Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV) “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
So far, I’ve laid a foundation that will make what I share with you in this short series, more effective and able to bring greater fruit in your life. When you marriage needs help and hopelessness starts knocking at your door – when you’ve been married for years and you wonder if it’s ever really going to get better or closer to your dreams – then you’ve come to the realization that you need real help – you need God’s power! Thus I wanted you to know that the power of God is real, it’s available, and if you learn to abandon your own failing ways of fixing your marriage and lean on God, you will see change.
Married or not, every principle I share is relevant to your life. And the power of God in greater manifestation is available to any two people “in Christ” that stand in agreement in prayer. Matthew 18:19 (NIV) “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
So get ready to experience God’s power and love in your life. Don’t think that devil won’t try to oppose your efforts. But the very power we are speaking of is to defeat the enemy of your soul, your marriage, and your life, and to propel you into God’s blessing and abundance.
This weekend, my son Peter called me. He wanted to go golfing. He wanted to play at a golf course that would be close to the last choice on my list. I dislike the course because when I was a young and very poor golfer, this course was tough – above average groupings of trees, sand traps, and ponds – and made a fool out of me. I probably hadn’t played there in 15 years and wasn’t excited about giving it another chance. Well, Peter used his persuasive efforts of begging to get me to go there and I caved and said “yes.” We golfed with two of his other friends.
I have improved in my golf game over the years, but I confess I had some very negative expectations concerning this course. (That is a poor testimony for a supposed “man of faith.” Sorry about that!) The first hole went poorly. As Peter and I were going to the second hole, I said, “We didn’t pray.” I prayed over all of our golf games.” Things stayed shaky for the next two holes. His friends must have wondered if I really did know how to golf. As I got in the golf cart after the third hole, I shook my head, looked at Peter and said, “I hate this course.” He looked back at me and laughed.
“Okay Dad,” said Pete, “I am going to now teach you what you teach me all the time. What you say is important. Repeat after me. I love this course.” It made me laugh. I forced out the words, “I love this course.” He said, “Come on Dad, say it again with some passion behind it.” I really put it on and said, “I really love this course.” We both laughed. “Now,” he said, “I want you to keep saying it.” “This is what you’ve taught me all my life. It’s fair that I get to help you to speak right.” I laughed again and said, “You are absolutely right and I appreciate it.!” I continued to tell him, “I was just preaching this to a group of 300 men this weekend. I had shared with them the verse Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” I went on to explain to Peter what I had taught the men regarding this verse.
We all get the part of “iron sharpens iron.” The verse continues with extremely significant wisdom. “So a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.” If you meditate on these words, you begin to see that God has called you first to have friends. This doesn’t just mean buddies that you hang with. It can mean repeated acquaintances, family, and people that you have reoccurring relationships with in your life such as in the workplace. The friendship part could be at many levels.
Then along with that friendship comes a calling. The calling is to sharpen “the countenance” of that friend. In the Hebrew, the definition for countenance implies, “the emotional reflection of the heart, on the face.” I realize that many people put on “a good face” most of the time. But when they get to talking with a friend and get real, it doesn’t take too long before the countenance of the heart begins to show on the face.
Again, God gives us a calling in friendship and that is “to sharpen the countenance of a friend.” What that really means is to bring hope – “godly hope,” to their situation. It’s not when they say, “the economy is really bad and my business is tanking” and you say, “It’s bound to get better at some point.” That in all likelihood will not change their countenance. It’s when you bring the promise and anointing of God to their situation with faith that changes their life. I’ve had repeated opportunities to do that this weekend. “Fred, I know that the housing market has been down and it has affected your business, but you are a believer, a child of God, and you have the promise of God that He will meet every one of your needs according to His riches. I want to pray that promise of you and your business right now.” Then you pray.
As I did this, this weekend with many people, I watched their countenance along with the hope in their heart change and be lifted – from desperation and hopelessness to hope and faith! This is releasing the power of God through you and sharpening the countenance of your friend!
When you speak to your spouse or friend, are you communicating destructive words, or meaningless and worthless words, or are you imparting words of faith and promise – words of power and anointing from God’s Word? It’s what you are called to do!
More to come….
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.