When God commissions leaders, as He did with Joshua, He releases mantles over them. These mantles give them the supernatural ability to complete their mission.
Unlike the gifts and calls of God that remain on a person for life, a mantle stays with the mission, not with the man or woman. For example, anyone who becomes president of the United States must be very gifted. A person does not rise to the highest office in our land without that qualification.
But on Inauguration Day, something powerful takes place in the spirit realm; a presidential mantle from heaven is given to that person. God never grants someone an assignment without giving him or her the ability to complete it.
Role vs. Gift
God Himself establishes all authority in the universe; therefore, every leadership role on the planet is a mission from God (Rom. 13:1). The presidential mantle gives these leaders the capacity to direct our country beyond their human ability. When their term is over and they leave the White House, however, the mantle stays with the mission so it can be passed on to the next president. But their leadership gifts and calling remain with them.
Joshua is a great example of how mantles enhance a person ability to carry out his or her mission. Before Joshua ever received his own mantle, he had the chance to experience the effects of the mantle that rested on the shoulders of Moses. We find one of the most striking examples of this in Exodus 17, the story of Moses commissioning Joshua to take his soldiers and go down in the valley to fight Amalek.
During the battle, Moses went up on the mountain and held up his hands. When Moses got tired and dropped his arms, Joshua began to lose the battle. When Moses lifted up his arms, Joshua won. It became clear to the Israelite leadership that Joshua’s victory was directly related to Moses raising his hands, so they put a leader on each side of Moses to help support his arms until Joshua won the battle and defeated Amalek (Ex. 17:8-13).
True Spiritual Authority
If we don’t understand how to recognize and align ourselves under true spiritual authority, we may build bigger armies, develop better strategies and buy more powerful weapons, but we will still lose. It just never occurs to us that if we support (honor) our leaders, we will inherit their victories. Yet this is how leadership is designed to work in an apostleship. The honor between leaders and those who follow them creates a relationship in which the leaders’ ceiling becomes the followers’ floor.
For more on this subject, check out the revised and updated edition of Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God’s Transforming Power at heavyrainbook.com.
Have you had the experience of receiving a mantle for a particular mission? Tell me about it in the comments below.