The Mantle of Authority

Here’s the problem with being a disciple of Jesus – sometimes God calls us out from where we are.  God yanks us out from our comfort zones and throws us into a new setting in order to do his work.

Take the story of Elijah and Elisha for example.  Elijah is God’s prophet, he speaks God’s truth to leaders of Israel.  These are hard truths for which he is often persecuted.  Sure, Elijah was blessed, but that doesn’t that Elijah’s life was easy.  Going through a field, Elijah sees another man, Elisha, plowing.  God speaks to Elijah, and tells him to appoint Elisha as a prophet, to continue the work that Elijah is already doing.  Elijah throws his mantle about Elisha’s shoulders, and from then on is appointed to speak the hard truths and to be persecuted for God’s sake.
Of course, this is where we get the phrase, “mantle of authority.”  But there’s much more to this story.  When we talk about being called by God, many of us describe a moment of personal clarity, of divine inspiration.
But this story offers another perspective.  Elijah is the one who calls Elisha to do God’s work.  Sure, the Spirit was speaking through Elijah, but Elisha heard it from the lips of another man.  For us, this means that we have to be attentive to the Spirit in our interior lives, but also in our corporate lives.  We need to pay attention to what the Church is calling us to do.  God’s call may come from the lips of another person.
The Spirit is speaking to you – the question is, where are you listening for it?

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