Recovering The Cutting Edge In The Leader’s Life: Part I
Dear Visionary Leader,
The story is told about Elisha leading a school of young prophets. Elisha’s popularity had grown and registration to the school of the prophets filled the building where they had been meeting for some time. As a result of this ministry growth, it was decided that they would move to a new location (2 Kings 6:1-7).
As the young prophets were leaving, they convinced Elisha to go with them. Once they decided where the new facility or school would be located, the young men begin to clear the land. Each young man had an ax head and was cutting down trees in order to make room for the new building they were going to build. The Scripture focuses on one unnamed young man. He is working feverishly and faithfully to cut down as many trees as possible.
However, while he is working to cut down a tree before him, the ax head was gradually working it’s way off the end of the handle. He swung back one more time with all of his energy and the ax head came flying off the handle and it landed in the Jordan River.
The young would be prophet now has a serious problem. He can continue to try to do the work of God without the cutting edge or he can find out how to recover it once again. Thus, he goes to Elisha and tells him that he’s lost the edge in his work. Elisha goes back with him and asked the question, “Where did you lose it? ” The young man shows him the place. Elisha takes a small limb and throws it into the river. When the limb hits the water, the ax head floats to the top and literally swims against the current.
Then, Elisha said, “Reach out and take it.” The young man ventured out into the chilly waters of the Jordan and takes hold of the cutting edge and comes back. He ventures up the hillside from the Jordan River and puts the ax head carefully on the axe handle. He recovered the cutting edge in his life.
Today, a lot of Christian leaders have lost the edge in their life and ministry. They are like a man who has lost the edge and yet continues to try to do God’s work. They have much movement but not much might; they have much force but not much faith, they have much energy but not much effectiveness. They’re like a man swinging an ax head trying to cut down a tree.
Do you know what the end result is, when a person tries to cut down a tree only with an ax handle? The result is bruised hands, tired bodies and skinned up trees! Our Lord desires for each of us to live with the edge in our life and the cutting-edge in our ministries. With this in mind, I am beginning a five-part series entitled Recovering The Cutting Edge In The Leader’s Life.
Continued below in Visionary Coaching…
I believe unequivocally it is God’s will for each of us to live with the cutting-edge in our lives and ministries. Without the power of God daily working in us and working for us, we will expend a lot of energy without much effectiveness. There are five steps to recovering the cutting edge in a leader’s life.
We Must Admit It’s Loss
The young man did not try to recover with human force what he lost by human fault. His first response was to come to Elisha and say, “Alas master!”
The secret to ministry success is to come to the source. Our source for success is found in the Lord and in Him alone. Additionally, it’s important that we come to the right people, who have the right answers that can provide the right plan for our lives. We need to be willing to admit when we lose the edge in our lives. Yet, many leaders will cover up their loss before their friends, expressing that everything is wonderful in their lives, even though they know the cutting edge is gone. Pride brings us down and humility brings us up.
The doorway of teachability swings on the hinges of humility. Humility is the doorway to teachability. The person who believes he or she knows it all will learn very little during the rest of their life.
We need to recover the cutting edge in our prayer lives. The church that is not praying is playing and the people who are not praying are straying. When I have shared and discussed this with key leaders around the world, immediately they have shared with me that prayer has been the key to their phenomenal success in their nation.
We need to recover the cutting-edge in the priorities of our lives. For example, there was a time when the church calendar helped to determine the family calendar. The family would first check to see what was on the church calendar before they would dare finalize the family calendar. Today, we make our own plans first and then try to work God into our plans if there is time to do so. We have to recover the cutting-edge in our priorities again.
Do you have the cutting edge in your life and ministry? Do you sense the renewing and reviving of God’s presence in your mind, soul and heart? Do you feel or believe that you’re spending far too much energy and not seeing enough effectiveness? I encourage you to reassess your life and if the edge is gone, cry out to the Lord today for Him to give it back to you.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Cofounder / Billion Soul Network
Cochair / Global Networking