Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians, said, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (1 Corinthians 4:15-16 ESV)
One of the secrets of success for some of the great Bible heroes was having mentors. Do you have a mentor you can imitate and learn from? If not, prayerfully seek a person to fill this role for you, just as Paul did for the Corinthians. If you are to grow spiritually, this is one principle you cannot afford to ignore.
Let us look at some examples of mentoring in the Bible.
Joshua was always there, hanging out around Moses, the man of God.
So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. (Exodus 33:11)
It’s a very brief and subtle but important mention of the fact that Joshua was present when the Lord would speak to Moses, but even more important, Joshua would not move out of the tent even when Moses left. He learned intimacy with God from Moses’ prayer life. When Moses went up to the mountain to meet God, Joshua followed him. (Exodus 24:13)
This man Joshua followed the life of Prophet Moses very carefully, his relationship with God, and his life. Then, one day, this man took the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan.
Elisha was a farmer. When Elijah met Elisha for the first time, he was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen. (1 Kings 19:19) His father was a rich man. One day Elijah came and threw his mantle on Elisha, and from that day onwards, Elisha faithfully followed Elijah. There were many prophets in those days, but this man, Elisha, pursued his mentor. I see very few people doing this today.
Today, many want to get close to a man or a woman of God only to post a pic on Instagram. They have absolutely no interest in learning from the man of God. They really don’t care about the anointing the man of God carries. They only want to use the anointing to get their prayer requests answered.
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were travelling from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” So they went down together to Bethel.
4 Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Jericho.” But Elisha replied again, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together to Jericho.
6 Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to the Jordan River.” But again, Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you.” So they went on together. (2 Kings 2:2-6)
Each of the four places mentioned (Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho and the Jordan) are highly significant in Israel’s history, and I believe they are highly symbolic of stages in the Christian life journey. Gilgal is the place of dealing with the flesh. (Joshua 4:19-24). Bethel speaks of our overcoming the world because Egypt in Scripture represents the world. Jericho is the place of spiritual warfare. Many Christians dislike spiritual warfare because it is demanding, so they take the easy route. They ask the man of God to pray for them.
Elijah was a challenging man to be around, but even then, Elisha served Elijah. Elisha though being so close to Elijah, did not look for titles but took on a role of a servant and was known as a man who poured water on the hands of Elijah. (2 Kings 3:11)
There are some questions you need to answer truthfully:
1. Whom are you learning from?
2. Whom are you imitating?
3. Who is your mentor?
Father, open my eyes to see the importance of a mentor in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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