Iron Sharpens Iron, yet we Choose to Remain Dull!
I Don't Want a Dull Faith, Do You?
This world seemingly seeks to flatten the iron meant to sharpen one’s faith! As people set out to land within reach of anyone, anyone, seeking community, hoping to grind against the steadfast iron of another. While iron sharpens iron, all too often, we succumb to the deception of imperfection. We hide our weaknesses among crowds of people-pleasers, boasters, and our sinful nature while choosing conformity.
In opposition to this conformist attitude, we must encourage unity, seeking Christ-likeness's resemblance instead of joining the secure bandwagon regardless of the truth.
As Christians, we should stand out, not hiding amongst the crowds or distancing ourselves from the truth. However, if we conform to the world, rust is allowed to present in our faith walk. This wearing then creates an environment of breakdown and a dull presentation of our faith.
God’s Spirit fills and settles into the hearts of man, creating a necessary focal point. As a result, we have access to His living Word, the template of His example. But, unfortunately, we limit its practice.
Once aware of how God sharpens and instructs, like Him, we should want to form a brotherhood where all are welcome, as we share in the act of leaving with the accountancy of His word! But, unfortunately, this broken world keeps us lazy; we cringe when we apply what we learn. So often, the choice to blend appears to become the more comfortable option than standing steadfast in His grace.
True unity is filled with warmth and firmness as we seek to simulate the Godly example in Christ. Therein comes the distinction of which we are, as the example of Jesus is familiar. He walked like a man among men, but we can stand with Christ alone because of the Cross.
We seek to find soldiers for the faith that choose to keep the armor fastened during the battle, encouraging the covering's maintenance—the goal to protect and defend against the schemes of destruction and must be purposeful.
Man's yoke has become frail in recent years, made of splintered wood, unlike our Jesus. Jesus tells us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
Today, our wooden harnesses have become rotten and in ill repair instead of iron, which is firm and difficult to penetrate. Of course, we don’t want to believe that people find it amusing to sit by watching as people disintegrate; however, our idleness concerns us.
If iron sharpens iron, why do we cower in the seeds of pestilence in silence? If we are to practice this sharpening across the land, why do we choose to remain dull?
Why can’t we accept our imperfections saved by the most beautiful sacrifice? Loving as God loves without condition and in the desperation of our brokenness, His power is made high and exalted beyond self. We are to shine, not be dull!
The Hunger for Accountability!
Solitude seeps into our core in our quiet disdain, filling it with an innate hunger for salvation's accountability. The problem of existence, coupled with feelings of isolation, plaguing the spiritual walk as we try to maneuver the deceptive attacks of this war zone.
Relationship with Jesus provides the understanding that we are never alone. Still, we continue to check our circles for temporal saints to come along and reciprocate the account to enhance our faith walk together.
We coexist with the ploys of corruption. But, does this mean we should deny the truth as many choose the easy route of congruous apathy after the pack?
If we cower in fear of accountability, believing anger or suffering may come from it, should this stop us from doing what is right? Not! And yet, this happens as generational acceptance is masking our denial to act!
Subconscious stares shoot with earthbound judgment as one reaches to hold the wounded. A keen listening ear lingers to gather a story of gossip, not caring for the heart.
Prideful stance trumps faith; antipathy lacks grace. Christian walks stumble to preserve self, instead submissive humility in a sinful trial.
Accountability is a means of keeping unity in our faith journey while focusing on the perfect testimony of Christ. We realize that the instant we see sin in another, at that moment, there is a neglect of our discretions.
Few appear to want the accountability that comes with truth in fellowship. Oh Lord, forgive us our human nature, cleanse us to the wholeness of your grace and mercy. Cause our hunger and thirst for You to sustain us for the submission to Your will. Keep our focus on You, Lord, and not the ways of deception of this world!
Let the Haters Hate
The practice of scriptural accountability in our society of sin feels unnatural. No doubt we neglect this gift leaving a receiver convinced they're unloved. This idea is ludicrous! God wants us to love as He loves. The account of His word is part of that. So why aren't we doing it?
When people become defensive or, worse, offensive to accountability, it becomes lost to the assumption or ignored as a shield from danger. So we shut down as opposed to realizing it’s okay to admit our struggles.
Prayer is the main ingredient in the recipe for change. I love how through prayer, we can surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit to change our hearts.
Haters hate as we try to stand firm holding to the truth of scripture. Many want to do the same, but they will cave. It gets uncomfortable, and the numbers of those standing firm diminish.
To turn against one another is part of spiritual warfare and allows chaos to leave one winner. Evil desires to create division. Are we going to let that happen to assist in his dirty work?
Accountability in a relationship shouldn't ignite hate; instead, it should enhance truth and love in all circumstances. The uncomfortable feelings of defensiveness come from a lack of use. To do anything well, one must spend time in the practice of a skill. How sad that we shy from the thing that can unify our walks.
Why do People Assume the Worst!
We Need to Desensitize
We’ve become desensitized in a world full of sinful corruption. No one wants to stand against, stand alone, or for that matter, stand with God; after all, they can’t see Him.
To stand firm would take faith. Is it easier to avoid, hide, or deny, believing the idea that we are powerless against sins’ enormity? Unfortunately, this very thought process is what is allowing evil to become the norm.
