Summary: Life has away of causing us to lose our cutting edge.
I am pondering how hard it is to keep sharp things sharp, hot things hot, and joy in all things.
1. TAKE TIME TO SHARPEN YOUR TOOLS.
Have you heard the story of the young man that hired on with a logging firm. He was so strong, and as he started cutting trees, he and his chain saw worked as one. The young man could cut more trees than anyone.
An old man cut trees, but would stop several times a day to sharpen and adjust his chain saw. The young man would keep cutting, and he would surpass the old man. After several days, the young man’s production was so reduced that he lost his job.
He could not understand how the old man could stop and rest and beat him. As he was leaving, he approached the old man and said, I just don’t understand, I out worked you, when you rested, I continued cutting, yet you out produced me? How can this be?
The old man said, I learned a lesson many years ago from the Bible. Ecclesiastes 10:10, If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. ( A dull ax requires more work, be wise and sharpen your blade.)
The old man said, I was not resting, I stopped to sharpen my chain and adjust my chain saw. He went on to explain, because the young man never stopped to sharpen his edge the greater his labor and the less he accomplished.
This is a story about ministry, we must KEEP A SHARP EDGE. The sharpest tools today can become very dull tomorrow. We need Godly wisdom to apply our hearts and work wisely.
2. LOSING THE CUTTING EDGE, RESTORATION HAS A DIVINE PLAN.
Remember the story recorded in 2 Kings 6:5. They were remodeling and enlarging the Preachers’ School. One young man was working with all his effort. He had borrowed his neighbor’s ax to use as he was working for the Lord. As the young man was felling trees near the water, the ax head came off and flew into the water.
Wow, how broken hearted this young man must have been. A) It was a borrowed ax. B) The work was being hindered. C) The work could not advance.
See, God knows some times as we work for him we will lose our cutting edge. While this is sad there is an answer, if you go to the right source. The young man had enough sense to not just cry and cry, he went to the old man of God. He told the Preacher his sad story, and the Preacher had a "DIVINE PLAN."
He showed the Preacher where the ax head fell off. 2 Kings 6:6 The old Preacher used someone else’s cutting edge and cut a stick and threw the stick into the water in the area where it had flown off the handle.
To the young man’s excitement, the ax swam to the surface and to the shore. The young man had to put forth effort and bend down, pick it up and return to his job. Can you imagine, I would say, he cut down more trees than anyone else, for he personally saw God’s plan for restoring the cutting edge. His FAITH was excited and he returned with enthusiasm.
If you lose the cutting edge, don’t keep cutting with the ax handle. Come to the Father and ask HIM to help you with the return of your cutting edge. THE DIFFERENCE IN EXISTING AND LIVING IS: --- EFFORT!
3. HOW SAD THE DAY WHEN WE LOSE OUR ABILITY TO SHARPEN OUR EDGE!
1 Samuel 13:20 tells of a sad day in history, God’s people paid other people to sharpen their tools. Through the camp of God, the skill to sharpen tools was lost and God’s people learned to trust the enemy to sharpen their tools.
1 Samuel 13:20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, his coulter, his ax, and his mattock.
The danger of trusting others to keep your spiritual edge sharpened can be very costly. When war arises the Philistines will not sharpen your tools.
God wants you to keep your skills so polished that you can sharpen your own tools to accomplish His work. I fear losing the ability to sharpen your own tools is worse than losing your cutting edge. This is spiritual sleep!
4. GOD HAS SOMETHING AGAINST US.
We must serve God with ALL, with zeal, with feelings, with passion, with great intensity. Is it possible to get more excited, at a ballgame than worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth?
The sad story goes on ... Ear dullness, spiritual dullness ... Rev 2:4 (KJV) Nethertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (LB) ---Yet there is one thing wrong, you don’t love me as at first.