Maintaining our Christian "Calibration"


 

Contender Ministries


Among my favorite hobbies is woodworking.  I freely confess I’m no skilled artisan, yet I get a great deal of enjoyment out of building a new bookcase or breadbox.  Among my power tools is a jigsaw.  My jigsaw runs along the surface of the wood on its flat base.  The base is adjustable, and I can change the angle of cut by loosening a large screw and tilting the base.  Unfortunately, the screw tends to come loose without warning.  I have, on occasion, started a nice perpendicular cut, only to find that the angle of cut has changed before I finish.  This is an extremely frustrating situation that tests my ability to be “slow to anger.” 

Every day during our devotions, my wife and I pray that we would be good tools for God in the spreading and teaching of His Word.  We seek to be used of God for His glory – to be instruments in the advancement of the gospel.  Indeed, the Bible tells us we should seek to be used by God.  Yet like my jigsaw, we humans can get a spiritual screw loose, that will negatively impact our ability to be good tools for God. 

When it comes to sharing the gospel, we Christians must be more precise tools than my crude Black & Decker jigsaw.  In order to maintain our precision, it is important to stay calibrated to our primary standard – the Word of God.  We cannot contend for the faith if we are not strong in that faith.  We cannot share the Word, if we are unfamiliar with the Word.  We cannot expose the deeds of darkness to the light of the Gospel if we are concealing unconfessed sins in our own lives.  

Don’t get me wrong – I know we’re not perfect.  Humans are inherently imperfect, and we seem intent on proving that point on a daily basis.  It is one thing to sin, but it is something else entirely to knowingly engage in sin without confessing or repenting of that sin.  Even among Christians, deeds of darkness are ruining lives.  Pornography and adultery are common sins that have a profoundly damaging effect on families as well as on the sinner himself.  Pride, hate, and greed are also no strangers in the lives of Christians.  These sins are tools of Satan.  He uses them to inflict us with guilt, doubt, fear, and to cool our love for our Lord.  In doing so, he renders us impotent as effective tools for Christ!

Through daily prayer and Bible Study, we allow the Holy Spirit to have an active role in our daily lives.  When we are harboring darkness within ourselves, the Spirit acts as our conscience, convicting us of our sin and shining a light deep into our souls.  The question then becomes what we do when confronted with our wrongdoing.  Do we continue in our sin, and ignore the prompting of the Spirit?  Or do we hit the floor on our knees, confessing our sins and repenting of them?  We cannot be effective tools for Christ if we hold onto our sinful ways.  We will have our spiritual screw loose until we hand the reins of our life back to He who reigns over us. 

Precision tools must be calibrated to ensure that they stay true, accurate, and effective tools.  There are two different kinds of calibration standards – a primary standard, which is the standard of all standards; and secondary standards, which must be calibrated to the primary standard.  In the life of a Christian, the Word of God is our primary standard.  A fellowship of other Bible-believing Christians is a secondary standard.  Both are important, but we cannot forsake our primary standard and expect to be effective tools for God. 

Perhaps you’ve been feeling like God is not as close as He used to be.  You don’t feel that you are an effective tool for our Lord.  Maybe the Holy Spirit is convicting you regarding sin in your life with which you have not dealt.  Undoubtedly, such feelings will leave you feeling spiritually hollow.  The good news is that God is still near – you’re simply looking the wrong way.  Here’s what must be done to reverse the trend, and become a precision instrument for God once again:

1)      Take a spiritual inventory, and take personal ownership of any unconfessed or persistent sin.  Taking ownership means that you do not try to deflect blame for the sin in your life – you accept the fact that you allowed Satan to gain a foothold in your life.

2)      Go to God in prayer, confessing your sins to Him.  Satan sometimes uses guilt to keep Christians from prayer.  Don’t let him have the satisfaction.  God anxiously awaits your prayers and supplication.  Like the father of the prodigal son, He only wants you to come home to Him.

3)      Repent of your sin.  It is not enough to confess your sin, if you have no intention of resisting that sin in the future.  Repentance means that you are claiming the power of Jesus Christ and telling Satan that he has no further business with you.  “Resist the devil, and he will flee.” – James 4:7

4)      Now that you have dealt with the sin in your life, keep yourself true and effective by daily calibration to the primary standard.  If we’ve already stepped too deeply into analogous lingo, this means you must spend time each day in study of God’s Word.  This also means daily prayer.  Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit hears and understands our prayers, even if we’re unable to express our prayers completely, and He intercedes for us with God the Father. 

5)      Fellowship with other believers is an indispensable tool through which we receive instruction, encouragement, and accountability.  For those of you who are still following along, this is the secondary calibration standard. 

Only when we have dealt with our own spiritual “loose screws” can we be effective tools for God.

 

Contender Ministries

http://contenderministries.org