heaven.
Romans 8:9 and 11 says:
“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you . . . And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (NIV)
To be available to God, we must be available to Jesus’ spirit living in us. The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in us! Can you grasp that?
We so often walk around and we don’t know what to do, where to go, what to say. We worry about our future and cry over our past. We don’t feel connected to God and we struggle to make ourselves available. But we’re missing out. We need to simply tap in to what He’s already giving us. The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is alive in US. And His job is to give life to our bodies. Abundant, beautiful life that’s in step with him—moment-by-moment, one step at a time!
In fact, in Mark 16:19-20, talking about Jesus’ decent into heaven says in The Message, “Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.”
Let me read that again:
And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.”
Let me make that applicable to us:
And Tricia, and Joanna, and Erica, and Dolores went everywhere preaching, and sharing, and loving, and giving, and helping, and crying and rejoicing . . . the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.
We are available God, when we trust He is:
A BIG God with BIG dreams.
A God who has made an agreement with you that is eternal, final, and sealed.
A God who will constantly look after your safety and success.
A God who will be strong in your weakness.
A God who is IN YOU, working through His Holy Spirit.
A God who will guide You saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
A God who will accomplish great things as you focus on THE ONE THING He desires for you to do for that moment.
A God who knows the pain of your past, knows the hope of the future and will combine them into a beautiful present as you walk moment by moment with Him.
To be available to God is moment by moment being aware that He IS at work around you, and He desires you to join Him in his work. It’s not blazing ahead in the direction you feel would be good, but instead saying, “What now, Lord?” and walking forward in HIS strength when you are weak.
Finally, 2 Corinthians 2:14 in The Message says:
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.”
This is what being available is all about, joining God’s parade, IN CHRIST, being led from place to place and finding victory THROUGH His Spirit that is in YOU.
As Samuel Rutherford said,
“I will charge my soul to believe and wait for Him,
and will follow His providence, and not go before it, nor stay behind it.”
Being available to God sometimes means packing up and leaving the status quo.
Being available to God other times means embarking on a ministry you feel ill-equipped for, and basically do not want to do.
But being available to God also means stopping throughout your day and saying, “What now, Lord?” “What’s next?” “Not my desire, but yours.”
To quote the words of our Lord and Master in John 5:19:
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
If the Son can do nothing by himself, but only what He sees His Father doing, how can we do anything different?
Jesus was our perfect example of availability, and we do good when we follow His example.
After all, if following Him can transform a scared, pregnant teen into a minister of His good news . . . God can do anything, for anyone, when they make themselves available to Him.
Let us pray:
Lord, I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen each of these women with power through Your Spirit in their inner being, so that You may dwell in their hearts through FAITH. Faith in who You are and what You can do.
And I pray that, each of these readers being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that each of these women may be filled to the measure of ALL fullness of God.
Now to You Lord who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within us, to You be glory through all generations, for ever and ever. Amen!