Elijah’s mantle was more than the regular cloak that he wore. It represented his appointment as a Prophet of God. When he threw it over Elisha it was a prophetic act, declaring that the mantle—and the office of the Prophet it represented—was destined to be Elisha’s in the future. (1 Kings 19:19)
What is a Mantle?
A ‘mantle’ is a Scriptural metaphor (symbol) for a calling, ministry, anointing and—when applicable—office, given to individuals by God.
How to Receive God’s Destined Mantle for Your Life
Following are some significant lessons about receiving your God-ordained mantle, from the stories of Joseph and Elisha :
1. Understand God Determines Your Mantle Ahead of Time
We do not select a mantle; it is established and destined by God.
Elisha didn’t just receive Elijah’s mantle because he happened to be at the right place at the right time. It was already his according to God’s word. (1 Kings 19:16)
Elisha needed to cooperate with the call of God on his life to receive the mantle that was his by God’s appointing. Elisha’s hunger and pursuit of Elijah was a sign of what God had placed in his heart.
Joseph knew at a young age, through prophetic dreams, that God had called him to rule.
A mantle is not ours for the choosing, it is determined ahead of time by God. The desire God places in our hearts is just one indication, among other confirmations, of the calling that is ours.
2. Servanthood Positions you for the Mantle God has for you
For a long season, Elisha was a servant to Elijah, supporting him in a menial capacity and learning at his feet. (2 Kings 3:11)
Joseph practiced servanthood for years—first he served his father, then Potiphar, then the prison warden—before he received the mantle of rulership he was destined for.
It can be tempting to go directly after a mantle, but just as with Elisha and Joseph, God has established His timeline for your life. God positions you with people and leaders that He wants you to serve now. Serving with faithfulness and a teachable heart is a powerful means of being positioned to attain your God-ordained destiny.
3. Realise you may Wear a Series of Mantles
Elisha was first a worker in his father’s fields, and then wore the garb of a servant, before he took up Elijah’s mantle. When God took Elijah, Elisha took his own cloak—the one he had worn as a servant—and tore it in two. There was no turning back. (2 Kings 2:12-13)
Joseph had a series of physical mantles along the way. The ‘coat of many colours’ his father gave him indicated favour, as well as his position as overseer to his brothers. Later, he was given a cloak as head slave in Potiphar’s household.
Ultimately, Joseph was robed in garments that represented his position as ruler next to Pharoah in Egypt. (Gen 41:42) But he didn’t go from being a youngster with prophetic dreams directly to the palace. He wore a succession of mantles, being faithful with each, and so it is for us.
4. Wait for Appointment to Establish your Mantle
Elisha was appointed by God as Prophet and successor to Elijah—but God used Elijah to recognise, prepare and establish that appointment.
God used Jacob, Potiphar, a prison warden, and ultimately Pharoah himself, to appoint Joseph to a position in Egypt that was already his through God’s intention. And it is the same today.
We do not ‘self appoint’ to a mantle or ministry. God uses those in oversight and authority to recognise and establish us in that calling at the right time. (Acts 6:6, Acts 13:1-3)
5. Understand your Calling will be Tested Over Time
As Joseph received the royal robes over his shoulders, maybe he recalled the earlier mantles that he wore:
- The richly ornamented coat of many colours his father gave Joseph as a young man became another reason his brothers hated him. And when his jealous brothers threw him in a pit, and sold him to Egyptian slave traders, they wrenched the coat from him.That coat became the evidence the brothers used to ‘prove’ Joseph’s faked death to their father, Jacob.
- Later, Joseph became a trusted slave, promoted and given charge over all his master Potiphar’s estate. But then Potiphar’s wife approached Joseph, wanting to seduce him. However, he valued his master’s trust, his purity and the call of God—and so Joseph ran. But Potiphar’s wife grabbed his cloak—and used it to accuse him. Not only was that cloak taken from him, it was used as evidence against him of a crime he didn’t commit. And landed him in prison.
Have you had this happen to you? ‘God, I thought that coat was from you. That mantle had promise. It was colourful. It represented good things to come. And now it’s been lost, robbed. That role, that job, that ministry opportunity—why was it taken from me?’
But Father God is seeing the big picture, from Heaven’s perspective.
Your Father wants to reveal to you what He is up to, even if you are feeling today as though you are in the midst of the trial or long period of waiting in relation to your calling. He wants to show you how he is redeeming those trials, even the failures, and how He is using them for His purposes.
It is not too late. For like Joseph, and Elisha, as you stay faithful and committed in the long haul, you will ultimately receive the mantle God has for you. And the ministry God has for you will be above and beyond anything you could ever have dreamed.
 Read the full story of Joseph’s mantle in Genesis chapters 37 to 41 and Elisha’s mantle in 1 Kings 19 to 2 Kings 2.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries – in the David McCracken Ministries family