1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are glad you tuned in to this program
3. We have been looking at the subject, “The Blessings of Surrender”
4. And today we are going to look at the distinction between activities and accomplishments
5. I want to begin by telling you about a true experiment
6. A great French naturalist one day conducted a most unusual experiment with a special kind of caterpillar.
7. These caterpillars blindly follow the one in front of them.
8. The naturalist carefully arranged these caterpillars in a circle around the rim of a flower pot.
9. He placed them so that the first caterpillar would touch the last one making a complete circle.
10. In the center of the flower pot, he placed pine needles.
11. Pine needles were the favorite food that these caterpillars ate.
12. Well, the caterpillars started around the circular flower pot.
13. Around and around they went . . .
14. hour after hour, . . .
15. day after day.
16. Night after night,
17. around and around they went.
18. For seven full days and seven full nights, . . .
19. these caterpillars crawled around the flower pot.
20. Finally, they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion.
21. They literally starved to death with an abundance of food less than six inches away!
23. Because they confused activity with accomplishment!
24. There are scores of religious people and churches today who are like these caterpillars.
25. They make that same mistake of confusing activities and business with accomplishment and effectiveness.
26. In today's message, in our series of messages “The Blessings of Surrender,”
27. we are going to look at an example of an ineffective “busy bee.”
28. We will look at an example of someone who lost his or her effectiveness.
29. We will look at an example of someone who has lost his or her ability for accomplishment.
30. Please turn with me to II Kings 6:1-7.
6:1 The company of the prophets said to Elisha, "Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.
2 Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to live." And he said, "Go."
3 Then one of them said, "Won't you please come with your servants?" "I will," Elisha replied.
4 And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees.
5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. "Oh, my lord," he cried out, "it was borrowed!"
6 The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.
7 "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.
(II Kings 6:1-7. NIV)
31. Elisha is now back in the college of the prophets.
32. The college was growing and they were enlarging their number and they were expanding their facilities.
33. So, they needed a new building program.
34. In v. 1, they said: “This place where we meet is too small for us.”
35. Elisha goes along with them and they begin their building project.
36. But in verse 5, trouble strikes.
37. “When one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water.”
38. “Oh, my master,” he cried out, “it was borrowed.”
39. The ax-head represents the cutting edge of a life.
40. The ax-head represents a life that is being equipped and anointed with the Holy Spirit.
41. This loss and recovery of the ax head is a picture of God's grace.
42. It is a picture of God willing to restore the loss of our effectiveness and usefulness in the Kingdom of God.
43. Have you lost your keen and sharp cutting edge?
44. Do you feel that you are spinning your wheels?
45. Do you feel that you have moved away from your effectiveness for God?
46. Do you feel that you have lost your usefulness for God to mere drifting in the Christian waters?
47. Does your spirit feel like it has lost its zest?
48. More importantly: Do you know the way back to recovery?
49. Do you know the way back to power with God?
50. Do you know the way back to effectiveness?
51. If your answer is no, . . .
52. stay tuned, to this message, it will show you the way back.
53. The man who lost the ax-head cried out and said, “Oh, my master it was borrowed.”
54. My listening friends, please listen carefully.
55. This lesson is one of the most difficult lessons to learn.
56. When we get busy doing things, . . .
57. we pride ourselves in the doing and in our accomplishments.
58. We forget that everything we have and everything we are . . . we owe to our heavenly Father.
59. Listen to what James 1:17 says,
60. “That every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.
61. And, comes down from the Father of light with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
62. “Oh, my master,” he cried out, “it was borrowed”
63. Whether you have very little money or great riches, . . .
64. your money is all borrowed.
65. Whether you have excellent health . . . or a body that is racked with pain, . . .
66. your body is borrowed.
67. Whether you live in a hut . . . or in a mansion, . . .
68. your house is borrowed.
69. Whether you have all the academic degrees in the world . . . or never finished school, . . .
70. your education is borrowed.
71. Whether you are a director in a company . . . or you work on the factory floor, . . .
72. your work is borrowed.
73. Our very life is borrowed.
74. Our very breath is borrowed.
75. Our very time is borrowed.
76. “Oh, my master,” he cried out, “it is borrowed”
77. The source of our trouble begins when we think that we are the owners.
78. One of the major reasons why Christians don't tithe is because they think they are the owners.
79. They think that what they have is their own money.
80. Actually, they are returning the money to God.
81. In reality, you are far better off on the 90% or less blessed by God . . . than the full 100% without God's blessings.
82. “Oh, my master, it is borrowed.”
83. Debt is often an acute problem in society.
84. Many people live in a debtor’s prison that they have created for themselves.
85. Debt is a cancer that destroys marriages . . . and murders friendships . . . and separates us from God.
86. Debt often occurs when we refuse to live within our means.
87. Listen to Proverbs 22:7
88. “The borrower is a slave to the lender.”
89. Jesus warns us in Luke 12:15 when He said:
90. “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man's life consists not in the abundance of things we possess.”
91. Today, credit cards encourage people to spend themselves into slavery.
92. “Oh, master, it was borrowed.”
93. Much of society revolves around possessions or “things.”
94. We buy “things” for different rooms in the house
95. The Apostle Paul said: “I consider all ‘things’ as loss
96. Don't ever forget that your very breath is borrowed from God.
97. And, after you are buried, the only thing that you will have in that box with you is you.
98. None of the “things” that you have accumulated will be following you into that box.
99. We need to remember what Jesus tells us:
100. “That you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
101. “Alas, my master, it was borrowed,” said the man to Elisha.
102. The desperate cry of this man indicated that he was under obligation.
103. Indeed, he was not only responsible for the task, . . .
104. but he was accountable for the supplied tools.
105. There is a second lesson here that we must learn.
106. The spirit of God teaches us . . . that it is possible to lose our cutting edge.
107. It is possible to lose our usefulness.
108. It is possible to lose our power for service!
109. And, it can happen when you are still going through the motion of doing the work.
110. And that is why I want you to tune in next time, and I will tell you more about losing your usefulness.
111. My listening friends, in the next broadcast I will tell you how to regain that power through surrender.
112. Until then, I wish you God’s richest blessing