Last night I spoke with the teens in our youth group about being available and read for God to use. The definition of availability that I have them is a willingness to set our stuff aside to put the needs of God and other’s first. With this in mind I shared with the students how our availability to listen to God and be used by Him truly reflects how authentic our commitment to Him is. Too often our words are just words with no actions, but availability shows a willingness to put actions to words. With talking with teens we talked about things that keep us from being available for God such as family issues, friends, school, sports, tv/media, and various other issues. We talked about how part of being available is seeking God through prayer, Bible reading, and even going to church for fellowship.
I was a little nervous about diving into how being active in Church reflects our availability to God, but I really felt God was leading me to share with the teens about how the patterns they set now of putting friends, school functions, sports and other things ahead of Church attendance really sets the tone now for our availability to be used by God later in life. So many times our teens, in all churches, think it’s ok for other stuff to come before going to Church and that in turn later filters into putting stuff in front of God in all other areas of life. The ups and downs of youth group attendance and lack of growth in students all too often proves this. So I encouraged them to really set that stuff aside and make God, make a growing relationship, and yes even church attendance a priority, make themselves be available.
Also, I know that many of the teens come to church and youth group only for the reason that mom and dad make them or some other person does. So I spoke to them about how we can be somewhere like church that is good and still not be available to listen to or be used by God. We go to church yet the whole time our minds are somewhere else dealing with some “important” issue. The whole time our body is in the right place, our mind is cluttered with our baggage and we are still not available to be used. I challenged the teens to set that stuff aside before church, and before their quiet times to really be able to, with a clear mind, praise God and grow in their walk with Him.
As we closed the youth group out before heading to kick ball. I challenged the students to take a long hard look at what they need to clear out of their lives that is affecting their availability. How about you? Is there anything in your life blocking your from growing in God and serving Him. Can you be like Isaiah and say Here am I! Send Me!? Are you ready to be used?