Friday, August 5, 2016

Making The Cut

For the last several weeks, I have been preparing material for a video presentation I have been asked to make for the Welton Academy on the subject of Prophetic Alignment. As I gathered material a story from my past came to mind illustrating the importance of being properly aligned with the heart of God. We can have power, a gifting and be in the right place, but if we are not properly aligned, we won’t make the cut.

Forty years ago, Jan and I moved to Springfield, Oregon from San Jose, California.  We bought a home surrounded by timber so one of the first things I purchased as a new homeowner was a chainsaw. For a young man fresh out of a city environment, I had no idea there were actual chain saw shops so off I went to a local department store where I bought a chainsaw.

On the day of my first cut, I felt really proud of myself. I was now a real Oregonian! I cut my first stack of wood then the saw got dull. Not knowing any better, I took the chain off and tried to sharpen it. I quickly came to the realization you are supposed to sharpen the chain while it is still on the saw. I reinstalled the chain and finished the sharpening process.  I fired up the saw once again and attacked another log. For some reason the saw wasn’t cutting. I thought I would press harder. Nothing. After a few moments the chain bar began to smoke and actually turned blue. Still nothing was happening. Then the saw seized up. The bar of the saw was so hot it could not be touched. Ticked off at my cheap saw, I got in my truck and headed back to the department store.

I found the salesman who sold me the saw and let him know the saw wasn’t working. He smiled and said, “They always cut better if you have the chain properly installed.” He went on to show me my mistake of installing the chain backwards and was kind enough help me remedy the problem. Back to my woodpile I went embarrassed, but aligned. After that day the saw cut wonderfully and served me well for years to come.

My chainsaw experience illustrates a point. We can have all the power, the right tools of ministry and even the right location, but because one critical element is out of alignment the entire process stops working. That one critical element is the condition of our heart. In prophetic ministry and anything else you and I do for God, if our heart is out of alignment with love, our words will not make the cut.  We can spend lots of time assembling knowledge and how a spiritual gift works. We can make a way for our ministry and be in a location with great potential, but in the end if what we do is not aligned with love our words will create lots of noise and smoke and nothing more.  A sharpened heart is actually a tender heart. When we are aligned with the loving heart of the Father our words are able to cut through the tough hide of deception deep into a heart surrounded by fear.  That is the power of alignment.

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