By Eitan Shishkoff
My least favorite letters are
probably "N/A". Why? Because it means that the item or service I want is
Not Available. If we get frustrated when we see N/A, what does God
experience when He's seeking to get our attention, or to instruct
us/warn us/lead us - and He sees those initials next to our name?
We live anticipating the fulfillment of Joel's attention-grabbing
prophecy. In the last days, God will pour out His Spirit upon the sons
and daughters of Israel and upon all flesh (Joel 2:28ff). Yet I've
asked myself, "Am I ready for such an outpouring?" I have this hunch that
it's not going to be like I expect. Rather, it will be
unpredictable, radical, and even offensive to many. How will I respond?
Will I be ready? Will it pass me by? Will I become the harvester I long
to be, during the final harvest before Yeshua returns? A key ingredient
will be AVAILABILITY.
Like Freshly Plowed Soil
To what can we liken availability? It's like the soil that is
freshly plowed and ready to receive seed. As hippie farmers we learned
about soil. When it was full of clay, it baked quickly to a hard crust
when water was scarce. Too much sand and the seed had nothing to grab
onto. Thick sod, unworked for years became impenetrable - packed with
countless interwoven grass roots.
In Yeshua's parable He emphasized the need for our hearts to be like
rich, open soil in order to bring a lush crop. If the seed lands on the
road, or the soil is filled with rocks or weeds - no crop. These resemble
our stubbornness, our coveting more things, and our fear of others'
opinions. His imagery questions our availability. Is my heart ready to
receive the seed of God's word, of His requirements, of His
transforming interaction with me? "Break up your fallow ground,"
the prophet Hosea challenges, "for it is time to seek the Lord, till
He comes and rains righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12).
Like the Womb
Miriam was caught off guard by Gabriel's bizarre announcement. How
could she bear a child, conceived of the Holy Spirit, without normal
marital relations? Despite the shock she replied, "Be it unto me
according to your word." She made her womb available to God for His
purposes. No way could she comprehend the consequences. From her
availability came eternal world redemption!
The womb is a place of conception, a place of creation, a place that
brings forth new life. Is my life available to God in womb-like
receptivity? Guys, this is not a female thing. This is a human thing. The
Lord is looking for those who, like Isaiah, will see Him, confront their
own need for cleansing, receive His purification, and make themselves
wholly available. "Here am I, send me" (Isaiah 6:8).
Of course there are barriers to availability. You and I are not inclined
to open our life wide to God or others if we've been abused,
betrayed, unfairly criticized, ridiculed, or rejected. If that's
the case, our heart needs the power of repentance, healing, and
renovation. True availability happens in the heart.
Like a Tender Heart
Availability consists of surrender, imagination, breaking down walls.
Surrender is setting aside our private agenda. Imagination is inviting
God to create through us. Breaking down walls? Well you know what that
is. It's removing the places of insecurity and fear that drive us
away from God's purposes and our best self. Spiritually speaking,
new life is conceived in the heart. As fertile soil or an empty womb, our
heart is designed to receive the seed of God's word, His life, His
Spirit. We have to remove the off-limits, "do-not-walk-here" sign
we've put up - selfishly declaring that our life is "private
property." Then, it is time to deny ourselves, and open our heart wide
to God, without fear of abuse or exploitation. Then He will pour out His
Spirit upon us. Then we will be an open channel for His healing and
The cliché is true: "The most important ability is availability".
May you be fully available for the history-making purposes of God in the