Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ability is what makes someone stand out, that skill makes all the difference.
This morning as I was praying, I was surprised to hear my own spirit calling out to God and saying to Him over and over again, “I want to make myself available to You. I want to make myself available to You.”
In itself that may not seem strange. After all, don’t we all want to be available for God. What impressed me was the insistence of my spirit. I could not stop repeating this simple request.
“I want to make myself available to You. I want to make myself available to You.”
The reality is that often it’s not our ability that determines our progress, but our availability.
As Christian creatives, authors, business people, and entrepreneurs, we need to understand that we are not in this enterprise alone.
We are not limited by our own ability or skill set, because we have a Partner who is working with us. He is more than on board and sees and understands everything.
The Holy Spirit is a partner with you in whatever endeavour you choose to engage in. You just need to continually come and make yourself available to him, so that you can become a conduit for something bigger than yourself.
Well, good morning to you, I trust you are well today I’m looking forward to just sharing some things that have been on my heart, some things that the Holy Ghost has been speaking to me about this morning. I don’t know whether it’s profound or not, but certainly it was helpful for me to be reminded of some of the things I want to share with you this morning. You know, it really came out of my time. Generally, what I try and do in the mornings is kind of rise early and take some time to be in God’s presence, spend some time in conversation with him, really kind of tackle the things that tackle my heart if I don’t allow him in.
And I love to journal as I do that as well. That’s that’s really been a big key for me. And and this morning, as I was praying, I didn’t find that there was so much of a flow of conversation. It was more just something really gripped my heart and I began to pray. And I’m sure you may have experienced similar things when you’ve been praying. Is that kind of your spirit of hooks onto a statement? Your your spirit hooks onto a request, and it’s like that request just becomes like urgent and insistent.
And I find myself repeating the words, Lord, I want to make myself available to you. I want to make myself available to you. And you know that maybe that’s not something so surprising or so unusual. It’s it’s not necessarily a strange prayer as such. But what impressed me was what kind of made it stand out to me this morning was the fact that I just couldn’t stop repeating it. It was just like, I don’t know. I think it wasn’t so much me trying to get through to God because we don’t need to try and get through to him.
He’s already opened the way. It’s really there is a new and loving way. If you want to come into God’s presence, then Jesus is your highway. There’s no there’s no standing outside, okay? There’s no kind of been held on the on the sidelines. And God has ushered us deeply, deeply into his presence. But I think it was more to impress on my heart. It was more like my spirit was trying to get my attention, the attention of my mind and my consciousness, to remember that it’s not my ability that really makes the difference.
It is my availability. And I want to remind you of that today as well. Sometimes in in kind of all of the the various things, particularly if we’re involved in creative pursuits and creative endeavours, we can feel as though sometimes like there’s always going to be someone better than us. Let’s face it. There’s always going to be someone is kind of further down the line or doing maybe what we want to do or what we are doing in a much more impressive manner or whatever else it may be.
And we think and we can fall into the trap of thinking that they have some special ability, that they have some kind of an otherworldly skill. Okay. Or that that sets them apart. But the truth is. Okay, and I just really want to bring this to our remembrance today, that it’s not just ability that is at play here. It is availability. And I find myself praying over and over. Lord, I want to make myself available to you.
I want to make myself available to you. And, you know, in that the words began to impress himself upon me and I decided, well, let’s find out what avail means. Let’s find out what avail ability means. And so I went to look up the word avail or availability. And it means to really to be to to be present, OK? It means to be close at hand. It means to be within arm’s reach, you know, if something is available.
And and it got me to thinking, Lord, am I positioning myself in a way that is within arm’s. For you, am I making myself available to your presence, if you want to say something, if you want to do something, if you want to give a specific direction? Am I here in attendance and ready to respond? Ready to hear and ready to act? And again, you know, I’m not one to stop. I’m a bit like a kind of little bulldog once I get my teeth into something.
And so we dug a bit deeper and I found out that the the word avail comes from a Latin word. Let me just make sure I get this right. So I want to be sure I get get this correct. Let me have a look here on my blog post that I wrote this morning. That at. Yeah, it means to be close at hand, within easy reach, and comes from a Latin word, a volley of Valera V-A-L-E-R-A.
Which means to be strong or of value, to be strong or of value. It’s the same word that is used, the same root word that is used for to be valiant. Okay. Valiant is the same root word that we find this word a or availability or available. All are rooted in that thing. It means to be strong or a value. And you know, we we it does take courage to make yourself available to God. It takes courage to be at arm’s reach for him to direct you, and then to step out boldly into what he says.
