July 22, 2019
We all encounter countless opportunities and possibilities to move forward in our faith, our relationships, our work, our inner lives, and more. Of course, making progress in any area requires elements of determination, discipline, effort, sacrifice, and hard work, but the results are well worth it. I’m going to speak here about efforts and progress in connection with our lives as Christians who desire to embody the teachings of Jesus, who want to align with God’s truth, and who wish to be directed by the Holy Spirit.
I believe that the joy, fulfillment, and happiness we hope for are intrinsically connected to being strongly attached to God. This doesn’t mean that we are focused on God alone or that we’re “so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good,” as the saying goes. No, we each have God-given responsibilities that need to be attended to. We’re responsible to care for ourselves and our family and loved ones, and to fulfill the responsibilities of our work or calling, all of which involve a myriad of details each day.
Living a life that is strongly attached to God is living a life in relationship with Him. It’s inviting Him into the daily details of our lives, our responsibilities, our family, our relationships with our friends and co-workers. It’s allowing Him to be an integral and interactive part of our lives.
It is in this interactive relationship with God where we find joy, fulfillment, and happiness, as it is within this kind of relationship that His Spirit moves freely and fully. When we intentionally seek to live in partnership with Him, we put ourselves in the position of letting Him use us for His purpose, and doing so places us in the path of His blessings.
Unfortunately, however, we may often find ourselves on “autopilot” in our relationship with the Lord, where we go about living our lives with Him seemingly hovering in the background. He’s there, and when we feel the need for Him, we ask for His help or guidance. But that’s not the kind of relationship that allows Him to have the role He desires in our lives. He’s not our “cosmic bellhop” at our beck and call to clean up our messes or make our wishes materialize. He wants—and deserves—to be an active partner in the business of our lives, and the more we partner with Him, the more we benefit from that partnership.
A key component in this partnership is being available to Him and for Him. To Him in the sense of being sensitive to Him when He wants to communicate with us, and being available to listen to what He has to say. For Him in the sense that we open ourselves to being agents of His purpose in the lives of others, acting as a means for Him to communicate with others who aren’t yet in relationship with Him.
Making ourselves available to God requires intentionality on our part. We consciously decide that we are going to be attuned to God, that we will give Him opportunity to communicate with us—by making time for Him, by seeking out a quiet place, and quieting our inner selves so that we are in the right frame of mind to listen to Him. We make ourselves spiritually available to hear whatever He may want to say to us or show us. We also make ourselves available in a practical sense by being determined to let His Spirit use us as His representatives to others. It’s through our lives, our love, our examples, our words and witness, that others can be introduced to Him and brought into the orbit of His love.
Our spiritual and practical availability is our declaration to the Lord that He is a full partner in our lives and that we want His involvement in all we do. It’s an open invitation for the Holy Spirit to not just dwell within us but to actively engage in our thoughts and actions. Of course, such an invitation has repercussions. When God’s Spirit connects with those who have made themselves available, the Spirit moves in their lives. Things happen, opportunities arise.
When we’ve truly made ourselves available to Him, we are open to receive His guidance and direction. When we are available for Him, we follow His leading, as He directs us in ways which are in alignment with His purpose, where He can use our gifts and talents to be a blessing to others—whether our personal family, those we work with, or complete strangers. While being open to and accepting whatever guidance He may give might not always immediately result in the outcomes we are hoping for, it does put us on the path to fulfilling the purpose He intends.
Making ourselves available to and for the Lord is a manifestation of God’s reign in our lives. It’s the application of what Jesus expressed when He said to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”1 Our availability aligns us with God’s will, reign, and Spirit. It is within this alignment that we find satisfaction and experience well-being and contentment.
Originally published January 2015. Excerpted and republished July 2019.
Read by Jon Marc.
1 Matthew 6:10 KJV.
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