AS IRON SHARPENS IRON
Lord we commit this time to you as you commit the time to us, that we might live and breathe and have our being, you give us each new day and with each new day you want us to grow and to develop, not wasting time , but knowing that time is short.
We commit this time to you now as we commit every day to you as our Sabbath day, resting in you in this new day that you give, In Jesus name amen
I'm simply going to share with you how God has been speaking to me about and God spoke days before I even decided on the message here and He spoke to me three times during one day
Of course God speaks to us all the time but there are specific things He draws to our attention and reminds us of, He tells us when and how to share them and who with and what for.
In this case God spoke three times, you often find that things happen in three's, not surprising really when you consider that God is Father,Son and Holy Spirit
This often can confirm a message to us, once we realise that the three things are all similiar in nature and all during the same day or time span
I will try to explain the pictures or visions to you here before we begin this message
although I have no idea how this will all fit together or how this will all turn out, but I am simply going to start typing and see what happens
You know God does'nt always do things in the same way and we can never say " This is how God does things or this is how it works " because with God you never know how He is going to move or how He will speak and He is the unpredictable God who never
So I will try to convey these images and visions to you
Firstly I saw an "iron", now that sounds silly but this is simply God putting a mental picture into my head so that I understand in my own simple way
Then I realised that God was speaking and I realised that it was Iron and a sword, a weapon and there was warfare and God was straightening the paths and making the crooked ways smooth and He was preparing a way
I wondered about this picture or vision and saw two swords clashing together as "Iron sharpens Iron"
I looked this up later to see where a scripture might be about
" Iron sharpening Iron "
And this was the scripture
Proverbs 27:17 (New International Version)
17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Well I meditated on this and realised that as we rub off together and as we rub against each other then we pick up things from one another,
We kind of pick up parts of a persons character and personality, sometimes the things we pick up from one another may not be good things and in fact may do us harm
In some cases we may find a role model and model our lifes around someone else
In some cases the people we rub against during our days may do us a lot of good, and as we work with these people we tend to pick up their ways and attitudes
As we rub together as Christians we may get on really well but at times we can disagree and in fact have more than disagreements and in fact an arguement can incur
Of course at times things can get heated and as Christians we need to be able to forgive and move on, putting aside these small disagreements for the greater cause and for the goal ahead
At times God can even use a bad situation for the good and often times does this
As we rub together as living stones so we begin to be shaped and moulded and we begin to see a refining and all the sharp edges can be taken off until such a time as we can become like a rounded stone, like a rounded pearl, like a stone of great value
Psalm 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
Often times when we visit a jewellers and we look at the stones and gems and crystals and diamonds and gold stones and precious stones on the shelfs and in the cases.
We forget that these stones started off as rough, unshaped, un noticed material in the earth
You may not have even noticed these stones even if they were presented to you, you may even discard these stones as worthless and un usable
But to the trained eye and the qualified person these stones are of great value
Once they are shaped and polished and cut and smoothed, they can be presented as valueble items and seen by all to be of great worth and value and at that time no one would want to throw them away and a great price is put on them
Sometimes during the process of cutting and polishing precious stones much of the stones original weight and mass can be lost but from what seemed like a rock or stone or crystal in the ground a jewel of great value is found
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
We must not forget that a great price was paid but also that a there is a price to pay
And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23.
He is and was and is to come as the "Living Stone" the ONE whom was rejected by some and by many but to all those who found or find the precious Stone, He is of great value and worth and they "Hide the STONE away ? "
NO, they want to share what they have found and show others this STONE of great value
But some merely walk past seeing a worthless stone and not recognising its true worth
But we like living Stones are being rubbed together and moulded and shaped
1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Now when we consider that there is one greater and stronger and far Higher than any other....how much more will He rub off on us ?
You see Iron actually does not sharpen Iron, when Iron rubs against Iron you get a friction and heat and as people rub off against people in day to day circumstance many times it causes this friction , but that friction does not always do us good, it will only go so far
Another person can never do a great refining work on the inside of a persons heart, another person can never really change another persons life to that extend
Another person can never do a work in another the same as Jesus can
Jesus works from the inside out, so that the rough un used stone that is worthless becomes a precious stone thatv once cut and shaped and moulded becomes a jewel of great price and that jewel is looked upon by others to be very valuable
We of course are seated in heavenly places with Christ and we see that where our heart is that is where our treasure is for He also is the "Jewel Of great Price"
And we also see that to gain we loose and that also a jewel of great price once cut and shaped and polished looses much of its original mass and size
And so we see that there was and is a great price paid but also that there is a price to pay
And so we see that Iron does not sharpen Iron because in order to sharpen Iron you need a material that is harder and stronger
And we see that Iron is sharpened with Stone
And so when we rub against God and as we walk with God and as we take in His word and feed from Him who is working in us to refine us and working from the inside out that He takes us who is the Stone and sharpens us and smooths us
Only THE STONE can refine and mould and shape and smooth and Iron out those rough places in the heart
Only God can make a heart new and make a stone that is seen of no value into a stone like Himself
As we take in more of Him and His word we become more like Him and we take on parts of His character and He can become our role model
Iron can never sharpen Iron but it does cause friction and heat and we can take on things from those around us and learn from others, but there is one who is also working in us so that
when we who have the character of God building up in us rub off against each other, the effect is a refining
But the "Stone " who is the living Stone can sharp and sharpen more than any other
He is the one who prepares us for battle
Well that was'nt anything like I had in mind to share but lets go on to the next vision or picture
This second picture later in the day was a mixture of words and pictures and scriptures and thats the only way I can describe it
Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21
And It was a storm and it was late in the day, and it was Peter in the boat walking out in faith and sinking down into the water and into the trough of a wave and loosing sight Of Jesus
And God spoke quite clearly to me and said,
" I have given you Faith, and as you walk out in that faith, so that Faith will be tested, your Faith will be tested to the limit, where you think there is no faith left and you will start to sink into that wave, but be assured I am with you and I will save you as you sink and rescue you "
And so this picture came and it seemed that as we step out of the boat in Faith so the waves of trouble rise up and seem to distract us from our walk and as the storm rages we sink down into a trough of a wave and as we do this the wave of troubles in front of us can seem so big and we can loose sight of Jesus as this wave rises up.
