So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. ~ Acts 13:3
For any relationship to work, we must be available to the one with whom we seek the relationship. This applies to all relationships in life; my relationship with my wife, with my kids, with my friends – if I am not available to them or them to me, a relationship cannot happen.
The same is true with my relationship with God. If I am not available to Him, then the relationship will not grow. I will not learn, nor will I mature in my faith. But also, I will not serve Him because I am not available to hear and heed His call.
The first three verses of Acts chapter 13 show us what it looks like to completely avail ourselves to God’s calling. The prophets and teachers at the church at Antioch were together, worshipping the Lord and fasting. Their focus was solely on God, and because of that they were able to hear the Holy Spirit’s calling when it came. Barnabas and Saul were to leave and go preach on the island of Cyprus. The group prayed together, laid their hands upon Barnabas and Saul, and the two departed.
I see a sense of purpose here, a sense of knowing God’s will and following it completely. What if they hadn’t been available? What if they had been drinking in a bar or working overtime? What if they had decided they were too busy or too tired to join together in Christian fellowship? What if they had been watching some mindless TV show with a glass of wine in their hand? Would they have heard God’s calling?
These questions, of course, are not about Barnabas and Saul. They are about me. And what I realize so clearly is that, although I like to think I am available to God, I’m often not. I must be more regular and deliberate in worship. I must be more regular and attentive to reading and studying God’s Word. I must seek like-minded believers with whom I can spend time in fellowship, Bible study and prayer. I must watch less mindless TV and drink less wine and instead focus more on God’s Word. I must be completely available to Him so that I can heed His call when I hear His voice.
Ponder this: What distracts me from fully knowing God’s purpose for my life? Are there life changes I need to make in order to be fully available to Him?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, thank you for the sweet nectar of conviction. Reform me, Lord and help me to be more conscientious with how I spend my time. Help me to be more available to You. In Jesus’ name – AMEN.