Summary: What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
BRO. SETH A. ARYEE
BETHANY METHODIST CHURCH, DZORWULU, ACCRA-GHANA
THEME: OVERCOMING LIFE’S CHALLENGES II
TEXT: "ALAS, IT WAS BORROWED" (2 KINGS 6:5)
Most of us live as though there is no tomorrow and yet each second the clock ticks away is one less second off our lives
When Elijah was taken away to heaven in a chariot and horses of fire, Elisha became God’s chosen successor to Elisha and God richly blessed Elisha’s ministry. He had requested for, and received, a double portion of Elijah’s spirit "if he saw him taken up to heaven".
Elisha’s prophetic ministry was characterized by many exciting miracles. One of them the story of the lost axe head.
Let’s take a moment to look at the background of the story. Elisha had formed a school of young prophets. He lived with and taught the students. When the school, at one point, became too small they asked Elisha for permission to expand. Elijah joined them to the Jordan River where there were plenty of trees at the river to provide lumber.
When the students got to the Jordan River they started to work cutting down trees with axes and a lot of muscle.
As one of the young men swung his axe, the axe-head came loose from the handle, flew through the air and disappeared in the Jordan River. The young prophet yelled out to Elisha, “My Lord, it was a borrowed axe!”
It is not the loss of the tool so much as the possible loss of a friend who was kind enough to loan you one of his tools. Be conscientious about things you borrow. Be sure to take good care of it and then return it in good condition when you are finished with it.
When Jesus walked the earth, He owned little more than the clothes on His back. He simply borrowed what He needed. He was:
± Conceived in a borrowed womb
± Delivered in a borrowed manger
± Raised by a borrowed family
± Grew up in a borrowed culture
· God, not Joseph, was His true Father.
· Jesus borrowed:
± Water to make wine.
± 12 disciples to spread His message
± Boat to preach
± Lodgings where He slept
± A coin from a fish to pay His taxes
± Heads of grain from a farmer to satisfy His physical hunger.
· He preached in a borrowed synagogue.
· From the woman at the well, He asked to borrow a bucket to draw water.
· From a boy, He borrowed five loaves and two fishes to feed 5,000 people.
· On a borrowed Sabbath, He healed a man’s withered hand.
· He rode to town on a borrowed donkey
· He ate the Last Supper in a borrowed room
· He borrowed a basin to wash His disciple’s feet and a towel to wipe them.
· They buried Him in a borrowed tomb. But He gave it back three days later. Neither death nor the grave could hold Him.
Jesus demonstrated that our natural life consists of nothing but borrowed time, But what happened to what Jesus borrowed? He did not wear it out, break or abuse it, but multiplied it or left it in better condition than before.
· From the borrowed manger, He became Emmanuel—God with us.
· With a borrowed bucket, He revealed the source of living water and transformed a woman and her village.
· From the borrowed tomb, He gave us resurrected life, symbolizing restoration, restitution, recovery and rehabilitation of what we have lost through death in our lives
The axe-head was lost so Elisha asked where it went into the water. The student showed him; Elisha cut a branch from a tree and threw it into the water. As soon as the branch hit the water the axe head swam to the surface; it was contrary to nature and all common sense. I Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
Elisha might have used two ways to get the axe to float:
· Praying in the spirit
· Exercising faith
Let us read together Ephesians 6:18: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit . . .” What does it mean “to pray in the Spirit”? In the first place, I want us to differentiate between “praying with the Spirit” and “praying in the Spirit”. To pray “with the Spirit” means speaking in unknown tongues. This is illustrated in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “speaking with the tongues of angels”. However, when pray “in the Spirit”, we speak mysteries and revelation. Romans 8:26, 27 relates the support the Holy Spirit gives us in our prayers: “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”.