The reason for defeat in Christian life and in ministry is departed power. Just as Elisha’s young prophet lost the axe head and stopped chopping until he found it, so there is a lesson for us.
Elisha’s training started on a wood chopping expedition. One of the young prophet’s lost his axe head and cried out to Elisha; “Alas master! For it was borrowed.”
“But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it” (2 Kings 6:5-7).
Religious wood chopping
There is a lot of religious wood chopping- being busy in the flesh- going on these days but the results are meagre. We have lost the axe head and are chopping with axe handles and chopping more furiously to avoid people noticing the axe head is missing. This was a borrowed axe and our power is borrowed, in the sense that it comes from the Lord.
Recovering the axe head
The man with a lost axe head in our story was asked where the axe head had fallen. The place to get back into God’s will is where we lost it. We must ask God to show us where we have missed it, and then walk in accountability and repentance. He that covers his sins shall not prosper. How wonderful was the finish. The iron did swim!
So we see that God can restore the lost power. Just as with Jacob, Samson, David, Jonah and Peter, He gives us another try.
When the axe head floated, the young Prophet “put out his hand and took it.” When we ask for restored power, we must believe God and take it by faith. We lie to God in prayer if we do not believe God after prayer.
We need to follow the young prophet’s example instead of grabbing a substitute and trying to chop with a handle and labor in the energy of the flesh. We pound because we cannot expound. Many fancy axe handles are in evidence these days but axe heads are scarce.
It has been said that there is abundance of energy in the church but it is not conquering energy conscious of its power; it is feverish energy conscious of its powerlessness.
Sharpening the axe
Some people think that church must just go on as usual. I feel it is better to stop until we find the lost axe head. God’s people in God’s way must do God’s work. We will chop far more wood with a sharp axe but it takes time to sharpen the axe. The way we do this is by waiting on the Lord. We know that waiting on the Lord is never wasted time. Time is never lost when we spend it recovering lost power.
What we learn from this story then is that departed power must be regained and as we do, we will be able to overcome sin and be more effective in the Lord. Alleluia!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter is based in Livingstone, Zambia and is married to Charity. He oversees Signs & Wonders Christ Gospel Ministries International, an Apostolic and Evangelistic church planting ministry. He has been instrumental in planting many churches in the rural areas of Zambia. You can follow him on Facebook.
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