A Willing Mentor


2Kings 2:9   When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10 He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

2Kings 2:13   He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.


Elijah and Elisha had a special relationship and now, it was coming to an end. The mentoring that had gone on between the two had been on-going over time. Imagining life without Elijah may have been exceedingly painful for Elisha to bear. He clung to him, remaining with him every minute possible, so that he could learn what he needed from this man. 

Knowing their time together was coming to an end, Elijah asked Elisha what he would want as an inheritance. He didn’t want anything from this world, but he did want a “double share” of Elijah’s spirit. He knew the source of Elijah’s power for ministry, and if he was going to continue doing this work alone, he knew that he needed supernatural strength. Elijah knew that this wasn’t anything that he could determine, but he could intercede for Elisha, asking God to give him this spirit. 

Elijah was taken away into heaven but as he left, he let go of his mantle. Instead of clinging to this cloak, symbolic of his power and identity, he let it drop from his hands so that Elisha could pick it up and take it with him. He was a willing mentor; willing to have Elisha be even greater, for the sake of God’s work. 


Our greatest joy in life ought to be in the development of others. When we are overly concerned about having power and position for ourselves, we lose out on what God may want to be doing in someone else’s life. Pouring into the lives of others ought to be one of our greatest priorities. It is possible for every person to be discipling another person, no matter where you may find yourself on the spiritual journey. 

Think about your own life right now and whether you are intentionally investing in others. Being willing to give out of your own resources to fill the life of another is vitally important. Empowering and emboldening others to become all that they can in Christ ought to be one of our highest priorities. When we hold onto and cling to what we have, we become greedy in our faith. Refusing to share with the next generation will leave us completely powerless. Elijah had to let go of his cloak so that Elisha could be empowered. We have to trust those in whom we are investing and give the opportunities to have and use their power.

Willing mentors are needed in the kingdom. A humble spirit and willingness to see others succeed are keys to the ministry of mentorship. A new generation of Elisha’s are needed for our day, but those of us on the older end of the spectrum (yes, I’m finding myself there today), must no longer cling tightly to our cloaks, but let go and rejoice in what the power of God will do in those who come after us.   


Lord, please help me to let go and invest in those whom you direct to my path. Amen. 


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