John Maxwell Profiles in Leadership: Elisha – The Mantle of Leadership

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John Maxwell This is the third lesson in bestselling author and speaker John Maxwell’s Leadership by the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, tell them to sign up to receive John’s free email devotional here.


By John C. Maxwell

2 Kings 2

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Elisha served Elijah for years, yet for some reason the older prophet tried to get his younger follower to leave right before God carried him to heaven in a whirlwind. No way was Elisha going to falter after such a long time! His consistency was rewarded when he was given the privilege of picking up Elijah’s mantle—representing the role of leadership, ministry, and influence for the people of God.

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Elisha’s example teaches us that to pick up the mantle of leadership:

  • You have to want it. Many prophets followed Elijah’s leadership, but Elisha was his apprentice and the only one to ask if he could inherit Elijah’s ministry. (Of course, he also was selected by God.)
  • You have to wait for it. Elisha waited years for God’s timing to assume his role as Elijah’s successor.
  • You have to stick with it. Despite obstacles and distractions, Elisha stayed true to God and Elijah.
  • You have to ask boldly for it. Because Elisha had the courage to ask for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit, God allowed him to do greater things than he ever could have imagined. The Bible records him performing twice as many miracles as Elijah.

God may be calling you to do great things. Don’t be afraid to ask for your double portion. Whatever your calling, be courageous in spirit and effort.

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The above is adapted from The Maxwell Leadership Bible / Third Edition by John C. Maxwell (@JohnCMaxwell). Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2018 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.


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