Tools

Good Morning Brothers…

I should be shooting arrows and running stadium steps in preparation of elk season, which is only about 2 months away. Instead, I find myself knee deep in summer projects. You know, every summer we take a run at knocking 2 or 3 home projects off of the “Someday” list. This summer…its the garage. It was in need of some tender loving care. While I’m almost done…seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is not the same as exiting the tunnel into the light. For now, the garage remains on the “Someday” list, although…”Someday” has become “Today” and quite a few “Tomorrows”. One of the things that drives me absolutely crazy, is not having the right tool for the job. Some of you may know that I am a builder by trade. The Lord has blessed us with a huge shop and tools of all sorts. Here’s the thing, the tasks on the “Someday” list are typically at home…not at the shop. Standing on a ladder trying to hammer in a nail…with a wrench, or a heavy handled screw driver, or (my favorite) a rock from the garden…will really expose the deep recesses of your heart. Now please understand, it isn’t that I don’t have a framing hammer at home, its that I also have two boys at home (all of the dad’s just nodded their head in understanding).

I kid you not, I have found hand tools lying in the yard while mowing…a good 75 yards from the house. If there is a heavenly clerk, or record keeper, after my euphoria of meeting Jesus face to face calms a bit…I’m really curious to know “How many” needle nose pliers I’ve actually purchased in my lifetime. I couldn’t tell you where one is now…but I found a pair lying under my treestand last year, a treestand my son was using. Not having the right tool has led me to make “Dad Declarations” like, “From now on, there must be a tape measure in every room of the house!”…or…”You kids are not aloud to enter the garage…ever…for the rest of your life!” Anybody who has ever used a reciprocating saw to attempt scroll work (after getting their fillings repacked in their molars) has run out to purchase a jig saw. The work goes so much better with the right tool.

We have all heard the saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” I understand the intention of the author, but this statement is false. God calls the qualified to service, and enhances their qualifications for the particular task He is assigning. For instance, when Moses was called in the desert while tending his father-in-laws flock, he was called because of his past history and life in Egypt. (Exodus 2-4) Moses was very reluctant to be God’s messenger and God qualified him through the gift of signs and power, the gift of a mouthpiece (his brother Aaron), and the gift of revelation to the overall plan to free the Hebrews from captivity. He was further bolstered by God’s promise in Exodus 3:12, “And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.” A tall task, but God enhanced the qualifications of Moses, and Moses led the Hebrews out of captivity.

When Saul/Paul was on the road to Damascus with letters in hand, or permission in hand, to arrest Christians…he was called to service by Jesus. (Acts 9:1-31) Saul/Paul was ambitious and stubborn enough to see a task all the way through to its finish. His descriptions of himself in Galatians 1:14 and Philippians 3:4-7 give us a good look at his personality and attitude. The reports of his actions, before his conversion, in Acts 7:58 and Acts 8:1-3 bear witness to it. Saul/Paul was a go-getter. He was like a dog on a blood trail who would run and run until his legs gave out and his lungs would not rise to take another breath. When the Lord sent Ananias to minister to Saul/Paul, Ananias questioned the Lord’s calling of this man. The Lord answered Ananias with these words from Acts 9:15-16, “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”  Again…a tall task, but the Lord enhanced Paul’s qualifications and Paul preached the gospel to the gentiles, to kings, and to the sons of Israel.

Romans 12:3 says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

We are all different. We have different attributes and strengths and personalities. We also have been given a measure of faith by God. We are all qualified to serve in God’s kingdom in some manner or form. We must remember that when the call comes, we don’t sign up by presenting our qualifications and dictating terms of our placement into His kingdom. Think of it as enlisting into God’s army. We don’t sign up and then suggest where we would be best used. “You know God, I’ve been thinking…I believe that with my skill set…I would be best used on the left flank over there.” No…we need to enlist like Isaiah.

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,

“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”            Isaiah 6:1-8

God is looking for the right tools to plug into His plan for this world. We may not know if we are a hammer, tape measure, or a wrench…but when we sign up like Isaiah…the God of all mercy and grace, will enhance our qualifications, and give us our assignment. Our “Someday” list…for God’s service, is actually “Today”…sign up like Isaiah.

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