And I was reminded of a friend of mine. I think this is probably one of my favourite stories, particularly because I’m a lover of the arts. I’m a lover of kind of creativity, as well as a massive lover of Christ and a friend of mine, David Holden, he is a painter. Okay. And but his story of how he stepped into the life of an artist is really quite powerful and really unique. David was training to be a pastor.
As some of you may know. My wife and I were pastors for 20 plus years. He was training to be a pastor when I was kind of just a young upstart, like trying to learn the ropes. And he was also, I believe, in the property market in some degree. But he was going through a really difficult time, a time of kind of a stack of various disappointing things. And he went to a meeting like a church meeting where a prophet was speaking.
The prophet called him out, pointed him out, not he obviously didn’t know who he was and and began to pray over him, began to prophesy over him. And and he prophesied over him, you will be a painter. And, you know, by this time, David had fallen on the floor under the power of the Holy Ghost, was pinned there by some angel of some kind. I suspect his hands were burning. OK, he’s pinned to the floor, his hands are burning.
And this prophet says you will be a painter. And, you know, he’d never painted a picture in his life. And really his natural mind immediately went having kind of just been in in more regular employ. Up to that point, his mind immediately saw himself climbing a ladder, painting walls and painting windowsills like a like a painter and decorator. And he said, I know he’s lying there thinking, Lord, that does not feel like divine destiny to me right now.
And but the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said, no, I want you to be an artist. He was available. And but the story doesn’t stop there because often times what will happen is we will hear something from heaven, will kind of enjoy the moment and then get up and go about our regular business. You know, we’ll be like, OK, that was a nice memory that I can look back on. I can put it on my kind of spiritual wall like, oh, yeah, that was the day that God told me I would be an artist, not David.
Yeah. You David Holden the very next day. Well, that very day he went home and spoke to his wife, told her that he was now going to be an artist. I think she probably thought, oh, no, you know, like early onset kind of mid-life crisis occurring here. I’d better be careful what I say. But nevertheless, David went out the following day. I went to an art supply shop, having never painted, not even knowing what he what he needed to buy.
I went in and told them, I’m an artist, I need some paints. And the attendant in the shop said, well, what kind of paint do you want then, sir? And he like quite honestly, said, I don’t know. I’ve got no idea what kind of paint I want. Would you suggest something? So I left the store with a bag full of supplies, some watercolours, some sable brushes and some papers or canvases and began that very day.
And, you know, within a month, I believe, of this particular encounter, this meeting, this empowerment, he had painted thirty plus paintings like his his I mean, his paintings are like landscapes, beautiful. Like he would go out into the countryside where he lived here in Sussex where I am. He would. Go out, find a place. Pitch himself up, and he painted the most incredible pictures you can imagine, like having never, ever painted in his life.
God literally, because he was available, because he availed himself of God. God gave him the ability literally supernaturally at that moment in that meeting. Now, that that would mean that we would never have known that had he not been valiant enough to then step out and actually put into practice what he believed God spoke. I mean, even so, that alone would be enough to tell you, man, this is this is a God thing. But, of course, you know, we need to pay the bills.
Yeah, so did David. And and so he and his wife laid out what what in some circles we call a fleece. OK, from the story of Gideon, God came to Gideon and said, you valiant. Yeah. You available Valiant man. You know, I’m calling you. And Gideon said, Hey, whoa, not me, man. You must be talking about someone else. And Gideon laid out a fleece and said, look, if it’s wet, if the fleece is wet in the morning and the ground is dry, then I’ll know it’s you.
Exactly. God did it. And then the following day, he said maybe that was an accident. OK, this time I want the fleece to be dry and the ground to be wet back. God did it. OK, so God will bear with us to a degree. OK, in a doubt and ask yourself, you know, like that, that where we doubt ourselves, he will he will carry us through and bear with us in those things.
He understands that stepping out takes courage, but he called him a valiant man. This is Gideon. I’m talking about an equally David, I believe valiantly stepped out David Holden and began to act on what God had spoken to him. And in it they laid out a fleece and said, okay, thirty days from now we’re going to hire a studio, we’re going to run a gallery exhibition. If the paintings sell, we will know that this is a God thing and not just a David.
I’m having a mid-life crisis thing. And, you know, I mean, you can guess what the how the story continues. All of the paintings sold out. I mean, not surprisingly, they were just incredible, beautiful landscapes that he did. And and he went on to be, I want to say, one of the most prolific and popular landscape painters in our area. And his works went all over the country and I’m sure beyond the beyond the shores of Britain.
And so all because he was available, David was available. And then we and then it got me thinking about others who were available. It got me thinking about how God calls us in whatever station of life we find ourselves in. We’ve got like, you know, and and how each of our stories is kind of uniquely stamped with God’s special anointing, OK? It’s uniquely stamped with his kind of unique grace for our lives. You know, you’ve got Joseph, OK?
