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(Word Lights: is a periodic devotional designed to help power your week!  Here’s the inaugural installment.)

In the kingdom of God, the growing process must be respected.  There are simply no shortcuts to maturity.  1Samuel 17:33-37 shows us Davids progression in the spiritual life.

1 Samuel 17:33–37 (ESV)

Sharpen your axe

Sharpen your axe

33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

You take on lions and bears before you ever take on giants!  It’s a progression.  We learn to conquer small things before we take on large things.  We learn to take God’s Word and believe for small things like  colds and headaches before we take on cancer.  Sometimes people are defeated because they ‘bite off more than they can chew.’

The question must be asked then: How can we be ready for the big giants that come to destroy our peace?   The answer lies in your everday spiritual routine.  The key to progress is what you do during your down-times, when you are not facing obstacles and tests.   The writer of Ecclesiastes gives us a clue.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 (AV)

10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet (sharpen) the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

If your axe is dull, it can’t take down the tree easily.  You have to use more strength if your axe is not sharp.  So many are endeavoring to take down the obstacles in their life and wonder why they struggle and why they are so tired.  We need to listen to what wisdom has to say here!   Wisdom directs us that if our axe is dull – sitdown and sharpen it!!!

You sharpen your spiritual axe through time in the Word, time in prayer, time fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit.  It may seem like nothing spectacular is happening and that life is very ordinary but don’t be fooled.  I’m not sure why it works this way but one day you will look down at your axe and know you have arrived.  You look into your spirit and your grown and your edge glistens in the noon day sun!  Now, you take on that tree, you take on that obstacle and its a whole different story.  The tree comes crashing down and you wonder why you didn’t do that before.

It all happened because you took the time to sit-down and sharpen your axe!