From Chapter 10 ("Get Your Edge Back") of John Eckhardt's book, You Shall Recover All
The Bible makes a compelling point about this type of friendship: "Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." A friend knows your countenance. If you have a good countenance, your face is shiny, your skin glows. The glory of God and the joy of the Lord show on your face. But when you become depressed, tired, angry, and frustrated, your countenance changes.
You can try to fake it. You can smile, but a friend knows. A covenant friend says, "You're smiling, but you're not happy. You're smiling, but something is wrong. I can look at your countenance and tell you're not glowing."
You know what I mean. You have probably seen someone yourself and they just had a glow all around them. You may have even been drawn to say something about it: "Man, you look good," or "Girl, you are just glowing," "You look happy, and it is coming out of your face."
Other times when someone isn't well for any number of reasons, you may say, "You don't look so well."
The way we respond to a friend's face or the way they respond to ours leads us to understand that the word countenance is a reflection of whatever is happening inside you—like your character, emotions, or mood. Your countenance is a reflection of your character, of what's inside.
God also has a countenance, a face. One of the blessings of God is found in Psalm 4:6, "LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us." From here we can see that countenance can be a picture of something glorious. So maybe we can understand why countenance is important and why God wants your countenance, your face, sharpened. It is a reflection of your inward part. God uses people to sharpen your countenance.
When you lose your edge, you become tired. You become despondent, depressed, sorrowful, and sad. You lose the joy of the Lord. Your whole countenance changes. You no longer have that zeal, that fire, that light in your eyes, and that joy and excitement on your face. Work becomes hard. Ministry, business, and living become hard, because you've lost your edge.
The Sharpening Edge of a Covenant Friend
A covenant friend can sharpen your countenance. They can release a word of encouragement that can tell you, "Look, get it together. You're not going out like this. You're too talented. You're too anointed. You have too much in you, too many people are depending on you. God loves you. God is with you. God has called you. God has sent you. Come on. Get up. Wash your face. Change your clothes. Let's go out. Let's go have lunch. Let's go have dinner. Let's go out and do something. You're not going to lay around here depressed. You're not going to lay in the bed. You're not going to lay around looking sad, weary, and tired. No, you're going to get your edge back."
If I can be a friend who sharpens you from afar today, I have a word for you too. God says, "You're going to get your edge back. I'm going to cause your friends to sharpen you."
Now, if you don't have any friends, I pray that God would put in your life a prophetic person who's pulling for you, who wants to sharpen you and help you, to encourage you and build you up. I declare that when this person speaks to you, their words will sharpen your countenance and get your gift moving again. Let their words sharpen your ministry, business, and finances.
Let iron sharpen iron. Let God put someone in your life who will always keep you sharp.
I feel the anointing on this so strong. You are receiving a new encouragement and a new sharpness. A new ability is coming back to your life. God is about to sharpen your countenance. They will give you those words that will give you the teaching and the correction you need to get back on track.
This goes for me too. I don't plan, as I get older in ministry, to lose my sharpness in the prophetic in preaching and teaching. I'm going to keep myself sharp. I'm going to hang around people who help sharpen me. I'm going to get around prophets and apostles, coaches and mentors, and other believers who will help sharpen me. They will keep my countenance sharpened, so I will not grow old, grumpy, mean, ugly, tired, worn out, and dull. No, that is not the will of God. God wants me to keep my edge sharpened.
May You Become the Sharpening Stone
As iron sharpens your iron, you are going to become like a sharpening stone. You're going to be the sharpening stone to sharpen other people. You're going to be like iron. As you get your edge back, you will come into contact with people who have lost their edge and you're going to sharpen them. When people connect with you—if you're a coach, mentor, pastor, or just a friend—God is going to use you as a sharpening stone, a whetstone.
Just as a chef uses the whetstone to sharpen his expensive knives to restore them to their original value, you will also become a very valuable instrument again. Just because you've lost your edge does not mean you've lost your value. Maybe someone has told you you're no longer valuable, but you still are. You have a gift that's valuable. Your talent is still valuable. God is not throwing you away. What He put in you is still valuable. A person may try to throw you away, but God would never. He's going to restore your sharpness until you are like a whetstone. God is going to use your life, your church, your ministry, your business—whatever is your ability—as a sharpening stone.
Where There's Friction, There's Heat
Sometimes the sharpening process is not pleasant. When you hit two pieces of iron together, sparks are produced and heat is emitted. This friction causes the blade to become sharp. You may have gone through some things. It's been tough. It's been hot. But God is saying, "I'm using that to sharpen you."
When you come out of that trial or tests the enemy sent to destroy you (instead of the trial destroying you) God is going to use that adversity to sharpen you. A friend's rebuke or correction is much like friction created through iron sharpening iron. It may not be pleasant, and it may not feel good to your flesh, but it is just what you need to be made sharp again.
Let God sharpen you. Let God sharpen your gift and talent. Let Him sharpen your countenance. Iron sharpens iron. Wood doesn't sharpen iron. It takes another strong piece of metal to sharpen iron. You need some strong people in your life. You need some strong friends in your life. You need some strong people in your life—strong friends, apostles and prophets. Iron sharpens iron.
Don't run away from strong relationships and strong friendships. Don't run away from iron and the sharpening process. It's the only thing that will shift and move you up in life.
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