God wants us to stay spiritually sharp. Consider Ecclesiastes 10:10,
If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
God is using this analogy to illustrate a very important truth: If you lose your edge spiritually, you lose your effectiveness as well.
Maybe you feel that way today. Though you are exerting strenuous effort, you are making little progress in your spiritual life. God wants you to go forward. He wants you to progress and not become stagnant in your spiritual life.
I have a friend whose father was a logger many years ago. It was a time when they cut all the timber by hand with just an ax.
One day his father shared about the way he would operate. After he chopped down a tree, he would sit on the stump of the tree he had just chopped down, take out a file he kept on his belt, and he would sharpen the edge of the ax. He would sit there until the ax was very sharp again, then he would go after the next tree.
Each time he chopped down a tree he would do exactly the same thing. But he said most of the other guys didt do that. They just wanted to keep going, never stopping to sharpen their axes.
Without fail, he said, he always got more done than they did, and he used a lot less effort. They had to exercise more strength, yet they got less done.
Over the next several days, we will look at what it takes to regain that spiritual edge.