Written by Danielle Hage
2 Kings 2:8-15 (NKJV)
Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?”
Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
So when he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And then he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.
Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
After Elijah left, Elisha had to discover how to cross back over the Jordan River. Elijah had parted the sea with his mantle, but Elisha questioned whether that would work the same for him? When faced with challenges in life, the wisdom-filled relationships and positive role-models you have studied and learned from will give you better knowledge on how to overcome, but there are four things you will have to commit to yourself.
The first commitment when faced with a challenge is: there are some things you have to face alone. The single-most important thing you can do in your life alone is PRAY, or talk to Jesus alone. What God has laid on your heart are things that no one else has seen or heard, so talk to Him when no one else can understand.
The second commitment you must make when faced with a challenge is: there will have to be some trade-offs. Elisha made some trade-offs to follow Elijah and learn from him. His trade-offs were letting go of securities that were safe for what seemed like a risky future. The same will be true for you when faced with a challenge and God wants you to overcome it for His purpose. You will be asked to trade off, or walk away from some things that are secure and safe for something that seems risky. The greatest trade-off is Jesus died on the cross for you sins and your life.
The third thing you must commit to when faced with a challenge is: to resist the urge to quit! Tempations will be strong because you are not immune to obstacles in navigating life. Persist with the mindset “I am NOT going to give up!”
The fourth thing you must commit to when faced with a challenge is: to keep a grip on YOUR mantle. Your mantle is what ties your past to your future. No one can carry your mantle but you, because no one shares your exact path where you’ve been and where you are going. God knows both your past and your future and no matter what the past may look like, it does not disqualify you, instead it makes you who you are and has brought you to this moment.
As we are standing on the shore of a new year, what are your new expectations for this year? Where were you a year ago? Do you need to change the way you do some things to move forward and not end up in the same place a year from now that you are now? Ask God for guidance and admit, “this time I’m going to have to cross this one in a new way.” This is a brand new year and a new day. This year is going to be different. Everything that has been stripped away or taken away in the past is not a loss, but it’s your mantle that God has given you to bring to this place now to continue to work in you.
How will you face 2016 differently than any other year before? Identify what threads you have in your mantle: loyalty, faithfulness, persistence, joy, etc. Respond in the comments below.
We recommend you keep a journal of your personal responses to questions posed in each of the daily devotionals so you can meditate not only during the first 21 days during your prayer time, but you can reflect throughout the entire year to be able to see how God has really moved on your behalf in 2016 and you have record of your testimony.