Friday, July 1, 2011

All-Purpose Tools

What is your favorite all-purpose tool? The one you can grab and use for a variety of jobs? Mine is a butter knife. Besides using it for its intended purpose, cutting and spreading stuff, I’ve been known to use it as a flathead screwdriver, a light hammer, and as a pry bar for Legos and that bedroom door with no key for the lock. My kids must have some secret uses for butter knives, too, because occasionally I find them in the yard. I love having one tool to get a multitude of jobs done.

Satan does too.
His tool is doubt. He is a master of deception, making you wonder if you really understand what you are supposed to be doing. Doubt is the tool he used on Eve that got her kicked out of the garden (Genesis 3:1). Just the planting of a simple question reaped an unintended harvest, at least on her part. He knew exactly what he was doing. The enemy, whose name means “one who separates”, created doubt in Eve’s mind as to the goodness of God, and he does the same to us today.
”Are you sure God said…?” Fill in your own blank here. Where your temptations lie is where that question is waiting. We want what we want when we want it. Anything that interferes with that impulse becomes a power play. We try to mix the words of God or set conditions on them…”I don’t think that applies to this case though” is our feeble defense. God doesn’t stutter when issuing commandments. He didn’t provide the Law so we could find a way around it.
“God wants you to be happy, doesn’t He?” Actually, our happiness is not His priority. Before you get all cranky and stop reading, hear me out. His glory is His priority, and He has wired us to find joy, peace, and contentment when we are living to please Him (Psalm 37:4). Blessings flow through obedience to God, and obedience doesn’t always feel like happiness. Obedience is sometimes just plain hard work, doing something opposite of what we even feel like.
“You deserve better than this…” the enemy whispers as you grow frustrated with a certain situation. The doubt seeps in: if God is good and really in control, why doesn’t He fix this. We make Satan’s job easier when we start making up reasons why God isn’t acting as we think He should. He must not really love me. I’m not good enough. He must be punishing me for something. Recognize where these thoughts come from; they do not come from God. Practice humility and patience, which are two actions that don’t come naturally to most of us (Phil. 2:3-4).
We are not left defenseless. “His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)”. He has given us our own all-purpose tool to get a multitude of jobs done. That tool is the Bible, His Word, Jesus. That book sitting on your shelf, or maybe laying open on your kitchen counter, is your weapon.  The battle is on, friends, and we are going to learn how to fight like God’s kids should.

1 comment: