The phone vibrated continuously and seemed to be waiting for me to acknowledge its muted buzz. I quickly glanced at the phone and decided I would return the call later, when my schedule allowed. There are times when my hands are full and it’s just not convenient for me to answer a call. There are some times when my hands are not full and I simply do not feel like chatting or catching up (please refrain from judgement here).
And lately, I’ve been pondering the question of availability, specifically my availability for relationship with God, my availability to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to me. Sometimes, I’m guilty of treating God like an inconvenient phone call or an appointment that can easily be rescheduled. There are times when we say we long for more of God or we desire to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly, but our actions say otherwise, our to do lists reveal different priorities.
And recently on my morning commute, I was faced with the following questions, “Are you available to me or am I simply a negotiable, optional agenda item? Do I take priority over your plans? Are you available for Me to speak to you or do you miss My voice because you cannot recognize it due to not spending time with me?” “When will you be available to me?” “Are you available to talk now?”
Tough questions that require unfiltered truth and an immediate response. I find my answer and my problem all in one verse: James 4:8.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The simplicity of this verse struck me. Approach Him and He will stay close to me. Seek Him and I will find Him. Desire Him and he will give me the desires of my heart. Ask Him and He will answer. When I can tell that I’ve pushed God to the edge of my schedule instead of making Him the starting point of my schedule, I start right here:
- Approach the Father – I start by coming near to Him and refusing to drift further away.
- Cleanse my Hands and purify my heart – Next, I ask God for forgiveness and move into the forgiveness He freely gives me. I confess where I truly am and where I desire to be in regards to availability to the Father. There is so much needed grace at the cross that we don’t allow ourselves to experience because we are saturated with the stains of guilt. I ask the Lord to purify my desires so that they resemble the heart of his Son, whose primary desire was to do the will of the Father and ultimately bring Him glory.
- Create the space and time in your life to be available to God – Then comes the tough part: Being intentional and realistic about carving out this time and remembering that no relationship can flourish without connection.
Father, I want my desire for You to surpass any agenda or to do list.
When You speak to me, I want to be available to hear You clearly. I want to honor my appointments with You because through those appointments, I am fueled to face every moment of my day. I want to be willing to pause what I’m doing because Your agenda is more pressing than mine. I want the Holy Spirit to whisper in my ear at any time and I want to not only hear, but I want to take action when He speaks.
Read more from Jandi on her personal blog: Broken for Building
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