2 Kings 2:13 – He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
Elisha wanted Elijah’s mantle. Who wouldn’t want that kind of power and influence? Before you rush into an answer of that question maybe we should do what Jesus suggested; count the cost. Of course the prophet’s mantle, or coat, was a picture of the real coat that clothed Elijah. There was an incredible heavenly anointing on this man of God, but like anything else, there are always consequences. Every man with an anointing has stirred up their enemies. Moses had his pharaoh, Elijah had his Jezebel, John the Baptist had his Herod, and Jesus had His Pilate. The anointing does two different kinds of things. First it empowers and equips us for the purposes and plans of God. It brings creativity, supernatural power, wisdom plus an unlimited number of supernatural attributes. Unfortunately it also awakens something else; persecution.
So as Elisha stood looking at the fallen mantle of Elijah he had to know the implications of picking it up, but pick it up he did. Here are some thoughts from the Expositor’s Commentary on this scene.
“In joy mixed with sorrow, Elisha turned from viewing the heavenly spectacle that had assured him of his request to Elijah and saw yet a further sign–Elijah’s fallen mantle lay at Elisha’s feet. The younger prophet had once had that mantle symbolically laid on his shoulders (1Ki 19:19); now it would rest there permanently. All he need do was pick it up.“
I can remember clearly when the Lord brought a new mantle upon my life while I was sitting in a service in Rockwall, Texas in August of 1994. I felt it fall upon me just as if I was putting on a new coat. From that day new power surged into my ministry. I sensed a new spirit of prophesy surging through my life. My preaching intensified, souls were being converted at an unprecedented rate, and there was a new fire in our church. Along with that mantle came the other side of the so called coin; resistance and betrayal. Many of my long time church members took off and long time ministry friends disappeared. Not everyone really wants the anointing (even if they say they do). Would I have picked up that mantle knowing what I know now? Absolutely. Having His hand upon my life and His presence in our church is the greatest treasure I possess.