Vienna, Austria

In the Bible, the mantle in the literal sense was a cloak. But symbolically it was so much more; it stood for the passing of the prophetic torch or leadership position. The mantle was a big responsibility and was not to be taken lightly. In a book entitled, Mantle of Leadership, Fred White describes the mantle as a special endowment of the Holy Spirit. One that gives kingdom leaders an advantage over other leaders, because it involved a radical change in their thinking which only came through a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. Those who carry the mantle continually renew their minds to spiritual truths.

In Elisha’s case, God’s power accompanied it. Elisha asked for and received a double share of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9, ESV). God granted it because his motives were pure. He did not selfishly ask for his gain, or to be greedy, but to do more for God. We too can ask for remarkable things but should examine our motives to make sure they are pure. If they are, we do not need to be afraid to ask. Perhaps, Elisha also knew his weaknesses and recognized that his need for the Spirit’s power and courage was greater than Elijah’s.  This was not something Elijah could grant, only God could and did (2 Kings 2:10-15).

            Can you imagine the responsibility of taking over for Elijah? A devout prophet who prayed fervently (James 5:17) and believed in the power of God to deliver. He left big shoes to fill. But with God’s help, Elisha took on the responsibility and believed in the power of God, and God performed great miracles through him. One of the most memorable happened after Elisha was already dead. You may remember the story of a man who was revived after being thrown into Elisha’s grave and touched his bones (2 Kings 13:21). This proves that the power was of God. Elisha nor anyone else can take credit for it. These divine designations are not only found in the OT, but another example that is relevant in the NT is when Paul summons Timothy to accept the mantle of leadership, following his example, and his life of ministry, that he patterned after Christ. (2 Timothy 4:1-5, NLT). As Jesus explained to His disciples, the mantle of Christian leadership is the garb of a servant; as He came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45, NLT).

            We too can accept the mantle of leadership God is calling us into today. God supplies all the tools we need; we must be willing to go where He leads us and not be afraid to get our hands dirty, as God tills the ground for us to plant the seeds. When we listen and are obedient to the Word of God, we can pray fervently with passion, asking for great things in bold confidence and faith, trusting God to provide, while allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. He holds the power, but through a relationship with the Holy Spirit, we can tap into that power to do the work set before us in the mighty name of Christ Jesus. Allow God to work in and through you in the coming year. Believe in the power of prayer and trust God with your dreams.

“So, neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (I Cor. 3:7).


As January 5th marked the anniversary of my dad’s passing, I want to celebrate him with a story that has been on my mind.

            While studying the book of Acts, I noticed something that made me think of one of my dad’s stories about his calling to be a minister. Paul is on a ship, as a prisoner, headed to Rome, because he has appealed to Caesar after pleading his defense to Festus, and King Agrippa, in Jerusalem, where he was falsely accused. Rome is exactly where God planned for him to go, so he could be His witness to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But while at sea, a severe storm came up that blew them off course and threatened their lives. Paul received a message from an angel of God who told him not to be afraid and that he still had to stand before Caesar, therefore he nor the others would be harmed (Acts 27:22-25). In other words, God’s purpose will stand, not even a storm can stop it. Paul took comfort in that fact and told the other passengers there would be no loss of life, only the ship. Paul’s presence on the ship assured everyone’s deliverance.

            My dad told us that when he was a teenager, he was drafted into the army, and had to travel by ship. A bad storm came up, that tossed the ship around, and everyone was scared. He fastened himself in his bunk and felt at peace because he received a message from God that told him he had not preached yet. Like Paul, I think the fate of my dad and God’s purpose for him to preach preserved the lives of the other passengers that day. One of my dad’s biggest regrets was that he did not think to comfort the other passengers.

            I have also been reflecting on the fact that on the day my dad passed, I became an orphan, in the earthly sense of the word, because my mom had just passed 6 days earlier. But as I look back at what unfolded that year and have a better perspective of how God orchestrated the events, I realize that before I even knew I would lose both parents, that I had accepted Christ and followed through with the profession of faith in baptism only 3 months prior and had essentially been adopted by my heavenly Father. Even though my dad, at the time, could not understand why I wanted to be baptized again since I had been baptized as a child, I can’t help but believe, he gets it now.