A dull knife is still a knife but far less effective than one that has been thoroughly sharpened. The same goes for Christians. A Christian who is lax in obtaining knowledge by way of reading scripture is far less effective than a believer who reads the living Word daily. Both Christians will be used of God, but the one who is more spiritually minded will have greater success in leading others to Christ.
We were created for fellowship and a lone Christian is at a great disadvantage. Again let me refer back to the knife analogy. A single knife sitting in a drawer, with no other blade next to it, will eventually grow dull and less effective in its purpose. The same goes for the Christian who neglects fellowship with other believers. They are that solitary knife growing duller and more foolish every day due to the absence of a sharpening “blade.”
The people who cross your path have been placed there for a reason. Nothing in this world is a coincidence and no meeting is by chance. Every person you work with, all of your family members, the homeless person on your street corner, even the neighbor next door has been placed in your life for some purpose. God has provided interactions with this these individuals, although certainly in different measurements of intimacy. Everyone in your life is beneficial to your spiritual growth.
“Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.” Corrie ten Boom
The individual who causes you the greatest annoyance is sharpening your capacity to love unconditionally. The family members who borrow money they can never repay have been provided for your benefit as well. They are the means by which God is instructing you concerning the very profitable lessons of mercy and grace. And finally, the friend who refuses to turn an eye when the sins of your flesh rise up is God’s precious gift to you. This friend, who fearlessly exhorts in love and practices dauntless accountable, is invaluable and a true treasure. They have surely prevented your foot from slipping more than once, and hopefully you have returned the favor.
Fellowship with the body of Christ gives us strength, especially in the presence of evil. These are dark days we now live and the temptations of the world are closing in all around us. We need faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who will hold us accountable and this includes church leadership. Pastors should seek out mature believers who are not afraid to speak honest words of encouragement and exhortation.
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NASB)
The lamb that wanders off alone is the one most likely to be caught in the enemy’s snare. There is safety in numbers since more eyes are available to observe approaching danger. In turn, every precious lamb of God has a spiritual gift. The more sheep abiding in a flock, the more spiritual gifts available to use against evil.
Faithfully, God prepares and equips His children for each of their earthly tasks. He uses many people and surprising circumstances to train and equip each of us for battle, as stated in Proverbs 27:17. I pray that the men and women of iron now present in your life continue to sharpen your faith. May you be like a two-edged sword, mighty and swift in your attack and victorious over all evil in your path. Oh that we would all grind and hone our only offensive piece of spiritual armor… the sword, otherwise known as the living Word of God.
“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31 (NIV)
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
“A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.” Proverbs 25:26 (NKJV)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
“Fellowship means among other things that we are ready to receive of Christ from others. Other believers minister Christ to me, and I am ready to receive.” ~ Watchman Nee