Presidents Perspective: Grab the Mantle

Presidents Perspective: Grab the Mantle

Proclaim – Heal – Connect – Equip – Mentor –Affirm

When the mighty prophet Elijah was taken to heaven in the whirlwind, the young and inexperienced disciple found himself crying: “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Definitely, he was referring to our state-wide church, educational institutions, Camp Wakonda, and all the other ministries and programs the Wisconsin Conference coordinates.

Before the moment of separation, Elisha pleaded for the double portion of Elijah’s spirit. In the context of the new political, social, and religious environment, he felt the need for a double measure of wisdom, emotional and spiritual intelligence. He wanted to be able to pray and have the courage to take a stand for moral values like his master. He wished to be able to touch people’s lives and provide for their physical and spiritual needs. Consequently, for the same level of success, he needed to work harder and be more dependent on divine guidance, even more than his predecessor.

Interestingly, in times of uncertainty and insecurity, simple elements become symbols of inspiration and empowerment. First, the mantle of Elijah thrown on Elisha suggests a transition of the same legacy and spiritual mandate. By tearing his own clothes in two, Elisha revealed his desire not to rely on his past achievements, status, and merits. Only the anointing of the Holy Spirit can qualify and empower a new spiritual leader.

Second, Elisha had to cross the Jordan River on his way back home. Echoing the experience of the Israelites led by Joshua and Jesus’ anointing for His public service, Jordan River was a symbol of spiritual revival and total dedication to ministry.

Third, it is possible to have the mantle and be at the bank of the Jordan River. Now comes the most important formula for success: “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” In the days of Elisha and in our time, it is not about the mantle or the call; it is more about God who is the Supreme Leader of the people. There is a new king and a new generation of sinners in the country. There is a new prophet trying to make his way back into the Promised Land. The most significant question is: Where is the same God who manifested His providence, answered their prayers, and performed miracles? Where is the God who empowered Elijah and through him brought the fire and the rain from heaven, as symbols of revival and reformation?

Dear pastors, educators, and church members, Elisha is not a person; he symbolizes a movement: We all are Elisha. That is why, at the beginning of 2021, I invite you to grab the mantle, rededicate your lives to God, and be ready for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let’s continue to preach Elijah’s message while performing the ministry of Elisha in our territory, until Jesus comes!

In His service,

Titus Naftanaila, President