by Pastor Zack Morales
Photos courtesy Zack Morales
If asked to list their abilities, most men would rattle off things like hunting, fishing, small engine repair, auto mechanics or something that involves their field of endeavor. While this may be an honest answer, it may not reflect the abilities God asks us to use when we serve Him. As men, these are the areas in which we try to serve, at least initially. Let me stay within my comfort zone and do the things I do well.
As we grow in God, we will find that the areas in which we believe we are strong may not be the areas in which God wants us to serve, much less the talents that He intends for us to use. Once we make ourselves available for Him, we will find we can do things we never thought possible. We will serve in areas we never considered. We will touch lives we did not think we could reach.
I found this to be true three years ago when I joined a team to serve at Iberville Parish Jail. This was something that I never considered – and, quite frankly, I was not terribly motivated to do it. I initially became involved with Hope Ministries out of my respect for its director. He had trouble recruiting volunteers, so I relented and told him I would stay with the ministry until it grew. Afterwards, I would step away and work in the ministry to which I thought I had been called.
We have worked with a number of men and seen lives change. We have seen attitudes change. Three years have passed, and I can’t imagine not serving in this ministry – all because I made myself available to God. Making oneself available to God involves surrendering ourselves to Him. When we are available to God, we are available to others. We answer the call that God has for us.
The answer to his call is not “why me?” but “send me.” When we are submitted and available, God begins to change us. We begin to develop new characteristics.
Humility: (Micah 6:8) We begin to think about others before ourselves. Our needs are less important. Our focus becomes outward as opposed to our way, which is made up of selfishness and greed.
Wisdom: (Proverbs 3:13) As we begin to grow in Christ and make ourselves available to Him, we begin to attain Wisdom in how to live a Christ-centered life. The longer we walk with Him, the more we begin to understand.
Focus: (Proverbs 6:6) When we surrender to Christ, service to Him is not work. We begin to enjoy what we do for Him. Our focus becomes not so much on what we do and its difficulty but on the reason that we do it
Not Lazy: (Proverbs 6:6) When we surrender to Christ, service to Him is not work. We begin to enjoy what we do for Him. Our focus becomes not so much on what we do and its difficulty but on the reason that we do it.
Truthful: (2 Corinthians 8:21) Truthfulness does not come naturally to everyone. Even those who tell the truth can state it in such a way that it can be hurtful and not help a person grow in Christ. When we become available to God, the way we present truth is in a way that fosters love for the other person and a desire for them to grow.
Love: (1 John 4:7) Availability causes us to love those whom we never thought we could love or those whom we deemed unlovable all together. When we are available to God, our heart changes and becomes filled with the love of God.
Zack Morales is a pastor and Director of Men’s Ministry at First Baptist Church in Addis, and a Network Project Designer for Louisiana State University. He is focused on making men better husbands and fathers through discipleship. He and his wife Stacey have three sons — Adam, Austin and Andrew.