Sharpen the axe edge
If you've ever swung an axe with a dull edge trying to chop wood then you know how frustrating it can be to make any progress. You might say it's a bit like cutting a thick steak with a dull butter knife. Recently doing some reading in Ecclesiastes 10:10 which says, "If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success."
We often get frustrated trying to accomplish something and think things like the following:
- If I just yell louder it will get the point across
- If I just work harder and longer then success will come
- If I just pull away from people then I won't get hurt and I can finally be at peace
- If I just stack more things on my plate then it will force me to get them all done.
- If I just......If I just......If I just......
This kind of reasoning is like swinging an axe with a dull edge. We swing harder and harder and make little to no progress. Actually, we go backwards because we become injured trying to use a tool incorrectly. We allow ourselves to get worked up thinking more effort or our own natural reasoning will solve the problem when we really should be looking at Godly wisdom and the life of Christ in us.
Pure like gold
In James 3: 17 it says, "But the wisdom from above is first pure...." This is really the emphasis on this thought for today. The kind of purity I'm talking about is wholeness with no impurity mixed in at all, like pure gold. When we set our heart upon God our Father and His ways with our full devotion and affection directed toward Him and not the things of this world, then we are discussing the beauty and reality of purity. A purity of the heart and mind is what we should be focused on. Taking authority over our thoughts, feelings and subsequent actions and behaviors in everyday life is where this battle is fought and won. Living conformed to the life of Christ Jesus in us moves us to be free from the sickness, sin and fleeting pleasures of this world and to be joyfully bound to our Father and Lord. Please come to Him and be set free. He wants your devotion and desires that you turn to Him and to realize all that you are searching for is in Him.
So much of this world is like a glue mouse trap in that it's very nature and design is to lure you toward it with some kind of unsuspecting treat or enticing mechanism that you think is safe, acceptable or good. If you're not filled with the life of Christ Jesus then all you have is natural reasoning to live your life which will often lead you straight into the glue trap no matter how sound you think your reasoning may be. Now here is a genuine question, "Are you ok with getting to the end of your life to be faced with the reality (if it applies of course) that you spent your years living to please and get along with people that are living in sin and trapped in the impure things of this world and you did not let the life of Christ shine in and through your life so they may have a chance to also know Him and be set free?" Living to please people and letting the life of Christ shine are the operative phrases to think about. We should be yearning to please our Heavenly Father and to be a shining light of His love, compassion for others, His holiness and righteousness. We want to see those lost and living in sin come to His saving grace through pure hearts and genuine love and care not hypocritical judgement and ungodly condemnation.
We CAN and MUST be a light of hope in this world and to those around us. As the scripture says, we are in the world but not of the world.
I encourage you to give real thought to how you are living in relationship with God and with those around you. God is looking for those who desire to be pure in heart and worshippers in spirit and in truth. Remember, this is not about how you define pure in heart or how you define compassion but this is about dying to your own ideas, motives and desires and being resurrected by His power into eternal life in Him and living it out in the here and now......today on this earth. The time is now to renew your mind (sharpening your axe and walking in the Holy Spirit using Godly wisdom) and to be transformed by His power and love. Be encouraged and changed!
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