But God is always there in the storms, and still, we are throwing up the white flag of distasteful submission to sin. Relenting to sin is how we become dull; no one wants to take the risk of sharpening one another with His word and stopping long enough to pray to the one who grinds away the surface to get to the real revelation of our hearts.
By our thoughtless demolition, we misconstrue the precious word of God. Shouldn’t we humbly seek the solace it provides? Do we unintentionally compromise its perfection? Afraid of what! The truth?
Keep Loving in The Storms
As Christians, one hopes we display the actions of Jesus Christ, who lives within us. But, we don't always do as we want. Our flesh impedes our efforts.
We can make the mistake of pointing fingers or standing by and watching others bleed. But, truthfully, the sin of omission is as palpable as the pulse of a dying heart. So instead, we should reach for the flawed hand, grasping it in our own, holding one another to the truths' absolute.
"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction." - 2 Timothy 4:2
As sinners, we experience seasons, and our seasons are changing. We choose a side or an idol in a pinch instead of remaining centered with God's armor. A continuous web of lies calls for attention to the prisoners in this spiritual war, a war that is raging to win souls.
A Christ-centered heart leads the troops, seeking to bring everyone home from the battlefield. Evil wants to prevail. It doesn't discriminate in the attack as it wants to win, but he will lose.
God allows these deflections of sin. He restricts their impact, providing His Spirit for guidance. God calls us to stand firm even in our suffering and persecution, lighting the way in the darkness through prayer. Is anybody listening? Stand firm and surrender in worship!
"Put on the armor of God, beware the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:11 Trust that our Father wants to deepen His relationship with us through every season of life. We can love one another when we are making serious mistakes. Whether right or wrong, we can show love because God does just that. He works with us individually, but together, we need more light on our paths, or no one will see the way, the truth, and the life of love with Christ at your core.
Sin, Sin Go Away
The barrage of sins repeats, encouraging the denial of truth in Christ. How long does submitting to lies provide sustenance? We don’t choose to speak to fellow Christians to prove sovereignty or righteousness. This act would cause us to be part of the stray from the purpose of our life.
Of course, we should share conversations in the firmness of God’s word. Encourage everyone to deflect as little as possible. As written, the Scripture says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over the sinner who repents than over ninety–nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke15: 7
Repent while in the flesh as we seek to rejoice in the heavens. Keeping the balance ’isn’t tricky if, in thought and action, we become vessels of light and love. Be alert; if it sounds like a sin, feels like a sin, and acts as a sin, sin it is.
No need to respond with a judging eye; instead, seek the truth and compromise as we share. Certainty is impossible if we lack self-discovery. Those who live in the flesh are under attack, and their battle is won merely by God’s grace. So repent, pray, and love. To perpetuate sin upon sin is to use ’Satan’s ploys to separate us from God.
Holy spirit you are welcome here
Often in a crisis, we see the sins mounting as reluctant witnesses to the throw of the dart. When the focus remains on corruption and our protection, we block the Holy Spirit's power, adding friction to the battle. Why do we not collectively weep at our lack of obedience?
Finding a prayer circle is hard. But it's easy to swoop into a gossip corner, keeping our heads down, absent in fear. Gossip causes a bitter feeling to swell in the stomachs of men.
A corner will trap where; a circle creates a power source. Children in their innocence give an example after example of the strength and unity of these circles. They remember Ring games around the Rosie or making a whirlpool circle in the local swimming pool. These circles create energy and joy, especially when hand in hand in fervent prayer.
Still, as brothers and sisters, we forget to form these circles, neglecting to reach out in submission to the joyful spirit that unites us. To judge is not the answer, instead of recognizing, and of course, submitting in repentance to any deception that separates us from our Father. As they are not the problem, love all in their sin, form prayer circles, always leave an opening to add one more and pray for divine intervention.
We Will Destroy The Church
We will destroy the church. The church is the people, and thus the time is now to share the Good News. How do we do this when the focus is persistent with infighting within our churches and families? Satan laughs as we scramble to judge, hurt, separate, and look away. We must lift our heads while God washes clean the slate for us to start anew in Him.
We wish to live in the truth, though the tested fact remains steadfast against all sin; that truth, the most excellent fruit of the spirit, is love. We are not responsible for the deflections of others; we have enough deviations of our own.
In a perfect world, all go to the prayerful surrender and allowing the intervention of the Holy Spirit as He guides. He wants iron sharpening iron! His Will is for us is to use our words for the right battles. There is limited time for saving souls, even less if we busy ourselves with the stomping of those who already know Him.
If distracted by this separatism of life’s sin among God’s warriors, evil gains a foothold and pulls us down. So come on, Christians; we sharpen one another, not stay in the shadows of deceit, dull and lifeless.
Some Thoughts to Hold Close!
God is, was, and will be, and He has taught truths.
- To account is not to judge.
- To let go is to give it all to God.
- To prompt thought in biblical conversation is not to separate.
- To choose sides keeps one from their center.
- To share the truth is not to hurt.
- To shame is to blame.
- To argue and complain is futile.
- To forgive is grace.
- To show grace is mercy.
- To intimidate is harmful.
- To honor God is to hold Him as perfect, not putting idols before Him.
- To judge is to sin.
- To not hurt when loving without condition is our calling.
- To bounce back as sin releases onto you is to live in this world.
- To love anyway is the purpose.
- To believe is to know God has it all covered.
© 2016 Kathy Henderson