Michael Youssef - It Is Supernatural - Part 3
Turn with me to 2 Kings chapter 6, verses 1 to 7. 2 Kings. Now, in the last message, I told you that I'm skipping those seven verses deliberately, and I went into verses 8 to 23. There is a method in my madness, and you'll discover it at some point if you haven't already, heh. But today, I said I'll come back to those first seven verses, and I pray that this Word of God will lift you up to the very portals of heaven as you leave this place, amen. The prophet Elisha, in addition to his prophetic office, he also was a president of a Bible college, and that Bible college was having a large enrollment. It was growing and growing fast, and with the growth, numerical growth, came the need for expansion, a physical expansion, extension for the students who are coming into that Bible college.
In verse 1, we read, "They said, 'We need the place to be enlarged, to care for the enlarged capacity that we have in our growth". Verse 3 and 4, "The president of the college, prophet Elisha, organized a working program". Verse 5, "One of them, he was cutting wood for the building, when the iron ax head fell in the murky water of the River Jordan. But when the iron ax head got loose and it fell in that murky water, the man cried out to the prophet of God, Elisha, 'Master, it is borrowed. It is not mine. It was borrowed. I have lost that which was entrusted to me.'" And some of you are probably saying, "Well, Michael, what is this nice story from 3,000 years ago has to do with people who use the Internet and smartphones, electronics, the electronic age, and moving with the speed of lightning"?
Just be patient with me. This ax head represented this man's effectiveness. This ax head represented this man's cutting edge in serving. This ax head represented this man's usefulness for God. This ax head represented this man's fruitfulness in serving God. This ax head represented this man's equipping for service. This ax head represented this man's productivity in the work of God. Let me ask you this. Please answer it yourself. Please, please, have you lost your impact for Christ among your peers? Have you lost your effectiveness as a parent? Have you lost your effectiveness for Christ in your workplace or on your campus or in your neighborhood? But, oh, yes, you might be still busy. You may be engrossed in hyperactivities as ever. Oh, you might be still spinning your wheels.
Oh, people might look at you, and they said, "Oh, isn't she busy? Isn't he busy"? And they involve active serving, doing, but deep down, when you're all alone with God, you know that you have lost your anointing, that you have lost your power with God, that you have lost your cutting edge, that you have lost your effectiveness. Well, as I said, I have fantastic news for you today. You can regain your effectiveness. You can regain your sharpness. You can regain your cutting edge. You can regain your anointing in whatever service that God called you to do. You can regain your ax head. Look at verse 5, 2 Kings 6:5. The man who lost his ax head immediately recognized that he lost his cutting edge. He didn't just keep going with the shaft, no. And the next thing he acknowledged that it was borrowed, that, really, it was not his.
Our greatest stumbling block, your greatest, my greatest stumbling block is pride and hyperactivities. What do I mean by that? Admitting that hyperactivities is not the same as effectiveness is half of the battle. Willingness to be truthful with God and with yourself is half of the battle. Willingness to face facts and be realistic is half the battle. Please hear me right on this one. It's very important. The one thing that we all do, listen to me, we all do, including your pastor, is either we forget or deliberately ignore the fact that everything we have is borrowed. Everything we have is, what? Forgetting this is the greatest stumbling block for effectiveness. The cars that you drove in this morning, they're borrowed. The clothes that you are wearing right now, they are borrowed. The houses that you live in, they are borrowed. The man said to the prophet Elisha, "Oh, Master, it was borrowed".
Here is the truth: Whether you have two pennies to rub together or you have a million dollars, it's borrowed. Whether you live in a hut or in a mansion, it's borrowed. Whether you are in excellent health or your body is falling apart, it is borrowed. Whether you have a string of degree, academic degrees after your name, or you never finished high school, it is borrowed. Whether you sit in the executive suite or digging ditches, it is borrowed. And whether you minister to millions or to a dozen people, it is borrowed. "Oh, Master, it is borrowed". Question: Can you discern the very first sign of your loss of effectiveness? Can you discern that? Do you know the first time you began to lose your cutting edge? You began to lose your fruitfulness for Christ. You want to know how to recognize that first sign of loss of a cutting edge in life?
Listen to me, do you want to know? It's the moment you began to fall in the trap of thinking that you are the owner, that you are the possessor, that you're in charge, that you're in control. The moment you fall in that trap of thinking that you own your business, that you own your money, that you own your house, that you own your family, that you own your health, that you own your life, that's the beginning of the downward spiral of ineffectiveness. One of the main reasons why there are very people tithe and give offering to the Lord, one of the main reasons why believers are not truly generous with God and God's work is precisely because they fall in that trap of thinking that they are the owners, that they are in control of the blessings that God is lending them. "Oh, Master, it was borrowed". Can you say that with me? "Oh, Master, it is borrowed".
Now, beloved, I know debt is a huge problem in our society. I know that people borrow money that they have no way of paying it back. Such debt is a national cancer. Such debt is a marriage destroyer. Such debt is a killer of friendship. Such debt can be disastrous. Credit card companies e-mail you and mail you hooks every day, and every 30 days they pull, yank the chain, and that is why Jesus said in Luke 12:15, "Take heed and beware of the covetousness, for man's life consists not of the abundance of things we possess". How are you managing? The blessings of God lets you borrow from him. How are you managing all of the things that he lets you borrow from his storehouse? "Oh, Master, it is borrowed".
