2 KINGS Chapter 6:1-7

The Cutting Edge

READ: V1-7


At first glance in reading this story – it would seem like What is big deal what is this all about – guy loses his ax head

A) God allows him to retrieve it.


B) But the story is a lesson on retrieval – getting back something that was lost


C) This is the 3rd time in Elisha’s ministry where he works a miracle by casting something in


Jericho – the waters were bad – new bowl – Salt

Salt doesn’t make water taste better




Pot of stew death in the Pot – Cast in flour – Picture of the word of God –


Now this story throws in a stick: What is the Lesson?



A) This happened among the SONS OF THE PROPHETS means that these guys were dedicated to serving God


B) They STUDIED the Scriptures, they PRACTICED the gift of prophecy, and they were learning how to listen to the voice of the Lord


C) Elisha was now the overseer of this School where he poured his background and experience into the lives of these men

1) and thus helped to develop and train them for the ministry God had given to them.


 Well the School was growing – place they were meeting in was too small so they wanted to build a bigger place – Elisha said go for it

A) But in the mist of the work – one of the guys loses his ax head –


B) While this guy was DOING the work of the ministry... establishing a base of further ministry,

1) the ax head that he was using flew off and fell into the river.


Bb) we might say that he lost his cutting edge


C) That is a Common Problem/  an easy thing to have happen:

1) Where someone who is fervently serving the Lord – finds that they have lost their cutting edge.


D) They lose their effectiveness – they grow WEARY 

1) They become DULL


See the CUTTING EDGE represented The Power To Build

A) The axe head is the thing that enabled this guy to accomplish the work of building. Without the axe head he could do no work


B) Thus it is symbolic of the cutting edge of POWER and EFFECTIVENESS.

1) In our lives that is the Holy Spirit


C) BEFORE Jesus ascended into heaven He gave to His disciples what is known as the Great Commission:


Mark 16:15 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned


D) BUT BEFORE they went to do that Jesus gave to them another command:    Acts 1:4-5, 8


 “And being assembled together with them, H

commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to

wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said,

"you have heard from Me;  5 for John truly baptized

with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy

Spirit not many days from now." 

 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit

has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in

Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end

of the earth.”

The Book of Acts testifies to the fact that these guys received  that CUTTING EDGE.....

A) the power of the Holy Spirit was at work in their lives.


          Acts 17:6 These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.


B) NOTE: The ONLY way that we will ever build ANYTHING, be it lives, people, family or relationships, is by the power of the Holy Spirit.


          Psalm 127:1  Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:


C) You can know every principle of ministry, of marriage, of discipleship,

1) But unless you are doing it by the power of the Holy Spirit you are doing it in vain.


Zechariah 4:6 This is the word of the LORD unto

Zerubbabel, It is, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts.



D) So this servant in the mist of his service – loses that cutting edge – He loses his ability to further the Work

1) Now he is A Powerless Servant




See When the CUTTING EDGE flew off, what was this servant of the Lord left with?

A) All that he held in his hands was a wooden ax handle.


B) In the Scriptures WOOD is symbolic of the flesh


C) In Corinthians Paul speaks of our works being

tried by fire.


1 Corinthians 3:12-15a

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss;


D) The AX HANDLE speaks of the energies of the flesh: 

1) Our Natural talents are like the ax handle.


E) Without the axe head they don’t cut it.


Yet there are a lot of people walking around trying to

build the kingdom of God with natural abilities

LONG after they have lost the cutting edge.

A) Charisma/ strategies/ Gimmicks / Key for the house thing. -   Ax handle stuff     


When this servant of the Lord lost his ax head – when he lost his cutting edge – Decision to make

A) He could continue to make it look like he was working – fake his way thru the work


B) He could start banging that Ax handle on the trees - Make a lot of noise – Look busy


C) There are many people who are involved in ministry who do that

1)   They have lost their CUTTING EDGE...


D) The power of the Spirit is not flowing in their lives....

1) But they just keep on going even though the anointing is not there.


How does an ax handle –fly off.

A) It is not something that happens all at once


B) It slowly begins to loosen over time – and with use

1) The person who is using it – neglects to make it tight again.


C) The same thing can happen in our lives as well –

1) Active and Busy – Start skipping having our Devo’s - Edge starts to loosen


D) We neglect taking the necessary action to make it tight again.

