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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

sharpen the ax

“Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.  That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10, NLT)

Sometimes the most godly thing we can do is just take a day off; to take some time away to renew and restore and recharge—to sharpen the ax so that we can be more fruitful and effective in the work God has given us to do.

But, for some reason, we resist and refuse rest.  Could it be that somewhere along the line we have convinced ourselves that everything actually depends on us?  Breaking that mentality is a very difficult thing to do because it requires a healthy dose of humility.  And humility is not something we are drawn to.  Humility involves becoming smaller, and most of our time and energy is devoted to becoming larger.  Humility requires us to admit, or come to terms with the fact, that it does not, in fact, depend on us at all, but on God.

The sick part is that somehow we really want it to depend on us.  Maybe that’s what keeps us from rest in the first place.  For there is a terrible fear that goes along with being unnecessary.  And, unfortunately, making ourselves more necessary than we really are is one of the primary occupations and temptations of the life of ministry.

O Lord, forgive me when I refuse to stop and rest.  Forgive me when I have made myself so important that I have allowed the blade of my soul to grow so dull that it is simply not fit for the life of ministry you have called me to.  Teach me what it means, O Lord, to sharpen the ax.  Not only for my sake, but for the sake of your kingdom and your work.  Amen.

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