This last week I bought myself a new eye makeup kit that I was really excited about. I know guys, you thought this was about tools. Well…hang in there with me for just a minute. As I was using my new eye makeup kit the next morning I noticed the brushes included with it were really great. They made the application especially easy and accurate – much better than what I had been using before. I was impressed. It doesn’t take much.
Then my thoughts turned to how the right tool can make a job so much easier. Not just with applying makeup, but with any job. When we first moved into our house three years ago I couldn’t find a hammer when I was ready to hang some pictures on the wall, so I used the end of a screwdriver that I found. Not easy because it wasn’t the right tool. Later I found the hammer and it made the job much easier.
We have some high ceilings in our new house and there are some canned flood lights in those high ceilings. For a while I drug the ladder out of the garage, set it up, and climbed carefully up the ladder to change a light bulb. Not easy because it wasn’t the right tool. I was in a Home Depot one day when I spotted the right tool – a light bulb changing tool on an extension rod. It was ingenious and made the job so much easier. I hadn’t even realized there was such a thing.
I could go on and on with other examples. I am an expert at “making do” and making a tool work for a job that it wasn’t meant for, but that inevitably ends up making the job more difficult. If I just use the right tool, the job can be so much easier. The same logic can be applied to the gifts of the Spirit. Many times we as Christians “make do” with our own strength and ability instead of utilizing the right tool – the gifts of the Spirit. Many believers get worked up about the gifts of the Spirit, but they are simply a tool in the tool bag that God gave us when we became believers. He gave us the gifts to use in our walk as followers of His in order to make our walk easier and our testimony powerful. He never intended us to walk through this life as believers in our own strength. When we became believers, He gave us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit seals our salvation but also equips us for ministry. He gave us His gifts as well as His salvation. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us about these gifts of the spirit, and 1 Corinthians 13 and 14 tells us how to use them – an instruction manual of sorts.
The gifts of the Spirit are manifest as a witness to unbelievers and to encourage us in our walk with Him. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. When the gifts of the Spirit are utilized, there is a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. I guess you could say they are the right tool for the powerful Christian life.