His availability went through quite a lot of adversity before he stepped into that place of authority and influence. Yeah, he went through he went through the pit to the prison, OK, to the pit, to Bonifaz. You’re cleaning Potiphar floor to the prison. To the palace. I mean, it’s like just such an incredible story. You you’ve then got Moses like out in the backside of the desert. I mean, Moses story is such an interesting one and such a one that like you, the patience required, let’s face it, like it was.
It’s an incredible story. A burning bush out in the backside of the desert. Moses was available to him and then to respond to what God told him to do. You know, you’ve got they’ve got Peter fishing going about his business. You’ve got Matthew, the tax collector, collecting money, man, for the for the very people who were pressing God’s people at that time, you know, like the most unlikely person there he is in his office job, in the most unpopular office job on the planet at the time.
And now God calls him there. He was available, you know, and each of our stories is different. You got Mary, you know, Mary like it called out of this incredibly dark, demonic past, you know, just such a. Rokan place and God says, Hey, Mary, are you available? Hey, come follow me, come follow me. And it’s really is the same for us. I mean, for me, I was I was like I went way off the rails in so many ways as a young man.
And in the midst of that, not beyond it. Not once I tidied myself up. Not once I’d clean myself up right in the very thick of it. Yeah. Jesus comes in and says, Hey, boy, you available, come follow me. And he may be asking you to do that. Now, maybe you don’t even know Jesus. And he’s saying for the very first time you’re hearing, hey, come follow me. Know or maybe you’ve been following him for many years.
And this is like a because this is a relationship, because it’s something that is growing and developing and going from strength to strength and glory to glory and faith to faith and all of those good things and challenge to challenge. Yeah, it’s. God continues to speak, God continues to say, hey, follow me, hey, come follow me. And really what I was reminded of today is that like they look, David, speaking to this, David, okay may maybe speaking to whoever is on the other side of this screen right now.
You know, you put your name there, you know, is saying, are you are you at hand? Are you close at hand? Are you within arm’s reach? Can I reach out my hand and put it on you? Can I put it on your can I infuse your ability with my ability? Can I can I take your personality, your gift, your experience, your history and use it for my kingdom and for my glory and and to to help other people.
And, you know, this idea of Valerie. Okay. Being to be strong just again, like it’s like the Holy Ghost leads you kind of into this kind of deeper discussion, peels away the the layers when we allow him to. That’s why it’s so important to give him time. And I’m remind I was reminded of Paul’s prayer that that God would strengthen his disciples, that they might be able to comprehend, take hold and grasp the implications and gravity of God’s amazing love.
In Ephesians 3:16 to 19, it says that he would grant you he’s praying here. You pray, God grant them according to the riches of your glory, to be strengthened with power through your spirit in their in a man so that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, maybe may be able to comprehend with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth, and to know the love of Christ, which goes far beyond mere knowledge.
Yeah. We will ever experience this, you know, and that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. I mean, how how magnificent is that prayer? But what’s interesting is it actually takes a valiant strength to comprehend and take hold and to understand the strength and the reality and the substance of the love that the father offers us. And this love man is the foundation. It’s the sustenance, the springboard. It’s the destination of everything we do in every act of service, every creative experiment, every endeavour is rooted in this reality.
Ultimately, love is why we exist. Love is why we do what we do. It’s why we get out of bed in the morning and, you know, to love God, to learn to love ourselves as he loves us. And I know I’m finding have found and I’m finding that that is some sometimes the the most challenging piece, OK, love others is you love yourself. OK, this love self bit can be real challenge this except self bit can be a real challenge.
This value self and what I bring to the world can be a real challenge. OK, but this is it. This is the root. This is the ground. This is the foundation that we build from love. God love our self as he loves us. And then from that place of acceptance, we step out with confidence to not trying to be something other than what God has designed us to be, not trying to play the part of someone else’s, you to see these different ones that we’ve spoken of today.
They were all available and but they were all available in different ways. They were all at different places. They were different people with different gifts and different different plans and destinies that guided plotted out for them. They went through different things. And it’s the same for us. We have something so special, so unique to bring. OK, and and it’s not just about your ability. It’s not just about your skill. It’s not just about your history or your education or your intelligence or, you know, or whatever it may be or whether you think you lack all of those things.
It’s about your availability. Are you ready for God to avail himself of you, to put you on like a glove, to step out so you can step forward in your gift and your anointing and your calling? Because his endorsement ultimately OK, is the only thing that you need. And from that. Ground from that foundation, I came from that cornerstone, which cannot be shaken. We then step out to serve other people. Well, thanks for listening.
Hopefully it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.