Tools of the Trade

Posted on: 7-15-112012

Last night, I wrote about going fishing with my dad.  Reflecting on this made me think of something that we discussed at church last week.  The lesson was on Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus.  Peter, like many of the other disciples, was a fisherman by trade before being called by Jesus.  Most likely, just as I was, Peter was taught all about fishing by his father.  It would’ve been the family business.  Peter’s father would’ve taught him all about the “tools of the trade” so that Peter could be successful.  He would’ve taught him about boats, nets, bait, water conditions, different types of fish and their habits, etc.  His father would’ve never just said, “Peter, go fish,” without any instruction on what to do or how to do it.  If he had done that, Peter surely would not have been very successful!  In much the same way, our Father has given us “tools of the trade” to help us be successful in life.  He knows that navigating through life is difficult at best, but without the tools to help us succeed, it’s absolutely crushing!  So, what are the tools that He has given us to help us succeed?

1.  He gave us His Son – He sent His Son to earth to live as a human, to be tempted in the very same ways we are, and to be an example of how to live

2. He gave us His Word — the Bible is the very Word of God — it is His way of communicating to us how to live; I love the way this acronym is used — B.I.B.L.E. stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”

3.  He gave us prayer — He is available 24/7!  He is never too busy or too tired to spend time with us; we can call on Him and be assured that He is listening and that He will answer

4.  He gave us relationships with other people — He knew that none of us would be able to walk through life completely alone — He knows that we need other people to encourage us, to support us, to teach us, to share with us, to help us, etc.

So, what would’ve happened if Peter’s dad had given him all the tools of the trade…the boat, the nets, the bait, etc. and taught him how to use those tools effectively, but Peter chose to do things his own way?  What if Peter had said that all of the things that his dad gave him were “really good ideas”, but he chose to use  tools of his own choosing to help him fish?  Do you think he would be very successful if, instead of using a net, he decided to use a rock to catch fish?  What if he had chosen to forego the boat and just ride a horse out into the deep waters?  He certainly could’ve done those things, but, he probably wouldn’t have caught many fish!  The same is true for us…God has given us tools to help us succeed in life, but often times, we come up with our own tools!  We choose to follow the example of others instead of the example of Jesus, we read everything but His Word for direction, we talk to everyone we know except for the One who can really help us, and instead of allowing others to help us, we try to do everything on our own!  We know that God’s way is best, yet we continue to live in defeat because we do things our own way!  We will never be truly successful until we do things God’s way because He does know best!  Who better to tell you how to make it through life than the One who gave you life?



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