Sometimes what seemed like a good idea is shown to be a terribly bad plan. When I lived in the States, winter frost was not a common occurrence. After one terribly bad storm, freezing rain had blanketed the area and had left car windshields thick and coated. A neighbor from a warmer climate needed to hurry off to work. When pouring boiling water on the windshield hadn’t melted the ice fast enough, they brought out a hammer and chisel. Needless to say, the ice chipping didn’t end so well.
Hammers and chisels are excellent woodworking tools but horrendous for clearing ice off of glass. When lacking the proper resources or wanting to hurry to finish something, the temptation is to take a short cut.
The law of God has an excellent purpose if it is used properly (1 Tim. 1:8). It can show you the true nature of your heart. It can point out the wrongs that you do. It can even suggest to you how to keep from evil and danger (Gal. 3:19-22). If you expect the law to give you a heart for God, you’re asking it to do something it was never designed to do – much like using a hammer and chisel to remove ice from a windshield.
For some strange reason, humanity is prone to use good things in the wrong way. Medications can alleviate pain and suffering but aren’t supposed to be a coping strategy for emotional hurt. Physical fitness can keep you fit and alert but shouldn’t distract from other priorities in life. A car can get you where you need to go but can become a status symbol. And the law can diagnose your heart but cannot fix it.
By using good things in wrong ways, we hurt ourselves. God’s design in giving us the law is to reveal what is wrong in our relationship with him. The stethoscope can hear if there is something wrong with your heartbeat but should never be used to perform heart surgery!
Instead of using good things in the wrong ways, we need to be mindful of how God intends us to use good things. Even spiritual tools can be used wrongly. Bible reading, prayer, and catechisms were never intended to make us proud of our knowledge but to aid in our communion with God. Rules were not intended to make us arrogant by showing how good we are but to protect us from harm. Worship gatherings were supposed to give us joy in preparing for heaven but not to be used as one more task to complete in order to feel religious. How quickly we use good things as a short cut to accomplish the wrong job!
So as we open our Bibles, pray, gather together, sing, and hear from God, ask Him to help you use his means of grace to encounter Him!
See you Sunday,
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.