As things stand, I have the equipment I need for the chores I do around the house and for the upkeep of the yard. I tell Terry occasionally that I like the equipment with which I have been blessed, and I thank the Lord for it.
Because the equipment I have has been hard to come by over the years, I try to take care of what I have. I maintain it. I do not abuse any of it when I use it. I try to be watchful to not to damage it. I put it back in its place when I get done using it. I keep it out of the weather as much as possible.
Last weekend, two of our sons were visiting with Terry and me. While they were here, they volunteered to help out with some of the work I need to do around the house. I gasped inwardly when they offered. That meant that they would have to use some of my equipment!
Through the years, each of the boys was always hard on the equipment of mine when they used it. I do not remember how many lawnmowers I had to replace simply because they were not careful. Hand tools were lost or broken. I accused them at times for acting like tools grow on trees!
So, when Jeshua and Micaiah recently offered to help me out by doing some chores around the house while they were here, I reminded them, “Hey, I appreciate the help. But, be sure that you take care of the equipment. It is gracious of you to offer to do these things for me, but, take care of the equipment.”
I have envisioned the Lord telling us the exact same thing—-“take care of the equipment,” for in certain terms you and I are the equipment of the Lord for service to Him. As we are compared to being parts of the body of Christ, each of us is a part of His equipment. As we are gifted with certain spiritual gifts for the edification of the church, each of us is a part of the equipment of Christ.
The Lord oh, most certainly, wants to use us, and, as being part of the Lord’s equipment, we are designed to help do the work “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
But, if we are consider ourselves as being the equipment of the Lord for service to Him, one responsibility definitely prevails upon us. It is that we must take care of the equipment, which means that we have the responsibility to take of ourselves spiritually.
Once, a man had a dream about what he could do for the Lord, and he immediately started doing what was in his heart to do for the Lord. But, he kept breaking down and needing repair. Each time he would break down, it meant a loss of time and effectiveness. He complained to the Lord several times about breaking down so often, because it affected his service. One time, the Lord was very stern in His reply, “Be careful to take care of the equipment, dummy!”
This, then, becomes the rub. The Church is filled with people who keep breaking down spiritually, and it is because they are not taking care of themselves properly. It results in Christian failures, which hurts testimonies and reputations for Christ. People associated with the church quit. People associated with the church turn to ungodly lifestyles because they have taken care of themselves properly.
So, to take care of the spiritual equipment involves staying tuned up with the Word of God. It means staying in repair through prayer. It requires weekly maintenance in worshipful church attendance. These and other spiritual practices are important factors to help us take care of the equipment.
In the meantime, the boys performed their tasks well without incident to my equipment. They even put things back where they belong! I will even be able to find things the next time I need to use them—-which is a separate issue in itself.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.