The Art of Iron Sharpening Iron

“As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens
the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs 27:17

Thus says the LORD: 
“As the new wine is found in the cluster, 
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, 
For a blessing is in it,’
So will I do for My servants’ sake,
That I may not destroy them all.”

Isaiah 65:8

As the LORD has been bringing me into opportunities to experience the cluster and to experience convergences of streams, I find myself seeking the LORD about how to posture myself within these formations.

Raised in a culture with a heartbeat of honor, I seek to know people by the spirit and to honor who God says they are.  I recognize that each of us are on unique individual pathways, and that if I posture myself in humility and honor, then I can receive treasure from what’s inside another.

The beauty of the cluster is that joints supply and unique anointings merge and converge into a delicious, sweet wine that has a depth and richness we couldn’t achieve on our own.

The discomfort of the cluster is that when grapes reach fullness, they begin to rub against each other on the vine and so begins the painful process of iron sharpening iron.

It’s in the cluster that we as living stones are sanded down to be fitted and fashioned into the Ecclesia that God intends to weaponize to shake the gates of hell.  

In theory, we all love Jesus.  In theory, the more each of us grow to be more like Jesus, as spirit-filled and spirit-led believers, the more we should love each other.  If we love Christ, we should love the Christ in others.  If others aren’t revealing Christ as much as we might like them to, our love for Jesus compels us to grow to love more like Him.

As we lay our lives on the altar and die to our opinions and fleshly desires, the more the Christ in us is revealed.  In theory, around people who love Jesus, we should become more lovable the more we mature together.

Authenticity and maturity looks like loving as Jesus loved and saying/doing what we see Father saying/doing.  In theory, oneness is achieved from all of us being who God created us to be, saying what we hear Father saying, and doing what we see Father doing.

How do we navigate those friction points when the iron is rubbing?

Friction can occur for a number of reasons and good discernment is a key to navigating it.  Here are some questions I ask myself when I don’t love a situation:

Am I in the spirit?
Am I being authentic?  
Am I saying what I hear Father saying and doing what I see Father doing?
If not, how can I grow/mature to overcome whatever limitation I have in representing Jesus well?

If the other person is rubbing me, I ask: 
Are they representing Jesus or are they in their soul?  
Is what they are saying scriptural or is it their opinion?  
Do they need to grow in representing Jesus or do I need to grow in loving the Jesus in them that is exposing something in me that needs to be cast onto the altar? 
How is God wanting me to navigate the situation?  
Does He want me to speak up or stay silent?  
Confront in kindness or extend mercy?  
Share my perspective or adopt theirs?

Much of the cluster and convergence is an opportunity to mold and shape us into greater images of our Father.  Our first question should be, “What’s in me, LORD?”

The Christ in others should carry a frequency of heaven that is discernible.  

In those times when we recognize that the Christ in someone else is yielding fruit, it’s an opportunity for us to humble ourselves and to adopt their mindset in an area.  We don’t compare ourselves.  We don’t try to be like them.  But we can learn from their strengths to minister to our weaknesses. 

We can grow far faster from honoring others and receiving impartation than trying to do everything ourselves.

When we open ourselves up to adopting new mindsets, it’s critical to walk with discernment to be able to distinguish what’s meat to be chewed and what’s a bone to spit out.  

If we really want to grow to look more like Jesus, we must submit to the discomfort of iron sharpening iron so that those parts of us that are false can yield to greater authenticity.  

The Catch 22 of the Kingdom is that no person is perfect, but God is perfecting all of us.  The goal is oneness as His body, not division. God’s covenant love and humility overcome division every time.

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