By John Adams, Assistant Director
Do you know that your life can be a tool in God’s hands? We are God’s tools.
The Proper Use of Tools
I like tools and enjoy creating things with wood, particularly with a wood lathe. A lathe works by spinning a piece of wood while the user holds a sharp tool to shave away material, creating the finished project. For example, a square block can become a bowl by rounding off the outside and hollowing out the center. I’ve had fun making ink pens from small pieces of wood.
Since the wood spins quickly toward the user, one must use the right tool, keep it sharp, angle it properly and grip it firmly. With thirty feet of the wood surface moving past the nose of the tool every second, improper tool use will damage the project instantly and may even injure the user.
We Are God’s Tools
As witnesses for Christ, we can serve as God’s tools in the lives of others. While we aren’t held against spinning wood, our lives and our words do serve to reshape families and communities bit-by-bit. The slow and patient process of building trust and gaining credibility can be broken in a moment with a selfish action or thoughtless word.
The Master Guides His Tools
Christ chooses to send us into the lives of many different people, and as His followers we each are called to represent Him well. In effect, he selects the right tool for the work He has in mind. The community where we live, the people we encounter are not accidental; God sent you where you are now to accomplish a part of His purpose there. We see this clearly if we observe Jesus’ earthly life. Each of His days were intentional, He consistently spoke and acted to show people what God is like. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son (John 1:14b, NLT). Jesus perfectly served the Father’s purposes on earth by representing Him accurately. (This is not all Christ did; He also atoned for sin and offers eternal life to those who trust Him.)
When Christ calls us to be His witnesses, He intends for us to function as effective tools in the hands of His Spirit. Peter explains how God uses our lives to reshape the eternal destiny of others: You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way (I Peter 3:15-16a, NLT>.
The Effectiveness of God’s Tools
Sharp lathe tools, used properly, cut when and how they are designed to. Effective witnesses for Christ first devote themselves to Him as Lord. Our effectiveness, our usefulness to Christ, our impact on the world is determined by the depth and purity of our devotion to Christ. Unless we are growing to know Him better and trust Him more, our effectiveness for His purpose will be blunted.In lathe work, sharp tools make the work easy and swift. Experienced woodturners don’t risk their project on dull tools, they step to the grindstone and resharpen! Perhaps Jesus resharpens our commitment to Him as Lord of our lives?
Are you a sharp and effective tool in God’s hands as you follow Christ? Does your life prompt questions about the source of your hope? Do others experience the love of Christ through you?Sharp tools in skilled hands shape rough wood into beautiful works of art. Devoted followers of Christ in the Spirit’s hands reshape rebels into worshippers!