Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Man Oh Man, What a Mantle to Manage

By Brenda Black

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8)

You've read of their legendary courage – remarkable people who perform amazing feats of seemingly supernatural proportions. There are war heros who have hauled a downed fellow soldier over one shoulder while dodging artillery and ignoring blood gushing wounds to their own head and legs. In the heat of a moment, a petite woman will possess incredible strength to rescue her child from certain death. A total stranger musters the courage to rush into a burning building and retrieve a desperate victim.

Something exists deep down inside a human – an obscure ability to do god-like duties in the face of real and immediate danger. Yet, that secret sense of responsibility lays silent and still when the danger is not so imminent. The frightening reality is that real and present danger exists daily. There a limited minutes to react and save a life. Every day we must be ready to leap into action and do God work for the sake of those perishing.

Praise God, supernatural strength is available! Christians are called to do a remarkable thing. We are to be the house of the Holy Spirit and to do the will of God. Thankfully, God equips us for such a daunting task, if we will just love Him enough to do as He asks.

“If you love me,” Jesus tells his disciples, “you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)

Something deep within that has been placed from without and from on high rests upon us. That pretty much covers us – literally! This covering and cloak of God is a cape of supernatural power. It gives us the super-hero ability to climb tall mountains of doubt, scale skyscraper size worry and extend strong hands to rescue the lost and frightened from the grip of an evil enemy. The Holy Spirit is our mantle.

Ironically, the term mantle not only represents a covering, but it also means the burden of responsibility. It is our born again duty to lift the fallen, defend the weak, love the hurting, lead the lost to safety because we wear the cape of Christ. That's nothing to run from. It's something to count on!

In the story of Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament, the elder Elijah wore the mantle that was invested with supernatural power. Elisha, his servant, begged him for the wrap and Elijah promised that if the younger and eager prophet saw him when Elijah returned to heaven, that he would merit, not just the cloak, but a double share of his spirit.

We have that same Spirit! “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...” Now hold on to your cape because you are about to learn, not only do we have the same power, but we have more!

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:12-13)

Did you catch it? “He will do even greater things than these.” Jesus is referring to His own miraculous feats and granting that those who come after Him in the kingdom have the power to do even more! Before you get carried away thinking you can walk on water or give sight to the blind, be sure you notice one important thing. Whatever feat we accomplish, empowered by the Holy Spirit, needs to glorify God the Father. Our mantle must be managed with that in mind.

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