Whenever anyone completes the sharpening of a sword or knife, such a person does not just take the sword to battle, he continuously check the sharpness of the tool until he felt satisfied that the tool is sharp enough for the intended purpose and during this testing he checks the sharpness on himself (his own flesh) first before testing it with anyone else.
Now, you can remember several times when you finish sharpening a knife at home, the first test for the sharpness was on yourself. Many atimes when you realized it is still blunt you take it back for further sharpening until a slight effort can cause a deep impact on the intended surface. The same principle is applicable to us a believer today: ‘before you use the knife on others, use it on yourself first’.
This principle applies to the revealed word of God through the scripture. The first action we must take on any scripture is first to cut ourselves with it, until we feel its sharpness on our lives. Until it is sufficient to cut and penetrate you, never think it can penetrate anyone else. Just the same way you will not take a knife for usage if you know it is not sharp enough to be used.
What do we do with the Word of God today? Many times, we want to use it to cut others, reveal God to them when the Word itself has not find a place of expression in our lives. Have you noticed what the Scriptures says in Hebrews?
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12.
Which means one side of the sword is for you and the other side for your listeners and as many people you are to impact whether as minister, pastor, teacher, etc. You must never use a knife on men which you have not used it on yourself. The danger of such actions is that, you will never understand the potency of the sword, the principle of its release, the extent of its operations upon men and finally you will lack the faith to release it to action among men.
When God made covenant with Abraham one of the first instruction was for him to circumcise himself first, even though it was a generational covenant.
“This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.” (Gen. 17: 10-11)
Though Abraham was 99 years old at that time, you can imagine the pain he will go through by the circumcision experience. But for him to understand the implication of that requirement, be part of the covenant with its impact and values, he was commanded by God to also circumcised himself first. Any scriptural instruction we get, in which we have not been a partaker of, may not have much impact on the people we are delivering it unto, because it is from the mouth and not from the heart. Abraham was to establish the covenant and he must first cut himself even before touching anyone in the family. That word you want to preach is first for you before anyone, therefore, cut yourself with it before it can cut the heart of other men.
That word you want to preach is first for you before anyone, therefore, cut yourself with it before it can cut the heart of other men.
Jesus our Saviour had to cut Himself with the agony of sin, by dying on the cross. He tasted the impact of sickness by taken the stripes for our healings, He went through all the phases and stages to showcase the efficacy of His Cross; He cuts Himself on every side. It was after Jesus had cut Himself completely that He became qualified to cut others effectively with the Word as we read in Phil. 2:10 -11:
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – Phil. 2: 8-11
Today, every kneel must bow to His name, because Jesus had cut Himself first with the crushing at the cross and the agony of His suffering. Therefore, it was after Jesus had cut Himself that He was fit to cut others. It was after He had tasted and tested the impact of the effect of sin and conquered it, that He was fit to deliver us all from the danger and power of sin.
Today, we rarely want to cut ourselves. We think all the scriptures are to cut others, we think only sinners repent, not knowing that every encounter we have with the Word calls for repentance; to change from our previous ways and align more perfectly with the Word. Any word that has not first cut the messenger cannot produce the grace and effect on others.
The effect after the Word has cut you comes from your heart and soul; but the effect of a word that has not first cut you only comes out from your mouth.
How do we cut ourselves? Cutting is done with a knife and the effect most times brings tear and pain. The question is that how do we manage to live without tears today? Not physical tears but spiritual tears that occurs when God begins to cut us with His word. Maybe we are not cutting ourselves. We are only busy cutting others and because we have not gone through it, we do not feel the sanctifying pain and consequent healing and therefore cannot pass it on.
Can you make up your mind today that you will be patient to His surgical operations daily upon your soul? That you will release yourself to Him for complete surgical experience before releasing you to cut others? Remember the word Peter preached in Acts 2:37. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”. Peter’s sermon cut the heart of men but before that, the word had cut Peter himself through pain and teary experience of the suffering and resurrection of Christ and Jesus has made an imprint on his soul.
Will you cut yourself today before you cut others? Will you allow God to crush you under the impact of the same scripture you are taking to preach on Sunday? Will you allow God to have made an impact on your life through His word before making attempt to feed others? In that way you will feed them from your heart and soul and not from your mouth. You will teach them from the scar of the impact of the hot iron of the Word and not just mere showbiz. May the Lord help us to allow His word to cut us first before rushing to others.