Summary: Simple three point outline on staying afloat in the ministry: 1.) I borrowed the Axe. 2.) I lost the Axe. And 3.) I found the Axe!
Title: "The Floating Axe Head"
Elisha’s school of the prophets was growing and now needed to be relocated and expanded. He asked his students for help in supplying the necessary building materials. Each student was to cut down a beam and bring it with him to the new construction sight.
A preacher cannot build the Church without help. Every person that God has placed into the Church needs to understand that he has been placed within the Church to help in the ministry.
In our text, one of the students lost control of his axe head. It came loose of the handle and sunk into the nearby Jordon River.
1. I Borrowed the Axe.
That the axe was borrowed...
The only way that we are going to build a Church for God is for God to lend us an Axe. The Word of God is likened unto a two edged Axe! May we build our Church on the Word of God.
Now, please note, the student cried, "Alas it is borrowed!" As I mediated on that statement, I wondered what if the student had simply stated, "Alas, it is mine." Would he have had the same concern?
We need to realize that all that we have, we have by the grace of God. Everything that we have belongs to God and we are simply in a stewardship position on caring for what belongs to God.
God has given us gifts and talents for the purpose of furthering the cause of the ministry. If we do not use these "tools" for the Lord’s work, we have lost our axe head. It has sunk into the muddy waters of Jordon.
By saying that the Axe had been borrowed was an acknowledgement that it would have to be returned. There will be a Day of Judgment! Some day you and I will have to give an account of ourselves unto the Lord. What have we done with our tools and talents in furthering the ministry that God has called each and every one of us into?
2. I lost the axe.
That he was careless...
If the axe had been sharp, it would have plunged into the heart of the tree. A dull axe will bounce off of the tree and fly into the river.
There is a great need each day to prepare ourselves for spiritual warfare. We are to put on the whole armor of God. If we are dull in our spiritual hearing, we will not know how to respond when our axe head is met with opposition! If we are not careful, we may literally "fly off the handle!"
An axe head does not come lose all at once. It becomes loose over a period of time. If we do not have our daily morning devotions, we too will gradually lose our spiritual influence.
3. I found the Axe.
That there was hope...
Elisha responded to the young students cry for help. He asked to be taken to the place where he had lost it? We need to revisit the place where we "lost it?"
The Elisha took a stick and threw it into the water. Certainly that stick is a picture of the cross of Christ. Jesus hung on a tree. There is resurrection power in the message of Calvary. The iron did swim!
May we realize that our life in hid in Christ, and that we are living a life that is borrowed from God. May we be reminded that one day we are going to have to report unto the Lord and answer this question: "What have you done with the tools that I have given you for the work of the ministry?"