You Can’t Handle It! – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

You Can’t Handle It!

II Kings 6:1-7

Intro: In this story, a young man that was in the ministry. He was engaged in an effort that involved using an ax. During the process, he lost the axhead. All he had left was the handle. He may not have known a lot of things, but one thing he knew was that he couldn’t get the job done with just the ax handle. He needed the ax head.

The message this morning is going to draw a comparison in this story to the importance of the power of God in our life. We cannot do what we have been called to do without it. We need more than a handle; we need God. We can’t “handle” it in our own power and own effort.

I. The Plan was Commendable

               A. The Plan had Purpose

These men had a great idea. Their purpose was to expand and make more room.

They were not just thinking of themselves, they were thinking of others. They wanted to give Elisha more room.

Nothing wrong with that. We’re commanded to always abound in the work of the Lord.

  • Having goals and a desire to do great things for God is not a sin.
  • Having ambition and zeal for growth is noble.
  • Wanting to raise godly children is wonderful.
  • Having a desire to be used in your local church in a greater way is important.

But just because we want to do something great is no guarantee that we will be able to do it.

               B. The Plan had Partners – vs. 2 “…every man…”

This wasn’t just one man – they were unified in their desire and in their purpose.

The whole crowd was working together to accomplish this goal.

We could say that they were unselfish in their desires, and they were unified in their endeavor.

               C. The Plan had Permission – Elijah said “Go ye.”

They got an ok from God and started on this work with His approval.

They were not a bunch of renegades out doing something outside the will of God.

II. The Prophet was Close

               A. The Prophet was Present – vs. 3

Verse 3 says that they prayed him to come with them.

It’s always good to have a man of God around. 

You never know when he’ll come in handy!

I am always suspicious of people that don’t want the preacher around. Something is off!

               B. The Prophet was Participating – vs. 4 “So he went with them…they cut down wood.”

But a lot of people treat the church and God’s man like a good luck charm.

If I stay close, I’ll be ok. I’ll can live on the residue and the overflow of someone else’s anointing and power.

That is not how it works!

You can get cold, backslid, lose the touch and power of God sitting in church every service!

III. The Problem was Catastrophic – vs. 5

               A. The Lack of Power – the ax head came off.

You can’t work without power, no matter how good your purpose, your partners, your pure motives or nothing! 

You need God 24/7!!! 

It doesn’t matter how much you swing that ax handle, if the ax (power of God) is gone, you can’t get it done with just the handle! 

You can’t handle it!  I can’t handle it!  We need God!!

               B. The Lack of Perception – he didn’t notice it getting loose; he wasn’t paying attention!

An experienced person can tell when their power is starting to be affected.

               C. The Lack of Preservation – when you use something, you have to keep it maintained.

All he would have had to do was put the ax in the water (Word), and it would have fixed the problem! 

It’s amazing how loose we get when we don’t stay in the Word! 

The Word makes us tight and right!

               D. The Lack of Preparation – he didn’t come prepared for this to happen!

It took it for granted that he would always have it.

He didn’t have any idea what to do about it when it was gone, because he hadn’t planned on losing it!

               E. The Lack of Permanence – he knew it wasn’t his; it was on loan, just like our Power.

The power of God in our life is not ours to play with.

NOTE: Samson played games with the power of God and lost out big time!

The power of God and the anointing in our life is not permanent; it belongs to Him.

It’s just borrowed. We need to understand the importance of stewarding this wonderful resource.

Conclusion: Thanks be to God, this man was able to have his power restored. Notice what he did.

A. His Response was Painful – vs. 5 “…Alas master!…”

The Bible says he cried. This was a big deal to him.

He didn’t just sit down and eat a sandwich. He didn’t play it down like it was no big deal. It bothered him!

He didn’t try to work without the power! He admitted that he had lost it right away. 

This is more than most Christians can say.

They’ll work for months before they realize the power is missing!

When they do figure it out, they try to hide it!  They try to ‘handle it’ all by themselves!

You can’t handle it! You need an ax on the end of that handle!!

               B. His Return to the Place – vs. 6 “…where fell it…”

The first thing the man of God did was ask him where he lost it.

And he shewed him the place where he lost his power.

That means he knew when it was, where he was and what he was doing when the power of God went missing.

Go back to that spot and you’ll find it.

NOTE: Thankfully, the man of God hadn’t lost his power.

He still had his axe because the Bible says he cut down a stick!! – vs. 6

When you’re struggling to find the power of God, make a bee line for people that still have His power!

               C. His Recognition of the Possibilities– vs. 6 “…and the iron did swim.”

He sensed that the power he had lost was more powerful than he’s ever imagined. (it swam)

He didn’t know it until it was gone, but that power he lost had power to do things he’d never seen before! 

That ax was more than just a way for him to accomplish his purpose.

It had a purpose of it’s own!  That purpose was to show the world it was God’s power – not his! 

That borrowed ax could do things he had no idea it could do!! Thank God for His power!

               D. The Restoration of the Power – vs. 7 “…he put out his hand, and took it.”

He simply knelt at the spot it was lost and got it back.

All he had to do was kneel down and pick it up.

Getting that power back in your life requires acknowledgment of sin, desire, humility and prayer.

God wants you to have it.

He is willing to let you borrow His power.

But you have got to take care of it, and maintain it, and not take it for granted.

No matter how much you want to do for God, without His power, you nor I can “handle it” by ourselves!