You would have thought that this might be a calm day and that we might have a bit of training first ? maybe with a life jacket for good measure !!
Sometimes in life and in This Christian walk it may seem no sooner have we stepped out of the boat and begin to walk on and above the waves of troubles that the storm appears
Sometimes we might wonder where the Lord is and as we sink down into that wave and into that water at that point we may believe that we are on our own
This is the end, there is no way we are going to make it , there is possibly no way that we can save ourselves, at this time we are completely dependent on the Lord
As when we were first saved , it was at that time when we were completely dependent on God to save us, we could not save ourselves and could never change ourselves
So salvation goes on throughout our Christian lifes and there are seasons within our Christian lifes, like crossroads, there may be seasons of plenty and seasons of little,
Seasons of troubles and testing and seasons and times when all seems well
There may be times when we go through a testing that our faith seems to have dissappeared but in fact at this time it is when we are using our faith and God is testing that faith, and at these times when we believe our faith has gone this may be the time and season
when your faith is being tried,
I Peter 1:6-7
And like the stone being sharpened by the Jeweller we seem to loose things that we held onto, we seem to loose a lot of ourselves, it can seem like there is'nt much left
Like the stone taken from the ground rejected and not amounting to much by the world, it is cut and shaped and polished until it becomes a very precious thing
And when once we believe all is finished and we have lost sight of our "ROCK " THEN He can pull us out of our troubles and circumstance and by His right hand, He can lift us up and we are raised up
Only He can save us at times and Only He can mend and mould us
So Jesus reached out His hand and Pulled Peter up from the waters and He continues to do that today for every Christian that sinks under the waves
For every Christian that walks out in Faith and for every Christian that not only begins to sink down into the sea of troubles, but for every Christian that is almost at the limit of that which they have been given
For those still in the boat maybe there will be anothet time and another place, but for Peter this was the time and the place and better to have sunk down and to be pulled up by the Hands of Jesus than to never have stepped out and nevre to have walked on the waters in Faith
The third Vision was of a clear blue sky over the waters and the sun was rising up from over the horizon and it was a new day, the storm had passed and the season of storms had gone by
Only sometimes at this point can we look back and see the whole picture, sometimes only once the storm has passed can we see the result
Sometimes we do not see and maybe we are not meant to see, we will never know all the mystery's of God and His deepest thoughts
This last picture had the person seeing as someone who had changed,through different eyes
At times it maybe not so much the surrounding storms, but who we are..and how we cope and how we react
Proverbs 23:7 (Amplified Bible)
7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Two men look through prison bars... one see's mud the other see's stars
And so lets conclude as Jesus reaches out His hand and saves Peter
Here we see the rubbing off, the rubbing together, as the Jeweller polishes and cuts the stone or as the Rock sharpens the Iron
Why does God test our faith to the limit ?
Why should the faith that God has given to us be tested ?
Why O why when we are sinking and certain of going down does He at the last moment when we believe our faith is gone, suddenly reach down and save us ?
James 1:2-7 (New International Version)
Trials and Temptations
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
As Iron Sharpens Iron
Proverbs 27:21The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but man is tested by the praise he receives.
Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.
16Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name.
17And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
18Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.
I am going to pray my own prayer and if you wish to join in, remember what these words might mean and do not speak them unless you mean them.
Lord God try me and test me, search my heart, let anything that might hinder or make me faulter be burnrt away, let the dross be seen and poured away, let me be your Jewel,
Let me be your peculiar possession and treasure, tried and tested and let that which remains be that which is beautiful in your eyes
Lord you picked me up as a stone of no particular worth or value in the worlds eyes and you continue to craft me and cut and refine and polish until I am that Jewel that you look at ready and tested for the day that is to come
And though I may loose much, I gain something far more valuable than Gold or Silver, and far more valuable than any diamond or emerald
Your streets are paved with Gold and your heaven abounds with Jewels and glistening stones of every kind, but you seek something of far more value and cost,
Something of far greater worth and that is the heart of a person refined and tested, true and faithful, because you are love you seek the love of a heart, and that is of far more eternal value than any material thing
Lord let the fire fall and let me loose to gain In Jesus name amen