The Devil’s Tools
“It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale.”
I recently received this below from a brother in Christ, my friend Owen Hughes of South Africa. It is an Extract taken from an article by Pastor Kevin J. Sadler in “The Berean Searchlight,” Berean Bible Society. www.bereanbiblesociety.
It begins with this story.
“It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with a sale price. There were a treacherous lot of implements: Hatred. Envy. Jealousy. Doubt. Lying. Pride. And so on.
Laid apart from the rest of the pile was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn and priced very high. ‘The name of the tool?’ asked one of the purchasers. ‘Oh,’ said the adversary, ‘that’s Discouragement.’ ‘Why have you priced it so high?’ ‘Because it’s more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a person’s heart (mind) with that one, when I cannot get near him with other tools. Now once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It’s a badly worn tool, because I use it on almost everyone since few people know it belongs to me.’ “The devil’s price for Discouragement was so high, he never sold it. It’s still his major tool, and he still uses it on God’s people today.” (parenthesis added)
There have been many casualties in spiritual warfare due to discouragement. Many have left the ministry because of it. This tool of the devil worked effectively with John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25). He had become discouraged through the hardships experienced on his apostolic journey with Paul and Barnabas.
When they arrived at Perga, John Mark couldn’t take it anymore. The journey had taken the heart out of him. Ministry was tougher than he expected. It was all too much. And he left. Paul and Barnabas continued on without John Mark and completed their first missionary journey.
Later, when Paul and Barnabas made plans to take a second apostolic journey, we learn about a sharp disagreement between them over John Mark (Acts 15:36,41). Mark was willing to go with them again. Barnabas, a man known for his ability to encourage (Acts 4:36), refused to allow his family member to remain a casualty of his past, and he was determined to take Mark along. Paul, on the other hand, felt it would be wrong to take Mark with them because he had “departed from them” and “went not with them to the work” (Acts 15:38).
“And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder [separately] one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus” (Acts 15:39).
Later Paul’s attitude toward Mark changed. About ten years earlier, Paul saw him as an unreliable runaway, someone he could not trust to take with him on his second missionary journey. But Mark had changed as a result of time, growth, and maturity in the Lord. Now Paul saw him as a co-worker, one of the hard workers in the gospel ministry. The one-time defector was now listed as an honored part of Paul’s ministry.