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"Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Elisha cried out right after watching a chariot of fire carry his mentor, the prophet Elijah, up into heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11-14).

As Elisha picked up the mantle of Elijah and shouted out this powerful question, the Jordan River divided, and one of the most dramatic ministries in history moved into high speed. At that moment, Elisha stepped into a place of ministry that saw more miracles than any other prophet since Moses.

Elijah's mantle had fallen from the sky as the old prophet ascended on that flaming chariot sent just for him. It was a mantle that had accompanied the prophet for many years, but it had no place where Elijah was going; it belonged on the earth. And when it fell to the ground, his young assistant was there to retrieve it.

Of course, the fabric itself contained no special power. Elijah's mantle was only a simple garment. Yet it represented the authority and anointing that had rested on Elijah from the moment he stepped into the light of biblical history.

As Elisha watched his mentor of many years ascend into Heaven, a drastic change was taking place. Elisha was stepping into a new role. At that moment, he was becoming the prophet of Israel who would stand in the anointing and authority of Elijah.

It was no small thing that Elisha was there to witness Elijah stepping aboard the chariot of God to be taken into the heavens. Elisha had faithfully followed and served God's prophet for many years. He had remained at Elijah's side through many challenges and would not leave him when the older prophet's service on this earth had come to a close.

The same mantle Elisha held in his hands after Elijah's heavenly departure had been passed to him once before when Elijah first approached him and asked the younger man to follow and serve him. Now that mantle was Elisha's own.

What does this tell us? Before Elisha could ever see the miracles of Elijah in his own ministry, he was first required to be faithful to another man's calling. The mantle of discipleship always comes before the mantle of authority. Elisha's life and ministry is a reflection of the dual role we are to have in our walk with God. In Christ, we are both disciples and ambassadors.

Jesus commissioned us to go into the entire world and make disciples (Matthew 29:19). Our mission involves more than telling people about Jesus and letting them choose what to do with Him. It also includes providing those who choose correctly the tools and the understanding that will empower them to succeed on their own.

The disciple is more than a follower. In John 8:31, Jesus said, "…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." Only those who abide in God's Word, grasp His promises, and adhere to the laws of His Kingdom are true disciples. His Word directs, instructs, and even rebukes—but the disciple embraces it all.

As a follower and disciple, Elisha spent about ten years serving Elijah. During those years, he witnessed unprecedented power and watched as God confronted Israel's compromise. Elijah's ministry dealt with the masses in Israel. He confronted them, exposed them, and brought them face-to-face with God. Elisha's ministry would include twice the miracles of Elijah and serve as the continuation of Elijah's ministry. Yet Elisha's role would be somewhat different. He was called to reveal the grace of God as the voice of restoration and healing for the nation.

Our role today as ambassadors is to carry the mantle of Jesus' authority and to be His voice of grace and restoration. When His words are in our mouths, His power and miracles will begin to be seen. Each of us must embrace this dual role aggressively.

As disciples, we are to come under the discipline of our Teacher. The Holy Spirit will guide us into the liberty that the truth brings as long as we follow Him. He will not force us to yield to Him. If we resist, He will leave us to our own ways. But if we choose to follow the Spirit of God, we will learn new lessons and new insights for success every day.

As ambassadors, we are empowered to represent Jesus best using the tools He has provided for us. In First Corinthians 12, we find a detailed list of the tools He has given to us. These are the nine gifts of the Spirit—all a part of the divine mantle that has come upon each of us. These are all gifts of the Holy Spirit that demonstrate God's grace and love, given to each one of us.

Through the manifestation of these gifts flowing through us, God reveals His love toward people. This is supernatural love in action. God's love moving through you is so much more than your ability to be more patient or kind. All the fruit of His love is certainly needed in your life, but you will see His supernatural things happen through you if you will give Him the opportunity.

There is, of course, a great deal of diversity in the way God will use people. Not everyone is called to stand before an audience or crowd and work miracles or preach a sermon. Yet God designed these gifts to work through His people in many ways and in many different settings. He is simply looking for those who will yield to Him.

You have the capacity to be used by God as His ambassador, demonstrating that Christ is in you and you are in Him. The key to developing as an ambassador is to do what Elisha did. Remain faithful to God and refuse to quit. Become a student of His love. Remain faithful to give to good ministries. Pray and develop your own love walk with God. The more you will serve Him in these ways, the more you will be able to embrace His supernatural ways. Soon you will find yourself ministering to people, watching God manifest His love to them right before your eyes.

Every believer is called and commissioned by God to do great things. He is continually looking for those through whom He can reveal His power and love. Therefore, you can know without a doubt that as you make yourself available to God, He will use you in great and mighty ways!

Dennis Burke Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Dennis Burke, Ph.D.
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Since 1979, Dennis Burke has led multitudes of believers into the biblical principles of faith, healing, love, prosperity, and righteousness. Through the Insights: the Way to a New Life magazine, books, eBooks, CDs, and mp3 resources, Dennis has brought revelation knowledge on the truths of God's Word. He has taught Christians everywhere to know God more deeply and overcome the challenges life brings through faith in God's Word.

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