Recently I heard the Lord say, "I am dismantling in order to re-mantle." Many in the Body of Christ have experienced a season of great shift and transition. For some, the dismantling of existing structures, patterns, ministries, and systems has been unnerving. But, God is using the uncertainty and change to turn hearts to Him as our "true north". It is His Presence alone that we follow when all is shaking around us. We must resist the temptation to default back to what feels comfortable and choose to trust instead, following our Faithful One into this new era.
God will often use our discomfort, frustration or even the pain of broken relationships to cause us to shift or move in a new or different direction. We can see this principle in the life of Elijah. Elijah had experienced the "high" of his ministry confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. The next thing we know he is at his lowest point, fleeing Jezebel and praying that he would die. ( I Kings 19:4)
It was this intense warfare and frustration that caused Elijah to run for Horeb. Horeb was known to be a place of encounters with God and it would remain true for Elijah.
"The Lord spoke to him and said "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." I Kings 19:11
It was in this place that the Lord gave him specific instructions and new direction for the future. Not only would he soon be anointing two new kings, but he was to anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. After receiving these clear instructions from God, Elijah found Elisha plowing with twelve yoke of oxen and placed his mantle on Elisha. The discomfort of the former season led Elijah to the place of seeking God for his next steps. God had to dismantle some things in order to re-mantle him for the next phase of his ministry. Elijah would now become a mentor for Elisha.
Elisha's life was being dismantled to a great degree, too, as he left family and farm behind and was re-mantled by the LORD to succeed Elijah. His actions were significant as he slaughtered the oxen, burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat, and fed the people before he left. He kissed his father and mother goodbye and then no trace of his former life was left to hinder him from forward motion into the call of God on his life.
God has been highlighting this to me that our heart position needs to be that of a willingness to make a clean break with the past season instead of a "one foot in and one foot out" mentality. I feel God is saying to let go of the past in order to step fully into the new. If our fingers are still clutching the old, how can we grab hold of the new? God has a forward motion for many in this season, and a key component to laying hold of that will be leaving the past behind.
A passage that has been heralded in this season by many prophetic voices is Isa. 43: 18-19:
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
We have been instructed to forget the former things and warned not to dwell on the past. Our ability to perceive the new will be greatly affected by our willingness to forget the former things and leave the past behind. Isaiah's words encourage us to expect the unexpected. A massive paradigm shift is taking place and a "business as usual" mindset will not position us to fully ride the wave of His glory in this hour.
I hear the Lord saying "Enlarge the place of your tent. Stretch your tent curtains wide; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.(Isa. 54:2) I am enlarging your container and capacity for this next season. I am increasing your impact, effectiveness, and fruitfulness. I am dismantling in order to re-mantle you for the greater things."