This was the cry of this man. It indicates that he recognized that he was under obligation. He faced his sense of responsibility. This man recognized that he is responsible, not only for the task but also for the tools. This man did not lose his cutting edge because of laziness, no, no. This man did not lose his effectiveness by staying home or playing golf on Sunday instead of going to church. Now, that will do it. It will do it. But this man did not lose his impact just for doing nothing, no, no, no, no, no. Probably he was the busiest in the bunch. Probably he was the master of hyperactivities. Probably people pointed out to him and said, "Look at him, how active he is, how involved he is, how prominent he is".
Oh, be very careful. What I'm gonna tell you is not gonna come as news to any of you, so I'm basically stating the obvious. There are churches all over the world, all over this place, that are now hub of activities, but there is no Gospel light. There are many a church that are up to their eyeballs in social justice and all kinds of action, but the sheep is dying of spiritual starvation. There are churches all around that are filled with social activities, but not the Word of God. There are churches all around us that have lost their spiritual and biblical effectiveness, oh, but they did not start this way. They did not start this way. They all started with wanting to change the world for Christ. They all started by wanting to be effective for Christ. They all started by wanting to make a difference for Christ, but then slowly but surely, they've lost their biblical sword, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
This man was so actively busy that he did not take the time to notice that the ax head was getting loose. I wanna show you. This looks like the one that he used. It's old. This thing was slackening. It was getting loose, obviously, for a long time, but he didn't take time to check it out. He did not take time to realize or pay attention to the slackness between the ax head and the shaft. He probably lost his anointing long ago. See, he did not heed the warning that the ax head is getting loose. No, no. Now, my beloved friends, listen to me: If I stop here, I would be sinning against you and sinning, above all, against God. But thank God the story does not end here. The man recovered his loss. I cannot tell you how many times I recovered my losses. I praise God every day for a new day in which I could recover whatever is lost the day before.
The first thing this man did was to recognize that he lost his effectiveness. First, he came to the point of recognition that he is going through the motions without the ax head. Look at verse 6. Can't miss it. 2 Kings 6:6, very easy to remember. "Elisha asked him, 'Where did it fall? Where did it fall?'" Beloved, listen to me, always go back to where you have fallen. Always go back to where you began to lose your effectiveness. Always go back to where you have lost your first love. Always go back to the beginning when you had moved from effectiveness to hyperactivities. Oh, caring for your reputation more than the reputation of Jesus. You know what I'm talkin' about? The man showed Elisha. I'm sure it was proximate because that water is so murky, you certainly not see it, yet he should show him the approximation.
That's the title of this series, "It Is Supernatural," and just like the folks in Israel at that time in their history have lost the awe and wonder of Yahweh, have lost their fidelity to God's Word, they have lost their commitment to their God, the God of miracles, who brought them out of Egypt, we in this 21st century are coming into that age, and we need to go back to our God of power and might. Can I get an "Amen"? May he renew every one of us today with his supernatural power. Here's the supernatural act of God. Here's the supernatural work of God in this situation. This is important. Don't miss it. Don't miss it. "Elisha took a branch of tree". That's the literal translation, that he cut it down, and he placed it on the surface of the water where the man lost his iron. And here is the supernatural: The iron floated above the water.
You say, "Every scientist will say it's impossible". I agree, but our God is a supernatural scientist. Our God is above the science. Restoration is like salvation. It is always supernatural. It cannot happen in the flesh. No matter how much you tried, no matter how you promise yourself you're gonna do better, no matter what you try with your own efforts, it does not work. It has to be the work of the super... what? Natural. Are you carrying bitterness in your heart, in your life, and walking around feeling victimized? Are you carrying jealousy, envy or greed, or whatever it may be? You're walking around with it and you say, "Oh, no, no, I've taken care of this". Are you covetous of what somebody else has? Are you withholding what belongs to God? Listen to me, listen to me, the only answer is this: The place of departure is the place of recovery.
Is there a phone call that you need to make? Make it today. Is there a letter that you need to write? Write it today. Is there a visit that you need to make? Make it today. Whatever it takes, whatever you need to do, do it. Do whatever it takes so that God can begin to restore your effectiveness, begin to restore your anointing, begin to restore your cutting edge. But there's something else of vital importance here. See, long time ago, I realized that words that I speak cannot move you, and it will not move you. Now, when I was a young preacher, like a lot of young preachers, my goodness gracious, I thought people hanging on every word I say. Oh, you get older, and you're like, "Uh-uh". Ha-hah, doesn't work that way.
Long ago, I realized that only God can move us. Only the Holy Spirit can return us to effectiveness. Only the Holy Spirit can restore the lost joy in the service. And that is why Elisha placed the branch of the tree on the water, and that's where the ax head floated. Why? Because only Jesus Christ, the branch of David, can perform miracles. Only Jesus Christ, the branch of David, can make the ax head of our effectiveness, possibility to float again. Only the tree upon which the Lord Jesus Christ, the cross where he hung, only there, there's redemption. Only there, there's forgiveness. Only there, there's restoration. It is only the branch of David, who had died on that tree, can restore the loss of fruitfulness. Only the cross of Christ can lift the heavy metal of your effectiveness and make it float again.
When you have lost your effectiveness for Christ, go back. Go back, say, "Lord Jesus, the branch of David, I confess. Lord Jesus, the branch of David, I acknowledge. Lord Jesus, the branch of David, I admit. Lord Jesus, the branch of David, who hung on that tree, help me, and help my life to be effective for you. Let the ax head of my effectiveness float again. Help me get the cutting edge of my life reestablished again. Let your anointing fill me again. Let the unction from heaven fill me again". And once you make that confession and whatever restitution you need to make, watch out. Watch out. I know this is not just only my testimony. I had testimony of many people here. God is gonna move.