Summary: Our spiritual life's need to be kept Sharpe to in order to get through thirsty times, for we live in thirsty lands, we are a thirsty people, are souls are thirsty, and our spiritual cisterns need to be kept in good shape.
• We live in a thirsty Land, We are thirsty People, we are thirsty Souls, we also need Spiritual repairs So, what's the solution to our spiritual problem, as God's people? The answer ought to be perfectly obvious: Keep the cistern in good repair! Faithful disciples must maintain a reserve of spiritual confidence, to get through times of suffering and trial. But how do we do that?
Stephen Covey's bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, contains a memorable illustration called "Sharpening the Saw." Covey tells of two lumberjacks who are laboring hard to cut down a mighty tree using an old-fashioned cross-cut saw. Back and forth they pull the saw, their motions synchronized in perfect rhythm. Yet the longer they work, the less effective their labors appear to be. Each stroke of the saw seems to be taking less of a bite out of the tree trunk. But still the men keep sawing.
What they need to do is to stop and sharpen the saw. Yet there's something soothing, even hypnotic, about the rhythm of the sawing. The more exhausted they become, the easier it is to imagine that if they just keep going, they'll finish the job. "Who's got time to stop and sharpen the saw?" they think to themselves.
Yet, the irony is that if they would but stop and perform this essential maintenance, they'd be done in half the time -- and without the agony of aching muscles that comes of pulling a dull saw blade back and forth.
• Worship is like sharpening the saw.
• Day after day, week in and week out, we saw away at our individual vocations.
• Without a regular pause for worship -- for "being still and knowing that the Lord is God," for devoting time to prayer and contemplation, for hearing the Word read and proclaimed -- the bite of our labors becomes dull, and we become exhausted, stressed out, detached from the wellspring of all meaning.
• It's not enough simply to confess Christ as Lord and Savior -- once -- and leave it at that.
• The saw needs to be kept sharp; the cistern needs to be kept in good repair.
1. How do we Keep the saw Sharpe by Remembering?
• One way is to remember where I came from? God freed their ancestors from Bondage
• I once was bound but he set we free yes He set me free He broke the chains
• Paul and Silas remember the midnight Hour when their chains were gone
2. We keep the saw Sharpe by knowing that God is adequate
• "Vs. 5 What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. These are things that are empty These were of no use
3. We keep the saw Sharpe by searching
• 6They did not ask, `Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt They were s thirsty they could not find God they did nt search The Bible says, “ for God is not very far from any of us” .
4. We keep the saw Sharpe by consulting with God No one consulted the Lord (see v. 6).
• 8The priests did not ask, `Where is the LORD?' Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. Those that dealt with the law were the Priests they never consulted, Those that were the Leaders never consulted and the Prophets