Tools in the Master’s Hands


When I was young my father instilled in me a love for fixing things. I remember my favorite toys being tools that I had “liberated” from my dad’s tool box! I would spend my days taking things apart to see how they worked and then attempting to put them back together (which meant they probably would never work again!). As I grew older I learned to do all the maintenance on my car and then eventually join the military where I would spend the next 21 years as an aircraft mechanic. I truly enjoy fixing things.

If you were to go to my garage you would find a toolbox filled with different tools: wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, etc. Some of them are so specific that I purchased them for a specific job, never to be used again. With these tools I have repaired cars, bicycles, lawnmowers, motorcycles and even airplanes. As useful as these tools are, they are just tools. When I have finished a job and am cleaning up, I do not look at my wrench and say “Thank you for fixing my car!” I do not send my hammer a thank you card or praise my sockets. That would be silly. They are just tools whose purpose is found only in the hands of the mechanic.

This reminds me of one of the most humbling truths I have learned in my walk with Christ. When I present the gospel and a lost soul comes to Christ – I am just a tool in the hands of the Master. When I preach the word of God and lives are transformed – I am just a tool in the hands of the Master. When I serve Christ in any capacity it is as an instrument (tool) in the hands of my Redeemer.

A tool finds its significance in its use to the Master. A wrench is just a hunk of metal in the drawer. It can be nice and shiny, well oiled and maintained. But its importance is not how good it looks in the tool box. It is designed to be used by the mechanic to do a job. In other words a tool only finds it purpose when it is in the hands of the mechanic.

How many Christians are missing this important truth? They look good sitting there in the pew; bible open, in their Sunday best, the picture of piety! But we do not find our purpose in the pew. Our significance is found when we get up and get busy doing the will of the Lord. We are the tools that God wants to use to impact those around us! That is our purpose!

Acts 9:15 – “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel (instrument) unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:”

A tool is only useful when it is available. Nothing is more frustrating that needing a tool that you do not have. It makes the job much more difficult and takes more time to complete. Many times I have had to use another tool that was not designed for that particular job just to get it done. Though I may be able to use a ratchet as a hammer, it’s not as effective and the ratchet may not survive the process!

I wonder how many times God wanted to use me for a specific roll, but I was not available. So He used someone else. This is why Paul encourages us – no he begs us – to be a living sacrifice, available to God for whatever He needs!

Romans 12:12 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

A tool doesn’t get jealous when another tool is used instead. I have been working on cars and planes for many years. I have used many different tools for many different types of applications. When a hammer is what I need, I grab a hammer. When a 1/2 inch wrench is required, that is what I use. Not one time has a screw driver complained because I used a different tool. Each one has a specific application and is put to use accordingly.

Do we get jealous when God uses another person instead of us? When another preacher comes in and shares the same truths that I have been sharing or months or even years and people respond to their message but not mine…how do I react? Do I get jealous, or am I thankful that the Lord is working? If we will remember who we are and who our Lord is, our reaction will be one of glorifying the Lord – not the tool!

1 Cor 3:5-7 – “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

But this is where the illustration breaks down. I may not praise my tools for a job well done, but Christ does. There is coming a day for the servants of Christ when we will stand before Him to give an account on how we lived our life. We will be judged on our availability and faithfulness to the Master. Then those faithful servants will hear these words from Matt 25:21… “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

As we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ today let us ask ourselves this question: Am I willing to be a tool in the hands of the Master? As we daily submit our lives to Christ, we will learn to find our significance in Him, strive to be available to Him, and give Him the Glory for all that He does through us and through others!