Taking Up the Challenge

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Read 2 Kings 2. Verse 13 say, “And Elisha took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen to him…”

This is an amazing story in 2 Kings 2. Elijah and Elisha start out from Gilgal, travel to Bethel, from there to Jericho, and finally to the Jordan River. Each step of the way Elisha is tested and challenged with whether or not he will continue. Elijah tests his resolve, and the sons of the prophets tempt him to be discouraged with a negative word. But each step, the two men travel on together.

As Elijah is carried away in chariots of fire, his mantle, symbolic of his prophetic office is dropped to Elisha. There may be so much more than this, but one thing the mantle symbolizes his the message of God’s Word. As one generation gives way to the next, the message of God never changes. That is true today. God’s message of love and grace through Jesus Christ is steadfast and constant. People are lost in sin and separated from God, and Jesus Christ is God’s perfect and only provision to deal with our sins.

But each generation must give way to the next in the context of how ministry is worked out. Styles of worship change. Methodologies must be reborn in the context of each generation. Sometimes those with good intentions (sons of the prophets) may offer a discouraging word. The people of God, however, must continue on and take up the challenge.

Churches that refuse to pass the mantle to the next generation will wither and die. Generations that have no “voice of God” through God’s people will not be reached. These are challenging days, but they are great days for the Kingdom of God.


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