Probably the most important ability the Christian could have is availability. Until we make our selves available, the Lord cannot use us, or at least will not.
Availability means that we are willing to go wherever He commands; to do whatever He wishes; and to be whatever we are expected to be. We need to give ourselves to the Lord, and to His service, whatever level of service that may be.
Many emphasize “Lordship salvation” as if that were the supreme factor in our serving the Lord, and obtaining His favor, (Andrew Murray for one), but the Bible says that it all begins with Faith:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him:” (Heb. 11:6 in part)
Without faith, we have no real beginning in the Lord. So, we begin our new life with faith; our next step then would be baptism.
Baptism is the first act of obedience in the service of our Lord. If we “fudge” on baptism, often we go no further in the growth process, nor in the service of the Lord. This, of course, always follows salvation by faith, and is never a part of it, or precedes it.
I suppose then we have what is normally referred to as “Holy living” It is not only expedient, but necessary to obtain the favor of our God. Obedience stands paramount to nearly every other aspect of the Christian life beyond this point. This is where the confusion of Lordship salvation comes into play; many precede the faith with the obedience and get the doctrines backwards. Repentance is often seen as a prerequisite to salvation, although they both come at the same instant that we accept Christ as Savior. Repentance is our part, while salvation is God’s part. All this aside, availability is the key to being used of God.
In preparation for service dependability is probably at the top of the list. If we are not dependable, what good does it do us to be available? We are like a foot out of joint, or a broken tooth (Prov. 25:19) We can become a “sore spot” in the work of the Lord if we are not dependable.
The word “faithful” is probably the closest word in the Bible to being dependable. Since we do not find “dependable” in the Bible, we must use the word Faithful, though it is used in many ways as truth; honesty; integrity; etc. It is quite expedient then that we realize the value of dependability. A man that we can depend on is worth mountains of gold to the ministry. No preacher, no man alone can do the work of stewardship completely, not without interacting with others--with people they can depend on. “Assistants” are for that purpose, and they must be dependable to be of usefulness. Dependability is indeed an important commodity in the work of the Lord, in fact, it too is a necessity.
This three-fold outline is useless if one of the three is left out. Availability and dependability are no good without responsibility. A man who is responsible will get things done; he will meet any challenge head on, and seek the guidance of the Lord in the matter. He will act for the betterment of the Lord and His church, and for the good of man. Our responsibility lies in the doing of all three of these, the Lords will; the churches growth (promotion of the Gospel), and the betterment of man. Improving on what has already been established is the responsibility given to all of us. We are to build on the foundation that Christ has laid, and seek His guidance as we go; this takes durability on mans part.