Years ago, when I was starting a church in Ohio and needed extra income. I did some moonlighting. The Lord provided a job for me assembling play sets. It was a good job. It was in a beautiful area of the country, I worked for a fine Christian man, it paid well, and I could take my sons to work with me.
We would get up early in the morning and drive up to Mansfield where we would pick up the truck and trailer. Then we would drive to the job. To get there you had to drive through some of the sweetest country on earth. The highway went through Loudenville nestled in the valley and the Mohican National Forrest, then into Holmes County, one of the most pleasant and beautiful counties in Ohio. If we had a little extra we would stop for a nice breakfast together. I remember it fondly and so do the boys.
One of the things I loved about the job was that we had some pretty cool power tools to use. We had a couple Dewalt power drills. They were the key tools. We would not have tried to assemble the sets without the power screw drivers. It made the job swift and simple.
The first time I ever used a cordless drill was a little embarrassing. I was helping the men work on the church one of the men asked me to fix a little sign to the side of the building. With a powerful cordless drill I should have been able to do that in minutes but I could not get it to work. No matter what I did, no matter how hard I leaned on that thing I could not get the screw to go in. I was too embarrassed to go back in and ask for help. I thought, “man this wood is hard. I can’t even get a screw to go in with a power drill.” Finally one of the men came to my rescue. He saw the problem right away. “Give me the drill, pastor,” he said. He took the drill the flipped a switch. It was set on “reverse.” It’s amazing how much better those things work on “forward.”
I spoke to a fine group of men at a men’s conference last weekend about their influence on the significant people in their lives. I told them to be confident because God has given each man “power tools” for a godly influence. I said, “Each of you have the tools you need to influence your sons and daughters and wives and others for God and for good, for life and for eternity. “You have the ability to pray, teach, bless, encourage, and listen. These are very powerful tools.”
That’s good because without the right tool for the job you know how ugly thing can get. Things can get broken, people can get hurt, at the best time is wasted when you use the wrong tool for the job. Did you ever try to drive a nail with the heel of a shoe, or use a butter knife for a screwdriver? I cannot imagine how long it would take to assemble one of those play houses with a butter knife. We would still be on some of those jobs. They required dozens of screws apiece.
Assembling the play sets one of the boys was always charged with the responsibility to plug in the spare battery pack the first moment we arrived on the job. This was important because it really didn’t matter what you had if you didn’t have the power drill you were out of business.
The finest and most sophisticated power tool is useless if it is disconnected from its power source. I have some very, very important jobs to do and I don’t have time to waste. I need power tools and I have them. I need to be skilled in their use. I need to keep connected to power.
You have the tools you need. You need to be skilled in their use and take care to maintain them carefully. You need to keep them connected to the power.
In other words the tools you have are “power” tools. They require a regular connection with Christ to work with powerful results. When you see the size and the importance of the “project” of spiritual influence it should motivate you to stay connected with Christ.
Keeping in fellowship with Christ, keeping you life free of sin, maintaining regular communication with Christ and spiritual passion is like keeping your power tools plugged in and charged for use.
Riverfront Character Inn
October 11, 2005