Use Your Tools!

Many, many years ago, when I was a freshman in college, there was a white-out snow storm one afternoon. By the time my fellow commuter and I took the PRT from the downtown campus to the Evansdale campus, it was so bad that University Avenue was already closed. We entered I-79 via Star City, which has that tightly circular entrance ramp. As we came to the end of the ramp's curve, the rear-end of my friend's Bronco swung around and we almost did a 180.

He said, "I'm going to pull over here for a minute and lock the hubs," and I thought, You're going to do what???!!!!!!

Obviously I feared for my life, because you don't drive in treacherous weather with a four-wheel drive vehicle that is not engaged in four-wheel drive (this was back when that didn't happen automatically). Clearly, I had a false sense of security just because I was riding in a four-wheel drive vehicle.

I remembered this experience as I got on the same entrance ramp today, and this thought occurred to me: When you have tools that are designed to keep you safe, and you don't use them, you are vulnerable (or you could die). This is even more true, spiritually, (because our spirits live forever).

We go to great lengths to buy and implement tools to keep us, and those we love, safe--smoke alarms, child safety seats, vitamins, ninja garb (...okay, just kidding about that last one).

Conversely, we often ignore the things available to us that keep us safe spiritually--such as our spiritual armor (see Ephesians 6) and the Word of God (our not-of-this-world weapon ). We forget that we have a great and terrible enemy who wants us to be forever separated from our God, and he is not lazy--he actively uses all the tools at his disposal, such as bitterness, distraction, apathy. And, owning a Bible and attending church can give us a false sense of security against him.

We must keep our relationship with Jesus strong and vibrant, which is the greatest tool and source of strength that we have.

"We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ," (2 Cor 10:5 MSG).