S56P13 – Ecclesiastical truths: God-given sharpness

Ecc. 10:10

If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

His mind had become dull.  Years of legal practice were wearing on him mentally and emotionally, and he often found it difficult to get through the day.  He would cry out to God and ask why he was put in this position.  He would say that he was not bright enough or skilled enough to be there, and he would ask God for relief and release from the pressure.  Although his request might have been misplaced, he understood one important thing.  He could neither provide nor develop what was needed to get through this time.  He indeed was insufficiently skilled.  However, these things would come had he the wisdom to seek from God the development of that which he lacked.  He needed to prepare for his work, the work that the Lord had ordained for him, by communing with God.

Axes are meant to be used when they are sharp and efficient.  Ideally, an axe should be honed before every use so that the work can be completed with ease and accuracy.  We are like axes, the tools of God to complete his purposes here.  There are times when we will feel so sharp in the work we do for him, and there are times when we will feel incredibly dull.  During the latter times, we have two options.  The first option is to try and power through on our own.  Maybe that will be sufficient to complete the task, but maybe it will lead us to failure.  The other option is to exercise wisdom and focus on getting that axe sharp again before wielding it.  This requires that we check our faith and our relationship with God.  We know that He does not set us up to fail.  If God gives us work to do, He certainly will provide whatever we need to complete the task.  Our responsibility is to remain faithful in relying on God to keep us sharp.

While we cannot assure that we will not become dull at one point or another, there are things we can do to minimize the dullness.  It is critical for the Christian to be anchored in the word, in prayer, and in worship.  If we analyze things on a base level, we are here to complete the work that God has ordained for us.  This means that we simply are walking out his plan.  We know that we have a good Father who gives us good gifts, and He sets us up for success.  We can trust that, if we lean on him in all things, He will provide what we need to be successful in our work.  Father, make us tools who work to remain sharp, and give us the wisdom and faith to seek You when we feel dull.