Sharpen Your Axe — Prophet Tony Mathias

Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”

This is what I plan to do with this teaching – To show that you are God’s battle Axe [skills, talents, abilities, gifts, resources].

He is waiting to use you: He can only do so to the extent you are sharp and cutting edge. No one, not even God Himself will sharpen your axe for you. You have to do it for yourself. And when that is done you will be able to complete the work God gave you.

Two key scriptures I have selected here are: Jeremiah 51:20 & Ecclesiastes 10:10.
NLT Jeremiah 51:20 “You are my battle-axe and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

If you don’t sharpen your axe, it will be harder to use. If you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.

A young strong and energetic wood-cutter was employed by a timber merchant. His assignment was to pull down trees. Given a good salary, good work-conditions and a strong axe he was determined to do his best. The First Day he brought down 15 trees and was congratulated by his boss- “Congratulations,” said the boss. “Carry on the good your work you are doing!”

The Second Day he worked harder remembering the encouraging words of his boss but was able to pull down only 10 trees despite his hard work.

The Third Day was even worse – He brought down just 7 trees though he worked much harder this time. Day after day lesser trees were brought down – He wondered why? He said to himself: “Am I losing my strength?” Plucking up courage – He approached his boss and apologized, saying: -“I do not understand what is going on. Day by day I am bringing down lesser number of trees though I work harder each day

The Boss replied: “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”

“Sharpen? – I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been so busy trying to cut trees…” A boxing match may last ten minutes. But preparation time for the event in sharpening boxing skills may take weeks. Preparation is the key ingredient to success

You Are God’s Battle-Axe Jeremiah 51:20

“You are my battle-ax and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.”

What a privilege and honor to be God’s Battle-Axe! Are You God’s Battle Axe? This world is a battlefield. God is calling us to spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood….” Because we are His battle axe to destroy the kingdom of darkness and establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of man, we must be a sharp battle axe in the Lord’s hand. *

Signs Of A Dull Axe – Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If you don’t sharpen your axe it is harder to use; if you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.” It is pathetic to see one begin and end as a clerk in an organization. Perhaps he has little vision and motivation for arriving at the top. It is false security to only feel fulfilled at work, comfortable with colleagues, boss, and the company. Such people would never think of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone? One imminent danger! Complacency can derail your career.

If you are not cutting-edge, God cannot use you mightily. He will use you in proportion – The job you handle may include management of the home, finance, business, working in an establishment and so on. But wherever you are, you will portray signs of a sharp or dull axe. A dull rusty axe will show a mediocre person not willing to do his best; not interested in updating his field and industry; not seizing his God-given opportunities; no zeal; complacency, content to live life the way it is, non-repentant, no vision, no goals, no zeal for the Kingdom of God. Most never update, never improve their skills. They think what they have learned is good enough – not so! Good is the enemy of better. They become dull of hearing Hebrews 5:11 when they refuse to renew their minds holding on to their own mindsets and not taking on the mindset of the Lord.

Those that are dull of hearing are un-teachable, because they have no desire to listen and that can lead to hardness of heart. [Pharaoh had a hardened heart, he was un-teachable]. They must rise from doing good to doing better. It is our attitude [mindset] that determines our altitude. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. Many are busybodies who have forgotten the value of rest – they become burnouts or misfits. They need to rest in-between: Even the Lord himself went to sleep in the boat – Jesus “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” Mark 6:31

Psalmist says: “Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10. 

Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…”

John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait!”

William Henry Davies: “What is this life so full of care we have no time to stand and stare”

Work became toilsome after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world. Sin and disobedience to God’s Word, make the “axe” dull and rusty. Therefore we must hide God’s Word in us Psalms 119:11.

Satan’s goal is that we lose our cutting edge and become ineffective witnesses for our Lord Jesus. He makes efforts to keep us constantly busy with other things and even in our secular work – so that we do not have intimacy with God. But God, on the other hand, has a way of sharpening dull Christians if we only return to where we lost our cutting edge reach out and reclaim it!

*Does Your Axe Need Sharpening? Do you feel you have lost your cutting – edge? Has your axe become dull?

You once had a great desire to read Christian books, attend seminars and conferences, hear Christian videotapes, attend gospel crusades, intercede, fast and pray meditate and evangelize and win souls, but it does not seem so now. Has more of the world come in? Has zeal for the house of the Lord diminished?

Are you a spectator at Church and not a participant? Have you made it a practice to keep sinning? Are you a busybody? [No time for God] Then you need to sharpen your axe.

*How to Sharpen Your Axe?

Acknowledge Lordship of Jesus Christ “Acknowledge Jesus Christ in your heart as Lord. If anyone asks why you do so, be ready to tell him, gently and respectfully.” 1 Peter 3:15. Take time to cultivate relationship, friendship and intimacy with God. Acknowledge God’s Word “For the word of God is active and alive sharper than…” Hebrews 4:12 Take time to cultivate intimacy with his Word.

The Bible shows you how – Seek his Kingdom and his Righteousness Matthew 6:33.

We need to judicially read and understand worldviews so that in that context we are able to reply according to God’s Word the reason for our hope in this hopeless world.

Be His Mouthpiece When the Word of God is rich in us, we will be a sharp axe in His hands.

We need to be His mouth-piece as ministers of reconciliation, while we seek his Kingdom and righteousness Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Matthew 6:33

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: Isaiah 50:4

We are God’s Battle-Axe in his hands. We must ensure we are cutting-edge and not dull so that he can profitably use us in the battlefield.

If we don’t sharpen our axe [ourselves] it will be harder to use.

Complacency will not only derail our career but also calling, place and function in the Body of Christ which is an organism rather than an organization.

Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. We are always in need of sharpening.

We sharpen our axe by:

  • Acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord [He owns us]
  • Acknowledging God’s Word
  • Seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
  • Becoming His mouth-piece

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