For a long time, Elisha was Elijah’s servant. He was supporting him in a menial capacity in the prophetic ministry. He was training “on-the-job,” so to speak (1 Kgs. 3:11). Similarly, Joseph practiced servanthood for years. First, he served in his father’s house. Then, when his brothers sold him as a slave, he worked for Potiphar. When he was imprisoned, he worked faithfully under the prison warden. It was a long and hard road before he received the mantle of rulership in Egypt through his prophetic gift.
A season of serving taught them to be faithful and to have a teachable heart — qualities that would benefit those with the prophetic mantle.
For most of the time, people want to go directly after the mantle. However, looking at the lives of Joseph and Elisha, we see how God already had a plan for their lives. He had a purpose for the times He placed them in humble positions with the people and leaders they served. A season of serving taught them to be faithful and to have a teachable heart — qualities that would benefit those with the prophetic mantle.
Elisha was first a worker in the fields when Elijah called him to serve under him. He also served under Elijah for some time. It took these years of service before he took up Elijah’s mantle. These times of service were not just “stepping stones” that they could skip out on. These were critical and character-building seasons that equipped them to carry the weight of the mantle.
Joseph also had a series of physical mantles along the way. The “coat of many colors” was given to him — prophetically — to indicate how his father favored him. However, during this time, he was not ready for this “mantle” to oversee his brothers. His brothers hated him because of how he acted when he was sharing his dreams. Later, Joseph was given a cloak in Potiphar’s household as head slave (Gen. 41:42). However, it was this cloak that Potiphar’s wife used to falsely accuse him. Joseph was faithful with the succession of mantles he was given, until he was ready for a higher calling.
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