Don’t Tear the Mantle
And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
After Job suffered all the calamities, his friends made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. When they saw Job at a distance and could not recognize him for all that had come upon him, they lifted their voices and wept.
However, there was one thing these men did that they should not have done. This one thing they did explains the rest of the chapter and their foolish attacks. The Scriptures say, they rent every one his mantle. Now, what was so foolish about renting the mantle? The mantle is a symbol of God’s power. You will recall how Elijah took his mantle and smote the Jordan river so that he and Elisha could cross on dry ground. You will also recall how Elisha took that same mantle and smote the river and cried, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? These men tried to comfort Job without the power of the Comforter. They tried to be a friend without the power of the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It is no wonder these men failed to comfort Job because they tried to do it under their own power.
Many Christians wonder why they can't do God’s works when they have rented the mantle of God’s power and tried those works by themselves. My friend, you cannot do the work of God in human strength or power. Any person doing the work of God in human power will fail. It does not matter how much you know about God’s Word; it still takes God’s power to do God’s work. Instead of renting the mantle of God’s power, you should be wearing the mantle and doing God’s work through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christian, do you find yourself struggling in soul winning? Are you constantly failing to lead people to Christ? Stop doing the work of God in your own power; it takes God’s power for souls to be saved. You can go soul winning in your own power and fail to lead people to Christ, or you can succeed by letting the Holy Spirit empower you and speak through you as you speak to the lost.
Sunday school teacher, are you struggling with making an impact on those to whom you teach? You cannot teach God’s Word in human intellect or power. The lesson you teach is just a bunch of noise to those you are teaching if you are doing it with your own power. However, those same words become powerful, life-changing words when you teach the lesson through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Bus worker, are you struggling with stabilizing your route or getting through to the heart of your bus riders? You can work that bus route under your own power and miserably fail, or you can get God’s power on your life and build the lives of those on your bus route with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It is up to you how much impact you want to make on those you are trying to help. You will make no impact under your own power, or you will make a great impact by being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Whether you are a pastor, assistant pastor, or a Christian who is serving God, you will fail if you rent the mantle. If you keep the mantle of God’s power on your life, His power will make a great difference in those lives as you invest your energies in others.