I love to read about great men and women of God. How they touched their world with the power of the living God.
When I read the story of Charles Finney, I found myself saying, “Where’s the Lord, the God of Finney?”
Reading about Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman, my heart cried, “Where is the Lord, the God of the miracle workers?”
As I read the testimonies of A. A. Allen, Jack Coe, and Oral Roberts I asked, “Where is the Lord, the God of the tent evangelists?”
Many great men and women of God have come and gone. Though each one had feet of clay, they left their mark on their generation. God used them to touch their world with His glorious love and power.
Do you remember the story of Elijah and Elisha? Elisha, who was handpicked by God to fill Elijah’s prophetic shoes after Elijah was taken to glory, sensed the transition time was near.
Refusing to leave Elijah’s side, Elisha witnessed the following miracle.
“Then Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!” (2 Kings 2:8 NLT)
Elisha, understanding the enormous task awaiting him, asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit when the time of transition came. Elijah basically said, “If you’re around when I go, you bet.”
Well, shortly after that, the chariots of fire came and whisked Elijah away, at which time the cloak Elijah had been wearing fell to the ground.
“Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River. He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord , the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.” (2 Kings 2:13 – 2:14 NLT)
Elijah left behind something that connected his generation to the next. He left his cloak. Some translations refer to it as a mantle.
The mantle symbolized the calling, and the anointing that empowers such a calling.
Elisha picked it up.
And he touched his generation with God’s Presence and Power!
God has always been concerned, not only for the present generation, but for the next one as well.
And I believe God wants us to be so connected with those older, and younger, so the mantle can be passed from one generation to the next.
Paul said, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT)
David wrote, “Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” (Psalm 145:4 NLT)
Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle. He didn’t treat is as something passé. Nor was he a carbon copy of Elijah, but he respected what God had done through his predecessor and embraced it wholeheartedly.
Remember these words of Jesus? “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12 NLT)
There’s an old phrase, “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
There’s another one, found in Proverbs, “Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.” (Proverbs 22:28 NLT)
Boundary markers; territory gained through faith and hard work. Experiences and impartations which are shared to be a blessing to the next generation.
God didn’t plan on each generation digging their own wells of revelation and power. His pattern was for each generation to equip the next with the necessary tools and fire to do even greater works.
Though there are a number of reasons why it hasn’t always happened like He wanted, we can begin now to make sure we act accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to pick up Elijah’s cloak.