What are some of the signs that a person has lost their cutting edge?

A) Dry / Weary – Ministry becomes a burden – not a blessing {Complaining


B) Critical and Judgmental spirit – Martha –


C) Busy but not making any progress


Is that a Picture of You?



B) Do you feel like you are trying to move in the energy of your own abilities?

1) Are you trying to cut beams with an ax handle?


C) Then YOU need to take steps to REGAIN the CUTTING EDGE


Some Christians are content where they are at.

A) They don’t want to be on the cutting edge

    They are content to be mediocre


B) That attitude concerns me – especially concerning the day we are living

1) See  in the NEWS – Palestinians – elected Hamas into power – Hamas – their Terrorist


C) Terrorist who are fixated on the destruction of Israel


Prime Minister of IranPersia- Developing Nuclear weapon – Goal – Wipe Israel off the face of the Map

A) Guys the words of Paul in Eph 5 ring true for our Time   Ephesians 5:14-18


"Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light."


See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.


Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,


B) It is time to wake up – time to rise from the dead

1) Quit playing games with God – Luke Warm


C) Walk carefully – walk in wisdom – redeeming the time – days are evil


D) Don’t be drunk with wine – 30 million pp in USA

Given over to drug & Alcohol addiction

1) Their sin affects 150 million friends & family members –


E) Better way: Don’t be drunk … be filled w/ the spirit



Listen for those who want to be on the cutting edge effective for the Lord –

A) those who want to be Vibrant They want to sense God’s presence they want to be witnesses –


B) Those who want their Christian life to be an adventure.


C) Take note of what this young man does to regain his cutting edge


Step Number One: Cry out to the master

A) Upon losing the cutting edge the young man went to Elisha & said: 2 Ki 6:5 Alas, master….. borrowed  


B) The way to regain the CUTTING EDGE begins with RECOGNITION and CONFESSION



The Recognition that it was borrowed

The Cutting Edge: Power On Loan

A) This is A Most Crucial Principle


B) NOTE: Always remember that. The power to serve the Lord is NOT your own.


C) If you begin to think that the effectiveness of your ministry or the success of your marriage is because of who you are,



D) If you don’t get that I GUARANTEE that you will

wake up one day like Samson did:

1)   Saddest verses in the Bible Judges 16:20


E) Samson Went out against the enemy didn’t realize the Spirit of God that had been so heavy upon his life had departed



The power of the Holy Spirit is something


A) Sometimes God will allow us to lose that edge so we remember that it is borrowed – We get Prideful


B) We can start to think that we had something to do with our effectiveness

1) We become Negligent in seeking the Lord


C)  We forget how important it is to be filled. – Nothing to give out.


D) He who exalts himself will be humbled – God resist the proud but he gives grace to the humble


So first there has to be Recognition – The Power is not my own – Power on Loan

A) 2nd There needs to be CONFESSION


B) In HUMILITY and BROKENESS we need to admit that we were careless.


C) “Slowly and surely the cutting edge worked

it’s way loose.

1) I used to have regular quiet times... I used to pray in the Spirit.... I used to fast and pray.”


D) Confession: There is a Problem

1) Something is wrong – I am not the way that I used to be – Not what I once was.


Step Number Two: Take some inventory

A) When the servant came and said: Alas master Elisha responded by asking: 2 Ki 6:6 Where fell it?


B) The second step in regaining the CUTTING EDGE is this: “Where did you lose it?”


C) Can you recall where YOU lost the cutting edge?


D) Jesus Christ, says the same thing to us today


Revelation 2:4-5

 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have

left your first love.  5 Remember therefore from where

you have fallen; repent and do the first works,

A) REMEMBER how it was with you and the Lord


B) Remember back to that time when you couldn’t get enough of the Word {Bible study was a must


C) Witnessing was Joyful and Natural

1) Worship was something you longed to be a part of

D) A time where you could definitely say: You loved Jesus more than ever before.




Take spiritual inventory: Back track: When did it


A) When did you find yourself becoming more?

Interested in something besides the word?


B) When did your walk start to get Mechanical?

1) Going thru the motions – Routine


C) When did you start to see that edge loosen –

That Passion



REPENT of those things that worked against that love and zeal

A) Turn away from sin – wrong priorities


B) Change your Mind – Attitude



DO your first works

A) What were you DOING when you were so in love with Jesus? Did you get up in the morning?


