The Cutting Edge

by Sarah Mc

“The cutting edge faces out,” she instructed. At that moment, my mind was blown. You see, the night before I had been in church…
I sat there listening to the guest pastor, soaking everything in as he preached. It was a period of corporate fasting in our church, the usual beginning of the year fasting with two weeks of prayer nights, guest preachers, and prophesy. I was so excited to be able to fit this service into my busy schedule. I was even more excited that my son had agreed to come with me and was sitting quietly, listening to the sermon as well. He does not like to sit quietly. I do not remember this preacher’s name, but I do remember his message clearly as it completely spoke to my heart that evening.

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“What practices were you consistent in adhering to when your relationship with God was strongest? If you have been feeling separate from God or have not been hearing from God, what was the last thing God was speaking to you? What was He last calling you to? Where is your Cutting Edge?” Where is my cutting edge?!?! WHAT is my cutting-edge? This was a terminology I had not ever heard in the context of a sermon before. I absorbed and contemplated the words. So what is the cutting edge? The cutting edge in daily terms is the sharp edge of a cutting instrument. Think of the knife in your kitchen. If the blade is dull, it is difficult to use. If the blade is sharp, the knife is easily used. Our cutting edge is sharpened by the habits we engage in to attune ourselves to God, both in hearing Him and being used by Him. Our cutting edge includes daily prayer, Bible reading and meditating on the Word. It can include regular periods of fasting or any other means we use to clear space in our lives and minds to be with God and hear Him. It includes obedience. I considered when I had been stronger for God. In the year leading up to this sermon I had drifted. I was still going to church, still praying daily, still reading my Bible a few times a week, but I was not making enough time in my day to quietly sit with Him. I was not obeying His word in certain areas. I had become distracted with worldly things. My cutting edge was dull. This sermon convicted me of areas I needed to change. It spoke to small steps and habits I needed to incorporate into my day to keep my focus on God and His ways, truths, and promises. All of this sank in and yet God wasn’t done working on me with this message. The next day I was at my son’s fencing lesson, which also happened to be my fencing lesson.  You see, God always has a purpose for everything. A couple months before, my son had shown an interest in fencing and when offered the opportunity to take lessons, he excitedly agreed. We found a local instructor who taught sabre and lessons began. My son quickly decided he did not like fencing, however, I had paid for eight lessons and there were no refunds. After much discussion he agreed to finish lessons if I would take them with him.  Being a lover of exercise and trying new things, I agreed to this compromise. I had to be there anyway, so why not? This was our final fencing lesson. As I assumed position, the instructor came and corrected my stance. “The cutting edge faces out” she instructed as she adjusted my arm. In the previous lessons the instructor had never used this term and now the day after the sermon she was using the exact term “cutting edge”.  The second she moved my arm and uttered this statement, so much became clear both in my fencing technique and in the practical application of the spiritual meaning of “cutting edge”. It was clear God was trying to get a point across and now was giving me a practical example.  With the cutting-edge of the sabre facing out, this edge was now used to block all the blows of my fencing opponent and also to strike blows. As I blocked attempted blows, the purpose of the cutting edge became clear: Maintaining daily habits to keep my cutting edge sharpened not only keeps me attuned to God, it also helps me to block the blows of my opponent. Said another way, daily habits of prayer, Bible reading, meditating on God’s word, fellowship and other practices protect me from the blows of the enemy. Liken this to Ephesians 6:16 where the “shield of faith” is used to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”.  These seemingly simple daily habits keep us on course with our Creator and protect us. As you contemplate your own “cutting edge”, how sharp is it?  Are there adjustments you need to make to your daily habits to be sharper for God? If you are not sure, a good place to start is Ephesian’s 6:10-17: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. May you always wear your armor and keep your cutting-edge sharp!

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