” The only Ability that God requires
is our Availability”
I have heard this phrase from a number of sources over the years. It embodies significant truths in two areas. The first and most obvious is this: We need not be wise by the world’s standards, nor do we need to be educated, refined, wealthy, or have positions of influence and authority. Indeed, scripture seems to indicate that these may represent obstacles to God working in and through us. The reason of course is that we may trust in what God has given us rather than in God Himself.
The main force of this statement to me has always been the magnitude of the significance of simply being available to the Lord. We are familiar with His invitations; repeated throughout the New Testament; “Come and see”, “Come unto me”, and “Come and drink,” which initiated relationships with Himself. What is arresting, however, is the power and extent of transformation that takes place from this one act of simply making yourself available to the Lord.
To illustrate this transformation, I would like to refer you to one of the most remarkable individuals in all of scripture. This person is mentioned only three times in scripture. In each of these occasions, this individual is found in the same position in relationship to our Lord, specifically, at His feet.
In the first instance, after helping her sister Martha with the essentials of preparation, she chose to make herself available to the Lord. In the KJV, it says “also sat at his feet”, meaning that she assisted in the necessary preparation for the meal. Her sister, who was focused on further things that she wanted to do, complained to the Lord that Mary wasn’t helping her. The Lord’s reply is stated in Luke10:42; “but only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” He did not say several things. He said one thing is needed. Simply spend time with me. Make yourself available to me. I will take responsibility for everything else. I will do everything in you and through you. We have every reason to assume that this choice of availability was a continued priority on the part of Mary.
And what was the effect of the choice of this woman to make herself available to the Lord? We see her again, at the death of her brother, yet at His feet in an attitude of trust and worship. And on the third occasion, we see her again at His feet, demonstrating an act of worship with a costly fragrance, preparing His body for burial. In so doing, she manifested a closeness and sympathy with the Lord that exceeded that of any other person, including the twelve disciples. All of these mentioned above, the trust, the worship, the sacrificial gift of perfume, had their beginnings in the choice of availability to the Lord.
What does this say to our lives? Fundamentally, if we want to reflect our Lord and represent Him, we must spend much time with Him. Seven minutes a day may be a start, but if that is the end, we are woefully short of glorifying Him. In II Corinthians 3:18, (KJV) we have a promise from God, “But we all, with open faces beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” To behold Him we need to be available to Him. Availability is God’s method of transformation. We cannot be transformed if we are not available. Our unavailability to Him slows down that process. Our availability to Him allows it to proceed at His direction and at His speed.
Hebrews 2:1 states that “We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away,” This means that we do not remain static in our Christian lives. We are constantly becoming more like Him, or less like Him, as a result of our availability to Him. The day is rapidly approaching when each of us will be available to Him, and He will be available to us every second throughout eternity. We need to anticipate that Day by following the example of Mary, who chose what is better, and sat at His feet.
In Christ, Richard Spann