Proverbs 27:17, "Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of His friend."
In the coming year, I see many relationships that are now clashing, that will become flashing "two-edged" swords forged together by the Spirit to do exploits and bring great devastation to the camp of the enemy. I saw relationships that seemed totally against each other, being welded together as God's love was dealing a fatal blow to their egos and "the way I see things." God is forging them into 'two-edged' swords to sever roots of the strongholds of division over families, churches, cities, and nations!
Friction Between Opposing Relationships Will Create Synergy in the Kingdom This Year
Synergy: the interaction of two or more agents or forces, so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Synergy is the result of two people working out their differences together. Get ready—the person you don't like right now may become your best friend!
Through unparalleled troublesome times, many opposing relationships will be challenged to synergize together, forging relationships similar to "Jonathan and David" and "Ruth and Naomi" to experience covenant relationships that will affect the course of history.
Those in clashing relationships who differ in their convictions like day and night but are willing to continue to walk together in love will ultimately be the ones who discover the many facets of truth in God's Word and learn what truly pleases the King of kings. I am not talking about what is clear-cut in the Word of God regarding sin. I am talking about those many gray areas that have been splitting churches and dividing friends forever.
Those who hang out with friends who seem to see eye to eye on everything and who never disagree, will not grow much this coming year. There is going to be a shaking and sharpening in all of us! Get ready—the person you don't like right now may become your best friend. The person you don't like may have the gift of healing for your sickness or affliction. As a result, the command to "love one another" will become a matter of life or death for some churches and individuals.
Have you ever met a person who seems to have an edge to them? That means they are sharpening you. Again, Proverbs 27:17, "Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
Iron Sharpens Iron, Stones Smooth Stones, and People Grind People
God may call the person who seems to grind you the wrong way to sharpen you. In reality, this person is your friend. He knows they are destined to help conform you into the image of Jesus Christ—God's goal for your life!
I sense the enemy has been working overtime trying to convince many that you no longer need the irritation and grinding of certain people in your life. Be careful, the Lord may still be sharpening you. The person who is least like you and sees things so differently, may be your best asset for your future purpose in God's kingdom.
The grinding may not take so long as your glaring differences clash and cut away at each other's views that are usually at best, a little off-centered from the Lord's perspective. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9).
Agree to Allow Each Other to Disagree Is a Major Step Towards Unity
In many conflicts, I have found that the longer I was willing to stick it out during disagreements and personality differences, the easier it became to understand the person and why they are the way they are. The grinding, slowly but surely, gave way to a binding in the Spirit, where God could actually use us together with our differences more than if we were left by ourselves and our own convictions.
Many relationships that are now straining are actually in training for future spiritual warfare.
"With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love" (Eph. 4:2, KJV). To "forbear" means to hold oneself up against; to put up with; endure; suffer.
This picture of forbearing one another may look at first like two people who are standing up against each other in opposition. But they are actually holding themselves up against each other in order to hold each other up. Their body language is saying: "I'm not going to let you go. You are not getting away from me just because we disagree. Even though you may be causing me to suffer right now, I know God is somehow using you in my life to grind me and sharpen me for a purpose. I am going to keep putting up with you, and forgiving you until I find out God's purpose in all of this."
Have you ever wondered how long you have to put up with someone who strongly opposes your convictions and disagrees with most everything you believe? God clearly tells us how long. "Until we all come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13, MEV). That is just how long we need to forbear one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Many in difficult relationships, who realize their straining is being used in training for reigning, will endure and become razor-sharp fatal weapons in spiritual warfare.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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