Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Availability

A Christ-like character is available to the purposes of God.  Like Isaiah's responsive heart to God's question 'Whom shall we send?', the Spirit-driven character responds to the purposes of God.  Christ modeled this characteristic in leaving the glories of heaven for the dark, dingy stable of His birth.  Few recognized His glory--but that did not minimize His glory.  A spirit of availability may not always be noticed but it is always valuable! 

The prophets of old demonstrated this spirit--and its difficulty--over and over.  They submitted to the will of God and were used by Him in uncomfortable, inconvenient, incalculable ways!  Hosea married a prostitute; Jeremiah and Ezekiel delivered undesired messages to a rebellious people.  God's purposes marched through time and their lessons still speak in our hearts.  Moses opted out of a luxurious lifestyle to be identified with God.  His training ground was a back-desert sheepfold and his great life-work leading a massive nation of wandering children.  Often maligned, seldom appreciated but vitally needed are those who heed the call to be available...those who refuse to accept the impossibility of anything God commands are greatly used by Him!

Our character, rooted and growing in Christ-likeness will demonstrate that spirit of availability.  Our lives are to be offered to God as living sacrifices.  He died for us that we might live for Him (not that we might live for ourselves or those we love!).  The Christian who wishes to make an eternal impact must be available for placement anywhere on this gameboard of earthly life.  A spirit of availability requires tremendous trust in the goodness and power of God.  We all know there are many ugly places in this world--war-torn battlefields, sterile hospitals, riverbank shelters the homeless call home, sin-infested workplaces, lonely nursing homes--places we would prefer never to call 'home.'  Yet a Christ-like spirit of availability has courageous confidence that any placement is a divine assignment.  Grow closer to Him, trust Him and see how He will use you for eternal good!

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