February 16, 2013

What Tool Divides, Breaks, and Burns?

Would you like a few minutes to consider the riddle: What tool divides, breaks, and burns?

When I think about it, one tool accomplishing all three jobs seems somewhat implausible. What I need to divide, I usually don’t intend to burn after I divide it, and what I need to break I typically won’t burn. So, what tool would divide, break, AND burn?

Those are three serious jobs and when you need any one of them done, nothing else will suffice. Some things are soft and can be divided with a simple tool like a knife. You can cut the fat away from your steak. Some things are harder and you need to break them off like a dentist chips tartar from your teeth. And some things, well there’s just no good left in some things and they are better off being burned up completely, like clearing the land of a dilapidated house so you can rebuild on fresh soil. In those cases, you must light a fire and burn away the refuse.

Our conversion from sinners into saints is a process which requires different strategies, sometimes dividing, sometimes breaking, sometimes burning. God has provided the one tool which accomplishes all three.

Are there things in your life that need a little reshaping, like a potter taking a scalpel to a mound of clay?

Are there other things in your life where there is a sharp line between the harmful and the helpful which should be completely broken off?

Or is your life a pile of rubble, where a clean slate is the only solution, a total renovation?

Turn to the tool which divides, breaks, and burns.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

God’s Word, the Bible, is living and powerful. It has an agenda of its own. Just pick it up, read, and follow. You will find its instruction serves to help you divide out the thoughts and motives which are harmful to you. Which ones should stay and which ones should go? Could a new concept you have never considered be the breath of fresh air you are missing? How else will you discover where personal progress is needed unless wisdom shines its spotlight into your heart and mind? The Word of God divides like a sword.

"Is not my word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” – Jeremiah 23:29

As you practice what you learn in the Bible, it will help you break free from strongholds which have had a hold on you. You may have never recognized these strongholds before, but the Word of God will bring them to light. If dividing thoughts and emotions doesn’t satisfy what is needed, God’s Word is equipped to empower a clean break.

Breaking can be painful but it is only a transition phase, so persevere. Freedom like you have never experienced is just beyond the breaking. God must free you from the old self and the old life. Your new skin will feel sensitive at first, but it will grow strong. Cling to the Truth of the Word of God. It breaks like a hammer.

And should you find your back against a wall, where the breaking phase has not accomplished a full revolutionary work in you, then deepen your commitment. Lift higher the Word of God, honor it with your whole heart, and God’s holiness will burn away any unrighteousness remaining in you. The Refiner’s fire has laser focus on purification. Hold fast to the Word. It burns like a fire.

The Word of God was not provided to point out aspirations which cannot be achieved. God made His Word living and powerful, able to wage and win wars within you. Let the Word do its job of dividing, breaking, and burning. You will immerge as pure as gold. The Word of God has a power and purpose of its own. It never comes back void.

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

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