Many years ago, my father passed on to me a collection of woodcarving chisels, about thirty of them, I guess. And I’ve added a few more. Some are big, others small and fine. There are flat chisels, gouges, spade-shaped chisels and others bevelled on both sides. Whatever I want to do, I can find the tool for the job.
At the moment, I’m working on a little wall-plaque which will be someone’s Christmas present. It’s very small and quite intricate. To begin with, the larger chisels were most useful. But now it’s down to the detailed work, and there are just four or five really small ones out on my bench.
God has prepared ‘good works for us to walk in’. His heart is for us to succeed in that. So, He provides grace – tools for the job. He also wants us to co-operate with Him as He works in our daily lives. He longs for us to grow in maturity and holiness, and that means that we have to be actively engaged in what is happening in our lives. And He wants us to be free of all the things that ‘hinder us in the race’. That doesn’t happen automatically, either. So, there’s work for us to do.
Sometimes we think that the gifts of the Spirit are just for Church meetings. Of course, this is an important place for their use. But that’s not to say that God doesn’t give us all the spiritual resources – tools for the job – that we need for our day-to-day lives. He’ll give us ‘the word in season’ which really encourages a friend, the word which challenges an unbeliever without causing offence, the authority to send the enemy packing, or, maybe, the faith to pray for someone’s healing. He’ll give us the ability to hear Him when He quietly speaks a word into our spirit which changes how we see a tricky situation. These are all tools for the job.
As I go about my woodcarving, my tools are out on my bench, ready for me to pick up the moment I need one. Others in in my toolbox. I know what’s there and how to find it. But sometimes it’s a bit tempting to use the wrong tool rather than take the trouble to find the right one. Is God, today, encouraging you to use your ‘spiritual toolbox’ – to take hold of the right tool for the job, rather than making do or coping with something that is not His way?
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You so much that in Christ I have all the tools I need to fulfil Your purposes for me today. Please show me when I’m trying to use the wrong ones and open my eyes to know how You want me to meet every situation that I’ll encounter today. Amen.
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