Elijah’s no-death contract suddenly went into effect. Elijah, prophet of power—gone. Elisha, prophet of double power—here, ready, and about to be used greatly by his God.
When a man or woman of God dies, nothing of God dies. We tend to forget that. We get so caught up in the lives of certain individuals that we begin to think we cannot do without them. What limited thinking! When even a mighty servant is gone, God has seven thousand who have never bowed the knee to Baal. He has them ready, waiting in the wings. Classic case in point: Elisha. God always has a back-up plan.
Think about it. Through the ages He has had His men and women in every era to carry on His work. Never once has God been frustrated, wondering, What will My people do now that he’s gone? Now that she’s no longer with them? Our Creator-God is omnipotent. He is never caught shorthanded.
Elisha may have been momentarily surprised and stunned, but that didn’t last long. Remembering Elijah’s words, he reached down and picked up the prophet’s cloak. Claiming the power that now was his, he crossed back over the Jordan and began his own prophetic ministry. God’s plan never missed a beat. Exit Elijah. Enter Elisha.
We can’t help but wonder if, in the years to come, Elisha didn’t stop and study that old mantle, calling to mind those great days of the past when his mentor and friend stood alone, representing God’s presence and proclaiming God’s message. The memory of the older Elijah—a man of heroism and humility—served to strengthen the younger Elisha, whom God destined to serve in even greater ways.
There are times, to this day, when I call to mind my granddaddy, L. O. Lundy. His wise words of counsel still linger. His life of quiet, deep character sometimes seems so close to me I can almost feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. Yes, to this day I miss him, but the mantle of his memory spurs me on to greater heights and deeper devotion.
The good news is this: I will one day see him. And we, together, will worship the same Lord face to face, ” . . . and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Whose mantle have you received? And what will you do with its inherited influence?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.