Borrowed Axe

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When You’ve Lost Your Source of Power

II Kings 6:1-7


Pastor Jim Julian

Sunday, October 17, 1999



          Elisha & Gehazi taught at the school

          Gehazi - Naaman - leprosy

          Why so harsh?  - reduced God & Elisha to the     types of Syrian priests


          Meeting house - too small

          Church - growing concern - best established biz   Fresh converts - fresh blood - new ideas

          School grew - needed larger quarters

          Why?  Due to Elisha’s presence

          Value of any school - is character and ability of   those who teach - Not methods - but men


          I like verse 3: 

Refreshing and thrilling - character of Elisha popular with students - do students usually want to take their teachers beyond the boundary of campus. 

          Students were building - not normal then or now small tragedy takes place - trivial - but has a big truth about God in it



II.               He lost his power for SERVICE.


As soon as the axe-head fell into water - he became helpless  - Power gone - suddenly & unexpectedly


          I believe it is possible for a Christian worker  to lose his or her power in service for God.


We have something like the axe-head - the presence of the Holy Spirit - When the Spirit is grieved - power is lost for service


Good disciples always desire to be under good discipline - so it was with these students


God’s grace can raise the stony iron heart which has sunk into the mud of this world


It seemed useless to search for lost head in the swift and muddy Jordan - what aggravated the loss was that the axe-head was borrowed



III.           He lost his power while WORKING.


“Cutting down a tree” - he lost his power while working - not lazy, nor  idle




IV.            He lost something he had BORROWED.


“For it was borrowed” - Have you ever borrowed something


Applicable to Christian worker - all his power for service is borrowed power - he is accountable to his Lord for how it is used


          HS - loan made to every believer


Have you borrowed and lost this wonder-working gift?


The student had borrowed the axe - where would he find means of restitution to the owner


          Notice Elisha - didn’t say - I told you so!


          Today - hardware store - 15 types of axe heads

Then - iron was very expensive - Scarcity of iron for tools and weapons - Read I Sam. 13:22 - Saul had 2 swords for his entire army



V.               He was CONSCIOUS of his loss.




          Student recognized further effort was useless


Any amount of eloquence, earnestness, and good intentions will never make up for the loss of the keen-cutting edge of spiritual power


What if the student had gone on ahead and swung the axe handle with no head - I can picture the other students looking at him -Yet in reality, he would not be any different than the Christian worker who continues to minister without the HS.


When will the servants of God learn to stop and examine themselves and their methods when they see their work fruitless?


Remember the Saturday evening service, a few years ago




VI.             He APPEALED to his Master.


          “Alas, master!”

          If the man of God can’t help, who can?


If you find that you have lost your source of power in the work of the Lord, do not sit down and try to be content in yourself


          Take it to the Lord in prayer

Tell Him plainly - you have lost power to teach or to win souls


          In The Reader's Digest sometime ago a lady reported a rather interesting experience. She telephoned her bank in an attempt to correct an error which the bank had made. Her call was transferred from one person to another, from office to office, and there was much talk, but no help.

          At last, the eighth person proved to be calmly and sympathetically helpful. He was genuinely pleasant thoroughly efficient, even friendly. The business finished, the lady said, "You're great! What is your position in the bank?" He answered, "I'm the ungoofer."

          The ungoofer! Most of us need one now and again. And we have one. That lady had a lot of trouble getting through to the bank's ungoofer; but, my friend, you and I have no difficulty at all in getting through to ours, if we really try. Keep in touch with the One who forgives, untangles, heals--ungoofs. If there are tangles and snarls, messes and mix-ups, tell Him about them--and trust Him.



VII.        He had it RESTORED miraculously.


A.               He GOT it where he had LOST it.


          There was no other place he could find it.


There is no use in seeking for lost power in longer prayers and better sermons when it has been lost through worldliness and self-seeking.


You will find your lost source of power for service back at the place where you failed to call on the Holy Spirit, and went on in your own way, wisdom, and strength.



B.                He got it through a MIRACLE.


          Elisha made the axe-head to swim


Every ounce of power is a miracle of grace from God -



VIII   Conclusion

Truthfully he still is taking the stick and stirring up our lives -  the stick is the cross

If God has made the gift of power to swim before your eyes as a great possibility brought within your reach, the if you are here this morning - put out your hand and take it

All you have to do is reach out the hand of faith today and take it - He died for you - He rose again - that He might lift you up - All you have to do is reach out with the hand of faith and trust Him

          I had an opportunity to work in a bakery while going to high school. I remember one particular day when the telephone rang and one of the ladies went to answer it. She put down the phone like it was hot and yelled, "He's coming!" I wondered what in the world was going on? The ladies ran for their hair nets and men ran for clean aprons and clean caps. The boss told me to sweep the floor, and cover all the containers. There was a wild and excited look in his eyes. Everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I thought to myself, "Who is coming?"

          Suddenly through the front door entered a man in a suit with a case under his arm. As I observed him he began to walk around and check the bakery for any health hazards. I then realized that he was the state inspector for the Board of Health. After he left everyone breathed a sigh of relief and went back to work. One of the ladies told me that all the places of business always watched out for each other. The first one to see the inspector coming would then call the other business. They had a system of warning.

          When Jesus comes again there won't be time to prepare a speech on all the good things we have been involved in. There won't be time to tell Him how our neighbors and friends hindered us in His service. There will be judgment, "So then each one of us shall give an account of himself before God." God will not accept our excuses nor will He give us time to repent. Today is the time to prepare ourselves for His coming.

Remember, "He is coming!"

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