Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.
Don't Use Those Toolsby Duane Mabee on March 21, 2019
At the Southern District Soul Care Conference, Rob Reimer used several phrases over and over to help ingrain spiritual truth in our hearts. One of those phrases was, “You cannot use the tools of darkness to advance the Kingdom of Light.” That registered with me initially because of his first application of the principle.
The majority of you probably know that my family tree is rife with alcoholism. It goes so far back I can’t trace it and it plagues my immediate family. In families where addiction is prevalent there will often be one person who will rise above the addictive pattern refusing to allow it to define their lives. They often become overachievers, but they are not free from problems. Overachievers just exchange the addictive patterns of their family for a different set of sin patterns that dominant their lives. This cycle is well documented in psychology and addiction counseling. For a very public example, study the life of Bill Clinton.
Dr. Reimer pointed out that spiritually, the reason this pattern exists is that the overachiever uses rebellion to overcome the sin pattern of his family. It is often expressed in statements like, “I will never be like my father”. The problem is, rebellion is a tool of the darkness. It’s one of Satan’s most beloved tools. You cannot use the tools of darkness to advance the Kingdom of Light. Though God can and does override anything to make it serve His purposes, we cannot advance God’s cause by using Satan’s tools. Rebellion will never develop a heart that is in tune with the Holy Spirit, therefore, the best rebellion can obtain is a switch from one sin pattern to another.
That resonated with me. It explains a lot of the things I have observed in my own life and in my family. It also explains a lot of what I’ve observed among believers. Intentionally or unintentionally, believers often reach for a tool of the darkness to accomplish their purposes. The tool could be rebellion, anger, slander, division, false testimony, or any of the other tools Satan is famous for using. The outcome the believer is hoping to achieve may be a good one. He or she may truly want to advance Christ’s kingdom in some way, but you cannot advance the Kingdom of Light with a tool of darkness. A tool of darkness can only produce more darkness, regardless of the intention of the one who wields it.
If we are trying to advance God’s purposes but not getting anywhere, we may need to take inventory of all the tools we’re using. If there is a tool of darkness in our tool box, we’re going to need to get rid of it before any progress can be made. Tools of darkness will always produce more darkness. You cannot use the tools of darkness to advance the Kingdom of Light.