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