The Power of Availability

Evan Doyle | December 11, 2018

Do you have someone that you can never get a hold of when you call them? Like every time you call their phone, they don’t answer?

Your call goes to voicemail:

“I’m sorry I missed your call.”

“I’m sorry I could not take your call.”

Or, “I’m sorry I’m not available to take your call.”

However, their lack of availability does not disqualify that fact that someone called.

Either, the one being called was not present (let’s be honest, most times this is not the case), or, the person did not want to take the call.

Is God calling? Is He inviting you into something new? Is God leaving you messages that you’re ignoring?

Below are three aspects concerning availability and how it creates momentum and possibility for our life that we would not have experienced had we not been available.

The apostle Peter is a great example of the power of making oneself available to God.

Luke 6:12-16 (NIV)

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

We do not know exactly how many disciples were called to mountain that morning but there were at least more than twelve.

I wonder if there were any disciples who decided not to show up?

It’s an amazing thought that one of the attributes that created opportunity for Peter to be a disciple was availability. He showed up!

We do know that some of these men were fisherman and one was a tax collector. Some were even described as ordinary in other places in the Bible.

This is good news for us because we are ordinary people too.

We are a candidates for God to do great things through our lives.

1. God Always Uses Those Who Are Available.

In the late 50’s a country preacher named David Wilkerson began travelling from Pennsylvania to New York City to reach gang members who were steeped in murder & violence. Eventually reaching one of the most notorious gang members at the time, a teenager named Nicky Cruz.

How did David Wilkerson become the one to reach these gang members? I’m sure there were others who were far more capable to reach them.

I believe one of the primary qualifications was availability.

Bob Goff puts it this way:

"God often uses the least qualified, most available people to get things done."

Like Peter, the other disciples and many others whom God has used, availability was an initiator for God to great things through their life.

*I wonder what could God do in your life because of a decision to show up?

*What could God do in the life of others because you decided to be available?

2. Availability Makes Room For The Miraculous.

In the following passage notice how the Bible makes mention of two boats being docked.

Luke 5:1-3 (NIV)

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat…

Consider this: Jesus ASKED Peter to put his boat further out into the water:

*Could Peter have said no?

*Could he have resisted?

If Peter had said no or resisted, could Jesus have used the other boat? Of course He could have.

Figuratively speaking, is Jesus asking to use your boat?

Is there something in your life that God is asking you to use on His behalf?

It could be a resource, talent, ability, or anything else He has entrusted to you that He wants to use?

Read what happened next…  

Luke 5:4-6 (NIV)

…When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon (Peter), “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

For Jesus to use the boat meant that Peter would have to stop what he was doing (washing the nets).  

Peter would need to prep the boat to sail back out into the waters… he’d have to drop anchor again.  In other words, it was seemingly inconvenient and not worth it.

But take note of his response to Jesus’ request:

“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Peter considered the source.  He took into account that Jesus was trustworthy.

The more credible the source the more available we make ourselves.

Is it possible that the large catch of fish began first with Peter letting Jesus teach from His boat? I think so.

The miraculous, the possibilities, are created out of availability.

3. God Empowers Those Who Are Available.

Before Jesus ascended back into heaven He asked the disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be empowered to do the work He asked them to do.

The disciples, including Peter waited and experienced God’s power in a fresh new way. The book of Acts details an account of Peter preaching following that event.

Acts 2:14, 37-38, 41 (NIV)

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Peter had every reason to let failure, embarrassment and a lack of ability to keep him from being available to God.

What about you, what do you wrestle with? What is keeping you from being available? Why not see what could happen by practicing availability?

Let’s look at the some of the events in Peter’s life one more time. His journey was amazing…

*He preached on the day of Pentecost and witnessed thousands respond to the gospel.

*Peter was on the boat for the miraculous catch of fish.

*He walked on water.

*Peter was one of twelve chosen to be a disciple.

All of that is incredible but is it crucial to understand where it all started for Peter: It All Started With Availability.

John 1:35-42

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Peter said yes, to meeting Jesus…  

The opportunities, the miraculous, the empowering…  all started with AVAILABILITY.

I believe Peter lived a tremendous life making a difference because he made it a habit to be available.

At some point, your life and God’s call will meet. When these moments take place, they are opportunities to make yourself AVAILABLE to God.

Evan Doyle is a campus pastor in Southeast Indiana. He also blogs at dailychristianhelp.com to help other leaders strengthen their ministry, avoid frustration and grow their church.

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