Sharpening Tools

For the first time in my life, I am a minority.  I am surrounded by people that are unlike me.  People that think differently, and that challenge my way of thinking.   For the first time, I am a Christian surrounded by people that do not profess Christianity.  My closest friends include an atheist, an agnostic, and a Muslim.  Each of these men I adore.  I love talking to them.  These conversations allow my faith to blossom.  I am able to see the other facets of belief that a sheltered Christian would not be able to see.   These conversations cause me to reflect on the times that I have truly experienced the presence of God.  I have begun looking back on my life and the way that God has changed me.   It’s dramatic, and the change is apparent to everyone I know.  I am always amazed with how many of my friends remark on the change that they have noticed in me just over a year or even a few years.  I am forced to dig deep in God’s word to look at not only the amazing history and prophecy, but also to contemplate the power of this book, the Bible.  It is unlike any literature.  In it’s lines, it holds deep meaning that is pertinent always to my life at that very moment.  Contained in this book is God’s character!  Simply reading this book each day has done something miraculous.  Each day, I begin to look more and more like this man that walked the earth over 2000 years ago.  I begin to live the way that he lived.  It’s amazing!

Not only this, but did I mention I adore these men?  This has allowed a certain deepness to my prayers for them that I had not experienced.  I long for them to be my brothers in heaven.  Not only that, but I long to share the deep friendship that comes from being united in Christ and sharing God as our Father. Coupled with the new revelation that God has given me regarding a strong love for my brothers (and sisters) in Christ, this added bond of friendship has created a yearning during my prayer time that I had been missing.  I hope that one day this authentic burning in my heart for them will extend to all that are not in the kingdom.

I can definitely feel God using these friends to sharpen my faith.  Just as a tree grows stronger as it is shaken by the wind, so does my faith grow stronger as it is refuted.   The testing allows my roots to dig down deep.  Arguments that are absent from God always make me thankful for my relationship with Him.  I am thankful that I am able to have a relationship with Love.  With each day that I seek Him, I grow in love for others and for myself.   This Creator that knows the number of grains of sand–he is more intelligent than any man, and His revelation to me allows me to grow in wisdom every day.  I’m thankful that His ways are far above my ways.  I’m thankful for these wonderful friends that God has placed in my life to sharpen my faith.

Psalm 10:4

In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Psalm 14
A David Psalm
1 Bilious and bloated, they gas, “God is gone.”
Their words are poison gas,
fouling the air; they poison
Rivers and skies;
thistles are their cash crop.

2 God sticks his head out of heaven.
He looks around.
He’s looking for someone not stupid-
one man, even, God-expectant,
just one God-ready woman.

3 He comes up empty. A string
of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending
to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine
follow their fellow.

4 Don’t they know anything,
all these impostors?
Don’t they know
they can’t get away with this-
Treating people like a fast-food meal
over which they’re too busy to pray?

5-6 Night is coming for them, and nightmares,
for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess
with the dreams of the poor?
You can’t, for God
makes their dreams come true.

7 Is there anyone around to save Israel?
Yes. God is around; God turns life around.

4 comments

  1. That’s a very interesting way of looking at things. I see your point. Yet, on the other side, we must be alert and receive God’s warning in His Word:

    2 Corinthians 6:14
    [ Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers ] Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

    Truly, you can learn much from these relationships in some ways, but you cannot have true unity or true understanding between you according to the Bible. Also, we are warned in Proverbs:

    He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
    Proverbs 13:19-21

    When we are in the company of fools (which the Bible describes as those who say there is no God) then it is clear that this is not the place for a believer to be on a continual basis.

    So while I agree that we are indeed “in the world but not of it” we must still seek out true Christian friendships to be who we spend the majority of our time with. Being a light and a witness to your friends is very important, but we must be careful and use the godly wisdom the Lord has given us in His Word as our guide.

    Love you!!!

    Tina

    1. Well, I have already talked with these friends and each of them understands that I cannot have the closeness that comes from being brothers & sisters in Christ. Our conversations and relationships will never have that depth and understanding that I have with those friends that I am equally yoked. There will be many things that I cannot say, advice that I cannot accept.

      I definitely agree that the majority of our time should be with believers. And without trying, this is the pattern I have begun to follow. Guess it is just the spirit leading!!! 🙂

  2. Also, if I can say this, Psalm 14 is a meditation on the folly of the wicked, who deny the effective existence of God and expend their energies in corrupt lives dedicated to personal gain through oppression of the poor.

    When I read this Psalm, I direct it toward bankers, lawyers, and credit card company executives. It is a powerful Psalm, but is it truly how you feel toward your friends? Are they living their lives – expending energy in a corrupt life dedicated to ripping off poor people?

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