As we remember Pastor Chuck this 2 year mark of his being in heaven, I was prompted to revisit the story of passing the mantel ....
A mantle is a loose sleeveless cloak or cape used to cover the outer garments, normally made of sheepskin. 2 Kings 2:12 tells us that as Elijah was taken up his mantle fell upon Elisha…and Elisha took the mantle, but he didn't put it on as a covering…he used it as a tool, an instrument to accomplish the will of God.
The first thing Elisha did with the mantle is what he saw Elijah do before he was take up in the firey chariot. He did what he was taught…what he saw with his own eyes…and what he knew worked! He was persistent and eager to learn…as he refused to go back when Elijah encouraged him to. He also was zealous as he boldly asked for a double portion of The Spirit! Most people would have been happy with all that the Lord did in and through Elijah, but Elisha wanted more. A bigger work of the Spirit of God! I love this about Elisha! God would bless the work and ministry of Elisha by giving him double the miracles as HE gave Elijah!
I look at this story and can't help but see Pastor Chuck! He was our Elijah…our earthly example of what works and what doesn't. A godly man who heard and obeyed God. We have sat under him, studied with him, cried with him, laughed with him and watched God use him in an amazing way! Our desire is to take that mantel and be faithful to what we know and have been taught.
For Elisha he studied Elijah very carefully, and did exactly what his master did. His first miracle was also his first test…would he believe what he asked for" a double portion of God's spirit? As Elijah was taken up and his mantel fell on Elisha he would have a decision to make…"Do i believe what i prayed for can come true?" How many times have you prayed for something or someone and then questioned your prayer? Of course we don't question God's ability…we question our motives, our prayer and the situation on the other end. This is where faith comes in! Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Elisha hoped that God would grant him his request, but he couldn't see it …that's until he was tested and passed! For Elisha he would have to cross over the same way they came…which was the Jordan River…this is where Elisha would put into practice what he had learned and observed from his master. If you want to follow Jesus you will have a Jordn crossing, a testing of your faith. Hang in there and cross over with confidence!