Let God Use You 24/7
- 2002 3 Mar
Plainclothes believers, no matter how Type A, also do well to trust Him with their time. Jesus didn't waste His time on accidental contacts, and if He is living His life through you, He won't waste time either. Besides, His time is now your time, because you gave Him your clock and a blank sheet of paper, and you surrendered your right to punch out. He uses divine appointments for His higher purposes, whether you can perceive them or not. Those purposes may include a warm apple pie for a new neighbor.
Finally, plainclothes believers must remain transparent in every area of daily life - from marketplace interactions to the relationships developing under the own roof. Let those who know you see Christ in you, warts and all. ...
Does keeping divine appointments still seem like someone else's opportunity? Perhaps you have resisted giving God total control for all the standard-issue reasons - for the potential risk of leaving hearth and homeland, stepping off the career ladder or simply living day to day following someone else's priority list. In The Christian and the Holy Spirit, Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright lists some other reasons that may cause you to hang an "Out to Lunch" sign indefinitely. Which of these "availability squelchers" apply to you?
- An exalted feeling of your own importance
- Love of human praise
- Anger and impatience
- Self-will, stubbornness, unteachability
- A compromising spirit
- A jealous disposition
- Lustful, unholy actions
- An unnatural love of money, beautiful clothes, cars, houses, or land
I could spill some ink checking the ones that applied to me. Yet, when I surrendered my will to God, they vanished. From time to time, I pick up one or two. But during those battles, I cling to the fact that the war is over. Indeed, Colossians 2:9-10 reads, "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority."
If you still feel like a bottom-of-the-barrel candidate for heaven-sent opportunities, remember that it's God's power - not yours - that keeps your head up and your knees from buckling. Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:13, "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." We have the victory. All we have to do is claim it.
For this reason, giving God 24/7 availability reminds me of trying on gloves. Companies manufacture them in many shapes, sizes, and materials - wool, leather, latex, and so on - for many purposes. Pairs of them lifelessly hang off hooks or lie in bins. But with strong hands inside, they can yank weeds from a flower garden, brush snow off a windshield, change a tire, or pull a tooth.
At the point of total commitment, you let Jesus Christ control you as a hand controls a glove. His hands provide the appropriate skill, stamina, sensitivity, and power needed to reach out to others. Acts 1:8 records Jesus promising as much to His disciples and to us: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ...
Face facts. Living a Spirit-filled life of faith means that you may frequently not have the foggiest idea of what's next. Why? Because you're not in charge anymore. Where you go, what you do, and whom you meet pose constant question marks to a totally committed believer.
Sure, you may have visions of doing this or that, but uncertainty marks the footsteps of one following Jesus Christ. This kind of faith puts you in a perpetual free-float! However, when you invite Christ to take control 24/7, He wears a collection of hats to help you live confident of one thing - His competence and care, whatever the details. Don't sweat the details.
Excerpted from Divine Appointments, copyright 2002 by Bob Jacks and Matthew R. Jacks with Pam Mellskog. Used by permission of NavPress, Colorado Springs, Co., www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. For copies of the book, call 1-800-366-7788.
Bob Jacks is a businessman who began to reach out to non-Christians through home Bible studies around 1965. He and his wife, Betty, do seminars and speak at conferences, mostly related to living the victorious Christian life and how to reach out to a broken world. Matthew R. Jacks owns his own company, which specializes in the reproduction of early American painted furniture and Civil War era children's clothing. Pam Mellskog has co-authored a book and written for numerous Christian magazines.
Has God recently brought a divine appointment your way? What was the experience like? Why is it important to you to try to be available to God as much as you can? What challenges do you face when trying to follow His leading? What encouragement can you offer others who would like to open themselves up more to God's direction in their lives, no matter what? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.