Summary: Without the cutting edge, that is the power of the Holy Spirit, believers will never be able a make a difference. 2 Kings 6:1-7
Not for the Faint-Hearted, but the Faith-Hearted 2 Kings 6: 1-7
The company of Prophets had outgrown their meeting place and as they went to gather wood to build a new place of meeting, one of them with a borrowed axe head lost the axe head. He cried out to their leader Elisha who performed a miracle and recovered the axe head so that the work may continue. The axe head represents the power of the Holy Spirit to get whatever job in front of you done! You need the axe head, not its wooden handle to cut down spiritual trees and it takes the sharp, biting power, the cutting edge of the axe head to cut through the wood and bring down the trees. Without the cutting edge, that is the power of the Holy Spirit, believers will never be able a make a difference. Sadly many churches have lost the cutting edge, because they have become so tied to traditions and programmes. Today, you might’ve lost the cutting edge but if God’s edge is still around you, all’s not lost.
This message is about steps that you need to take to recover all that the devil has stolen from you, based on what we learn in the second book of Kings Chapter 6 from verses one to seven, beginning with the fact that:
Recovery involves Concession (v1)
In this passage, the company of prophets came to the conclusion that the place of meeting had become too small for them. They conceded that they needed a change of space, that they required a bigger hall; that they had outgrown where they currently met. This was a matter of increase and if you are growing spiritually, you need to expand. In Isa 54:2, the Bible encourages us to enlarge the place of our tent: stretch your tent curtains wide do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Maybe you need to update your Bible and buy a good study Bible to aid you in your walk with God! The company of prophets approached their leader and told him what they thought. Do you imagine how some other leader would have reacted? Probably another leader would have dismissed the suggestions, but Elisha as approachable and humble, he knew he did not have a monopoly of wisdom. He simply encouraged them to "Go ahead". (2 Kings 6:2). This is a big lesson to many church leaders out there.
Recovery involves Concord (v2)
Concord is about harmony, being in one accord, coming into agreement. Even the trinity had to come into an agreement when creating man: Let us make man in our own image. Here, the company of prophets said, let us…we can build. As a Body of Christ, when we come together like the apostles came together in Acts 2, we can achieve the impossible. Look at how the builders of the Tower of Babel took giant strides, because they operated as one. Jesus made it clear that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25) and the Bible asks in Amos 3:3: can two walk except they agree? How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! (Ps 133:1). Unfortunately, many times, the attitude to church work is, let someone else do it. Few do the work while the rest stand back and criticise those who are working. Ask your neighbour: are you doing your bit? Are you in concord with other brethren?
Recovery involves Concern (v5)
In this passage, as soon as the axe head flew off its handle, the young prophet cried out in despair, because he was concerned about how the loss would affect the important work they were doing. Concern is a key step in recovering what is lost. Having the power of the Holy Spirit is not just about speaking in tongues, but realising that we do not have it, that is actually belongs to God. Many walk through life thinking they’re filled with the Holy Spirit, when they’ve lost his power without knowing it, as Sampson sadly found out (Jug 16:20). Many are working in the power of the flesh like the church in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-20) they are neither hot nor cold.
The lost Axe head meant that the young prophet had to stop working. His reaction was the opposite of what many of us would have reacted when we lose our cutting edge. Instead of crying out to God we go on dealing ineffective blows with the wooden axe handle. That is why we preach and there are no converts, teach but no one gets blessed, counsel but no problems are resolved. We have been leaning for too long on our own understanding, we announce glibly that where two or three are gathered… Sincerely, do we really have the manifest presence of God in our churches, like the Moses had when the Bible says the presence of God came down and covered the entrance of the tent of meeting?