Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rediscovering Lost Tools

 (submitted by Kerry Patton)
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:11-13
I Like Tools!
Okay, confession time… “Hi…My name is Kerry…and I like tools.”  I really do!  I recently bought an air impact wrench because I needed to remove the blades on my lawn mower and sharpen them.  I could not get the nut that secures the blade to the engine and drive system to release.  It was simply way too tight for me to be able to get to move.  So, I purchased an impact wrench from a local hardware store and once I had the right tool, getting the job done was no problem.
Tools… Tools are those advancements in technology…ranging from the earliest shards of broken bones or stones used by cavemen, to today’s computer programmed surgical and manufacturing tools that work with microscopic precision.  Tools help us to DO things!  They help us to accomplish, build, tear down, create, cook…or a million other things.  Tools make doing whatever it is that we need to do, simpler and more efficient…or even possible at all.
Tools Lost…and Found
I had an experience recently that inspired me to write this devotion for you.  I was sorting through things in a house that we were selling and sifting them into two stacks: 1. Things I was keeping, and 2. Things I was throwing away. Most of the things were falling into the “things I was throwing away” category.  In this stack were old cans of wood stain, broken garden implements, expired bottles of insecticide, and old cell phone chargers.  And then I began making remarkable discoveries!  Tools that I haven’t used in so long, I forgot that I even have them!  Here was a bow saw for trimming trees; over there was a pole saw for trimming way up high in trees.
  My friend Paul uncovered a complete socket wrench set that the ratchet had broken.  I had forgotten that I even had that set.  All it needed was a new ratchet and it could be back in service again.  Later I rediscovered a box saw I purchased years ago when we were remodeling a second floor room and was replacing baseboards.  Then Benjamin walked through with a brand new pipe wrench I had purchased and put away, but never even used!  WOW!!  I had forgotten that I even owned each of these tools!  I was so excited to be reunited with them.  Suddenly the possibilities of what I could build, repair, and create began to flood my mind.  I was so glad to rediscover these tools!
Spiritual Tools…
Ephesians 6:11-13 above reminds us to take up the tools of our defense…to dress ourselves in the full armor of God.  If we take up the Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit, the Breastplate of Righteousness, gird our loins with Truth, and shod our feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, these tools will aid us in accomplishing…in DOING what we need to do; that is – defend ourselves against the assault of the evil one!  But do we remember these tools?  Do we remember that we have them every day and must put them to use?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  Maybe they have been lost in the clutter of daily living, or forgotten and ‘stored out in the dusty garage’ of completed battles.

Don’t let me lead you down a trail unintentionally.  While this devotion may speak of spiritual warfare and refer to Ephesians chapter 6; I want to direct your attention to ALL of the tools that scripture has for our daily living!!  Tools for communicating with our children; tools for loving strangers like Jesus did; tools for keeping our marriage covenant and vows; tools for denying ourselves and following Jesus daily…and a thousand others!  So easily do POWERFUL passages of scriptures get covered over by time or pushed back to the rear of the shelf in a dry and dusty place.
By determining to rediscover these tools, we dive back into the scriptures, not in random page turnings, but in the absorbing of entire chapters and books.  I was speaking with Donnie O’Fallon only this week and he and I were both sharing how RICH…how unspeakably rich the discoveries are within the pages of the most Holy Book of God.  We reminisced about those times when we uncover passages again, and again that strike a chord in our spirit and we are instantly renewed again; inspired, and filled with the Bread of Life…each of them TOOLS for daily living, for coping, caring, sharing, ministering, worshiping…

Almighty God, I laugh as I think about how rediscovering the tools in your Word is like finding hidden money in my wallet!  I’m like “WOW!!  I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT WAS IN THERE!!” Father, as I rediscover your tools, I become excited about all you are wanting me to build, create, share in this life, and how you are using us to touch others.  Draw us in, O God.  Help us to take up forgotten tools once again!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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