Interestingly enough, this blog idea came to me in the midst of a very trying time. I am under stress and my walk as a follower of Jesus has been questioned. However, the Holy Spirit is so wise. During a drive running some errands He began to speak to me about what the christian walk really looks like.
He showed me a picture of two toolboxes. Now, I don’t know if this analogy is one that has been spoken of before, but it surely speaks to me! I saw a brand new shiny toolbox. It was open and silver lined in bright clean metal. And, it was empty. Then I saw another toolbox. It too was open. It was however, filled with lots of rusty,dirty, greasy tools. Nothing a good mechanic or fix it man would ever use.
Then I got it! The new toolbox is a gift for us. When we come to Christ, He makes us all shiny and new. The bible says:
New American Standard Bible
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
So, here I saw that it is as if we are given a new tool box with which to “work out our salvation.” (not work for salvation, when we come to Jesus sincerely, we are saved)
King James Bible
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
As we travel into our relationship with the Lord, he teaches us how to walk in it. This may be through bible study and reading, prayer and receiving teaching from authentic pastors and teachers of the word. As we come upon these truths and they become part of us, we then begin the process of renewing our mind. Old things are thrown out and new things take up residence within our mind.
New King James Version: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable…
Those old truths and mindsets are then replaced with new ones. Some of these truths deal with honesty, how to speak to others, behaviors, habits, forgiveness, repentance, love, trusting God, giving, and the list goes on. As we encounter a new truth, we have the opportunity to remove the old lie from our mind and replace it with the new truth that comes from God.
Those old thoughts come from our experiences before we chose to walk with Jesus. Those lies which we only think are truths are changed and replaced. Those lies may be thoughts about ourselves like, I am stupid, I am lost, I can’t do anything right, they are better than me, I am a failure etc. Some others lead us to behave inappropriately. We may lie, cheat, speak harshly to others, be sarcastic, break laws, hurt other people etc.
When we understand from the Holy Spirit’s teaching and leading that those things we believed before were just filling our old toolbox with dirty, rusty tools, that we would take out each time we were hurt or triggered by an event. We would use them and then replace them with the remnants of the wounds whether we used them on someone else to manipulate them or to hurt them in order to feel better, or unfortunately, we would even us them on ourselves. Our own flesh and blood would be left to rot and dry on those tools as they were replaced back in that old toolbox.
However as we come further and further to the truth of who God is and who He says we are we find that those ugly old nasty, and rusty tools begin to show up in our new toolbox, shiny and clean. They turn into instruments of healing and comfort. Maybe even glowing with some of the glory of God. As we take these new tools out and use them (and yes, if they are not used, they may get rusty again) we will then learn how to walk in the assignment that was given to us originally by our Father, before the foundations of the earth.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has thoughts and plans for us. Plans for our welfare and peace and not for evil.
So, as we continually empty out that old messy toolbox that represents our life before our relationship with Jesus, we will be following the instructions of the Lord himself by allowing Him to free us and heal us from hurts and experiences that left us wounded and injured, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Remember it says that we are three part beings. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 points this out. God provides us healing in all three parts of our being.
Most of us still have two toolboxes, however as we empty out the former one it will become smaller and smaller and the new shiny, clean one will become bigger and bigger.
Do you have two toolboxes? Perhaps you received your new one and it is still empty or maybe just has a few tools inside. Or maybe you just have the old one still lying around within easy reach. When Jesus said step into the yoke with me, He meant it. His burden is easy and light. Oh, we still have to pick up that toolbox and carry it around, we don’t get off that easy, but wow, it sure is light for how big it is and those tools are light too! King James Bible
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I am still exchanging those rusty, dirty tools for my new ones, this process will go on as long as I live. But, with the exchange comes more and more freedom to be who He called me to be. Jesus is kind, he gives us all that choice.