The “TOOL BOX”
Due to my trade in life, I often find myself in the process of building and repairing. Over the years I have learned the importance of using the right tool for the job I’m performing. Especially as I’ve grown older and the years have flown by, my body especially appreciates any tool or piece of equipment that can be used to spare my muscles and joints! Tools are often misused. A screwdriver used as a pry bar or the butt end of a drill used as a hammer. It may get the job done but extended misuse of the tool makes for a short usable life. It’s also important to realize that each tool has a specific purpose and its use is a critical and necessary part in reaching completion of your goals. I have learned, there is an amazing connection to be realized and understood when using tools. For example, you may use a pry bar to break something apart, but another tool will need to be used in moving along to the next process. Is this earth shattering revelation? No! However, understanding this intimate connection as you learn these principles is absolutely crucial in navigating the tool box of your life. If you are searching for practical answers and a living foundation from which to truly live your Christian faith then you are in good company. Are you a bit weary of reading the next life changing book, find that you eagerly agree with its well-intentioned premise, only to become temporarily motivated until life in the world takes its toll? If so, then we already have a kinship and I hope you read on. This practical workbook contains the actual scriptural tools that God inspired me to put together and use for renewal and transformation in my own life. My hope is that it provides a usable framework for you to grasp and apply in your own life as the desires of your heart are stirred for the purposes of His Kingdom.
Are Your Tools Working?
Have you ever stopped long enough to take a moment and conduct a quick analysis of what you are using in your life that leads to renewal of your mind and transformation of your character for the glory of His Kingdom? There is no better time than right now. Don’t forget, these words were typed by someone just like you; someone seeking and searching for dynamic and powerful ways to genuinely live the life of Jesus Christ. I too am that someone that has grown tired of the ups and downs of the roller coaster and the washing machine agitation cycle of life. Please allow me to toss a few thoughts your way:
- Have you considered exercising your soul? Eating is a pretty consistent theme in our daily existence. You put things into your life and things come out of your life.
- Have you ever sat through a performance evaluation at work? If not, it’s quite an experience. They actually want to know if what you are doing in your job is PRODUCING income for the company. How dare they?
- When is the last time you had blisters on your hand from working? Ok, admittedly this one may raise some hairs but please allow me to use this to make a point. Isn’t it interesting when you work with your hands and they go through a PROCESS and actually become stronger and tougher?
- Those that teach others: Do you deliver? You are sowing foundational principles into the lives of people. Is it really working?
I think you probably see the point. It isn’t by our strength or merit to earn salvation. It is important to remember that the production and fruit which comes from our lives actually stems from our framework by which we think and act. Our heavenly Father provides the fuel of His life to our framework so that we may rest in His abilities. Resting in His abilities means to abide in Him, to soak in His Word, to pray with purpose and to be His hands and feet as He leads.
So, isn’t it fair to ask if what you are doing in your daily life is leading to abiding in Him; to soaking in His Word in very practical living ways; to praying with purpose that actually produces fruit, and to being His hands and feet as He speaks and as you actually listen and hear what He has to say? Our heavenly Father isn’t a corporate suit looking for profits. He is the head of the Kingdom of which we profess to belong as Christians and He absolutely is in the business of producing fruit for His Kingdom. Luke 10:2 is very clear in that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Where do you stand?
Tools are Connected
“and why it’s important”
I’ve often found myself saying the following, “If I would have really seized that moment and said what was really on my heart, how much more fruitful could that encounter have been?” I’ve also had the unpleasant opportunity of experiencing frustration, then letting it lead me to anger, then to irrational thinking, speech and ultimately actions that I regret. The other side of this coin is feeling love for your spouse, child or friend, then actually showing them your love by acknowledging your feelings through words and actions. I happen to be a very busy self-employed person who wears every hat from equipment repair man to sales to accountant to field installer and inspector. In wearing so many hats, I’ve come to realize how easy it is to just get lost in wearing one hat. For instance, I can wear my sales hat all day long but if I never take off the sales hat and put on the installer hat the work will never get completed and money will never come in the door. If I never put on the equipment repair and maintenance hat, tools will become broken and machines won’t run which makes it impossible for installation to move forward. If I decide to hang up the office manager hat then invoices won’t get produced and mailed out, bills won’t get paid, paperwork won’t be updated and employees won’t get paid. What I’m trying to point out is that all these hats are intimately connected and one doesn’t work without the other.
Our walk with the Lord is much the same way. We are to be careful in that our building occurs on a solid foundation. If we become unfocused and allow our mind to wander then we need to recognize what is happening and become refocused. However, becoming focused means understanding our purpose, and to understand purpose, one must also address what is at the root of their desire. This process further connects to our seeking behaviors, thought patterns, the actions that result from our thinking, how we view and use the time we have, and even how we persevere through difficult times. All of this can become very overwhelming, and that is precisely why many people are constantly hammered back and forth and never really reach a place in their lives that is producing fruit for the Kingdom and amassing treasures in heaven. This is a lot to chew on so where do we go from here?
It’s actually quite simple, we take a bite at a time. Renewal is key to transformation in how we set our desires, what we seek, how we think and how we act. Begin to soak in and pray the scriptures of renewal. Then begin to work in scriptures and prayer on desire. Everything in life comes down to the root of your desire. Every morning read and meditate on the tools of seeking that your mind will be set upon the ways of the Kingdom. Allow God to transform your life through this process.
When the Father’s nature and His Kingdom become your desire, the attraction to grow in all these other areas will become strong and you will be well on your way to becoming a fruitful citizen of the Kingdom of Almighty God!
Do not lose heart. This is a process and it is important to remember that you must not give up but keep feeding these scriptures and prayer into your life. This is vital conditioning for as many times in your day as the Lord leads and is exercise for your spirit and soul. This journey will slowly build your spiritual muscles. Notice I said s-l-o-w-l-y. I caution you to be steady and disciplined. This is not a 50 yard dash but more like a marathon. You will need to stretch, drink water, get plenty of sleep, eat right, etc…. Soak in the wonderful smells and sights of His ways and allow His nature to slowly work into your muscles and joints. Am I getting the point across to you? Read this section as many times as you need to keep reminding yourself. The connecting tools of Life in Him is a wonderful and simple thing.
The working of His grace and strength and the slow journey of your daily spiritual conditioning will net some amazing and fruitful results for His Kingdom. Let’s go!!!