There is a story in the bible about a place where the disciples said that the place where they were staying was too small. Have you ever been in a place where you feel cramped? There is no room to grow. You feel stuck? That is how the disciples felt. There wasn’t enough room for all of them. They needed a bigger place.
How about within the body of Christ? Have you ever been in a place where there is no more space. The building is so full. You don’t even have a place for one more person to sit. There is an overflow into the lobby’s. People are standing at the entry ways waiting to get in.
That’s what happened in this story. There was not enough room. They needed more space. You would think someone would have said “I know it’s cramped but lets wait to see what the man of God says”. Or, let’s pray about it first. But instead they took their idea to Elisha. Elisha is met with a group of disciples who already had their mind made up. Although, the bible does not say this I can only imagine Elisha looking at them as they told him Elisha there is no room we are going to go somewhere where we can expand and grow. n fact, I imagine them sitting in the room with Elisha the Prophet and saying look Elisha we don’t have anymore room. We need to expand. We know just the place. We have tools that we need for the expansion. Elisha being the diplomatic man of God that he is didn’t trample on their vision. All he said was “go ahead”. Sometimes those in charge have to just say “go ahead” and let God take care of the rest.
But there was one person in the group who said “Elisha will you go with us”. That one probably was thinking about the situation and said to himself. I don’t know if we are ready for this. He was the one who probably thought I think we can do this but I would feel better if the man of God goes with us. He was the wise one in the bunch. Although, they did not include Elisha in their planning Elisha looking at the circumstances, considering their proposition, knowing God’s vision responded by saying yes I will go with you.
We know Elisha was a man of God. He had direct communication with the Lord. He knew that an opportunity would present itself where Elisha would have an opportunity to teach them about preparedness, so he goes with them.
They are now at the Jordan River where they start to cut down trees with their axes. When suddenly an ax head goes flying and falls into the Jordan river. Moreover, the disciple cries out to Elisha and says “oh know, it was borrowed”. Elisha knowing what the Lord’s plan is cuts a piece of wood, and throws it into the Jordan river. The ax head begins to float to the top. He told the disciple to go and get it.
A lumberjack’s main tool is an ax. The ax is long and the ax head is a bit lighter but it is a very diverse tool used for many things. The lumberjack knowing that it is his main tool for his trade takes great care of the ax. He checks the ax head every night after use to ensure that it is secure. When the lumberjack starts the day he checks the ax head again to make sure it is secure. Then he sharpens the ax head before starting to work. He is fully prepared for the day.
What does this story say about preparedness? What should the disciples doen prior to expanding? Well, if we really look at this story we would undoubtedly have to say that their first step should have been to pray, meditate, and inquire of God first to see whether or not expanding was the right choice. Some business’s fail because they grow too fast. Secondly, you need to be sure that every one that is connected to you is also praying, meditating, and inquiring of God as well. In fact, the story does show that while most of them were ready there was one who was not prepared. Thirdly, individuals can’t live their lives on borrowed word. Every individual should spend time seeking God on their own apart from study groups or church services. Lastly, sometimes in life not everyone who goes with you will be ready for the expansion but as a man or woman of God you have to be able to show them compassion. As believers we are supposed to extend a hand to help others who are connected to us supporting the vision to grow. Elisha could have sent him back but instead he gave him a hand up. As believers in all areas of our lives we need to be able to be more like Elisha, and give individuals a hand up to help them grow. But like the disciple we need to be able to be the person who accepts the hand up when we recognize that we need guidance to grow. Hence, I ask the question have you cared for your ax?
2 Kings 6 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Elisha and the Floating Ax Head
6 The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, “The place where we’re staying is too small for us. 2 Let’s go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some logs and make a place for us to live there.”
Elisha said, “Go ahead.”
3 Then one of the disciples asked, “Won’t you please come with us?”
Elisha answered, “I’ll go.”
4 So he went with them. They came to the Jordan River and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the ax head fell into the water. He cried out, “Oh no, master! It was borrowed!”
6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed Elisha the place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the ax head float. 7 Elisha said, “Pick it up.” The disciple reached for it and picked it up.
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