Definition: The ability to change so as to fit a new specific use or situation.
1. Adaptability is an important and necessary quality for ministers of the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the Gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
2. As situations and conditions change, we must adapt accordingly.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven.
Matthew 9:14,15 Then came to Him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but Thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Luke 9:3 and 22:35,36 And He said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 22:35 And He said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
3. Jesus was the greatest sample of adaptability: The Son of God also became the Son of Man.
John 1:14a And the Word [Jesus] was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
[See also Hebrews 2:14]
4. Being adaptable often requires living above circumstances and conditions.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
[See also 1 Corinthians 4:9-13]
5. Adaptability means being open and willing to do things God’s way.
Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.
James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
[See also Acts 18:21; Romans 1:9,10]
6. Adaptability means being willing to be fashioned — or refashioned — according to the Lord’s will and plan.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.
Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he [the potter] made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Romans 9:20,21 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
7. Adaptability often requires humility.
Matthew 3:13-15 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 13:8-9 Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
8. Adaptability requires yielding your will and mind to God and His plans.
Romans 12:1,2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
1 Samuel 3:18b It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good.
Matthew 6:10b Thy [God’s] will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.
Matthew 26:39 And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.
Luke 1:38b Be it unto me according to Thy Word.