Pastor Kevin Redding
Ault Ministries Pastor, Shiloh Community Church
In the world of athletics, it is said that “your greatest ability is your availability.” A player is of no benefit to the team if they are not able to get on the field (or court or rink or diamond). They are costing the team money, and taking up space from someone else, but are not contributing to the pursuit of success of the team.
In some ways, the same principle applies to our Christian walk. Samuel told the Lord, “Speak, for your servant hears” (I Samuel 3:10). Isaiah responded, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8) when the Lord asked who He could send to the people. The Lord sent many others—Prophets, Leaders, Apostles—to proclaim His Words to the people. When people like Moses protested because of their (perceived) short-comings, God provided support. When people like Gideon doubted his abilities, God showed him that His plan wasn’t dependent upon the amount of Gideon’s strength or courage. When Jonah tried to run completely away from God’s call, God used miraculous means to get his attention and get him back on track. Even though Peter out-right denied Jesus when the pressure was on, Jesus restored him and made him a key person in the advancement of the Church. When Saul (Paul) was actively against the Lord and doing all he could to stop the spread of the Gospel, God completely changed his heart, life, and purpose and Paul became a church-planter to move the Gospel “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
What do these people—and more throughout history—have in common? They were available to be used by God. Even when they didn’t think they could be used, even when they thought they were lacking in skills, even when they were going in the wrong direction, even when they failed, God had a plan to use them. As they obeyed, they were used. As they listened, they were used. As they were available, they were used.
The same is true of you and me. God doesn’t need our skills—His skill is better than ours. He doesn’t need our abilities—His abilities are better than ours. He doesn’t need our talents—His talents are better than ours. He doesn’t even need us—but He wants us, and He wants to use us. We just need to be available. Whatever we have, whether we think it’s usable or not, little or much. We need to come, “just as I am” and see what the Master will do when we are available to Him.