B) Then get up in the morning.


C) Did you take walks to spend time with Jesus? Then take walks and spend time with Him again.

1) Did you go to a Bible study every time you got the chance? Then get to Bible study.



Quality vs. Quantity

A) Time when I felt closest to the Lord – Freshmen yr of college – lived at home / Ministry.


B) Only real responsibilities – part time Job and school –

1) Spent 3or 4 hrs a day in the Word


C) My life is different now – Full time Job – wife and 3 kids – house – cars –

1) Responsibilities


D) I am not going to spend 3hrs a day – studying the word – personally – Do that for teaching

1) Talking my own special time


E) Quantity may not be the same – but the Quality can be – It is a Matter of the Heart

1) Seeking Jesus with a renewed passion


15 minutes or 2hrs





Emotions follow actions

A) He says do & I will restore


B) Huge in marriage friendships – Do it and the emotions will follow.


A True Story


     The famous newspaper columnist, George Crane, was once consulted by a woman that he knew concerning her marital difficulties.


     She said that she HATED her husband that she couldn’t stand being around him. She said that she wanted to kill him.


     The columnist said: “What do you want to do about it?”


     She said: “I’m going to leave him.”


     Then George Crane said: “If he’s that bad, don’t just leave him, torture him. For the next 2 months be the most wonderful wife that you could ever be. Fix him his favorite meals, put love notes in his lunch bag, and massage his back at night. Do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that would make him happy for 2 months. THEN after 2 months of pampering him walk up to him with a smile on your face and say: “Honey, I’m leaving you.” That will kill him. She said: “That is a brilliant idea!” And she did exactly what she was advised to do.


     A couple of months later, George Crane had not heard from her, so he called her and asked if she had left her husband yet.


     When he asked her the question she said; ‘Leave him?! That’s the LAST thing in the world that I want to do.

An Important Principle


     There is an important Biblical principle that is illustrated in this true story.


     Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


     This woman found that by pouring her treasure into her husband, whom she previously could not stand, she found that something changed in her heart.


Understand it is that God wants you to be active just for being active sake.

A) He knows we need the exercise –


B) Kids work not because I need their help – they need to learn

1) And I like them close to me



A Matter of Obedience


     You might say: “Rob I don’t FEEL like doing those all of those things again.”


     Feeling has NOTHING to do with it. It is a matter of OBEDIENCE.


     As you do those things out of obedience you will find what the wife who hated her husband found. Where her treasure was her heart followed.





Casting Off The Flesh


     2 Ki 6:6  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.      


     Elisha threw a stick, representing the flesh, into the Jordan, which speaks of the Spirit-filled life.


     When the flesh was cast into the river the ax head came to the surface. 

You Take It


     2 Ki 6:7  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.


     That is always the way it is with God. There is a PARTNERSHIP.


     He causes truths and principles to come to the surface... He gives to us understanding. But we have to make it our own. We have to incorporate it.




          Gen 8:9  But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.       


     APPLICATION: There are those today who will say: “I have lost the CUTTING EDGE.”


          With this young man you are saying: “I can look back and see where I lost it. I saw things getting loose and I did NOTHING to prevent it from being lost.”


          With that servant you are saying: “Alas Master, I’ve lost it. I am going to admit that it was Borrowed, it wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit.        


          This morning you are telling the Lord that you are going to take your fleshly stick and cast it into the river and by His mercy you are looking for the cutting edge to the surface and with His enabling YOU are going to take it.


              No more kick back Christianity... You are going to go for it. You are going to return to your first love.




Have You Lost It?


     Then do what this young man did and follow the advice of your master, Jesus Christ.


     CONFESS that you’ve lost it


     Then REPENT and REMEMBER and DO


Are You Losing It?


     Are you able to sense that the ax head is getting loose and you want to prevent it from flying off the handle?


     NOTE: I’ve been told that if you have an ax head that is getting loose, the way that you get it tight on the ax handle is to stick it in water.


          IF you feel that you are losing the cutting edge, THEN go soak your head in the water of the Word.      


               Gal 6:7-8  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.




A) Warning: Don’t lose your edge

B) Stay sharp

C) Don’t let go of your devotions

D) Tighten up the Ax head – Bucket of water the wood swells

Go soak your head


Instruction for retrieval

1) Cry out to the master

2) Remember it is borrowed

3) Take inventory

4) Throw in the flesh