The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please notice that the place where we live under your supervision is too small for us. Please let us go to the Jordan where we can each get a log and can build ourselves a place to live there.”
As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water and he cried out “Oh my master, it was borrowed!” 2 Kings 6:1-2;5 CSB
Vance Havner, one of the most quoted preachers in America once remarked, “many of the Lord’s workman today have lost the ax head of power!” We are in constant movement without might, expending energy without efficiency, and with much visible doing, we lack dynamic. In my estimation Vance Havner was essentially saying we have lost our cutting edge. While the phrase living on the cutting edge can describe the edge of a sharp knife, it can also be used to talk about new ideas. Living on the cutting edge therefore means to be at the forefront where new developments are taking place.
The challenge of maintaining our cutting edge comes with what is a very uncomfortable exercise for many. We must take serious and thoughtful time to review what we are and what we are not accomplishing. Reviewing our life, walk with God, and even our service to God is not always a pleasant experience, for in our assessment we may see glaring failures between where we want to be and where we are.
I have found that we are always glad to have our accomplishments noticed, but the most important evaluation is not what we, or others think but what the Lord thinks. This denotes the use of the right measuring stick. There is a very insightful premise recorded in 2 Corinthians 10:12, which says, when people, “measure themselves with themselves, and compare themselves with another, they behave unwisely.”
The beginning verses of Second Kings Chapter Six tells us about the recovery of an ax head. The sons of the prophets who were under the supervision and training of the prophet Elisha needed and wanted to expand. Their old dwelling place was no longer adequate so they asked to go to the Jordan where they could build something larger. While cutting down a tree, one of them cried out because his ax head fell in the water. The loss was magnified in that it was not his but was a borrowed ax head. He lost something that belonged to someone else. The ax head in this story is a symbol of God’s provision. We often fail to use and use rightly what God has given us, resulting in lack of achievement and success.
I was intrigued when I heard a French scientist explaining the peculiar behavior of ‘the processional caterpillar’. The caterpillars were placed on the rim of a flowerpot and proceeded to march around for seven days and seven nights, twenty-four hours a day without stopping. Finally, the caterpillars fell dead of starvation, even though the scientist placed their favorite food in the center of the pot. In the process of going in circles, they missed the life-giving food. Like these caterpillars, it is so easy for us to go around and around in feverish activity starving ourselves of God’s life-giving food. Living on the cutting edge requires a constant connection with the giver of life who also provides the power and energy to succeed! Regain your ax head of power and begin to achieve all that God has destined and designed for you!