Michael Jackson, Mantles and Creativity – Nathan Shaw
“Michael Jackson’s mantle is available if you want it.” The statement came as a surprise. I certainly wasn’t expecting God to tell me that. God often speaks to me in unexpected ways and at unexpected moments, and interestingly enough, often when I’m not specifically focused on Him. But this time I was in an anointed atmosphere and caught up in worship. Joshua Mills was leading the time of worship and the glory of God was tangible. Many would be shocked to think that Michael Jackson had a mantle from God, and maybe even more surprised to hear that that mantle was available to those who wanted it. Regardless, I’ve learned to trust that which God speaks to me.
For Christians the imagery of prophets and mantles is familiar from the Old Testament. Mantles carry an authority from God to accomplish a specific task in the earth. Elijah’s mantle was given to confront Baal worship in ancient Israel. But what of Michael Jackson? Few deny Michael’s giftedness as a song writer, singer, dancer and performer. However, his life was surrounded by controversy and confusion. Some of his songs exuded a deep spirituality, others were overtly carnal. Could it be that Michael carried a mantle that was given to accomplish a specific task in the earth?
I believe that many secular artists carry unique mantles but don’t understand the source of the mantle or its purpose. In Romans 11:29 Paul states plainly: “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Although Paul spoke this concerning the nation of Israel it is also true of individuals. The Amplified bible expands the thought by saying that God never withdraws the gifts and calling once they are given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.
When Israel acknowledged the source of her call and understood its purpose she was powerfully used to impact other nations. Calls, mantles and giftings are contended against fiercely by the enemy because they are given to release God’s purposes on the earth. Those who look with the eyes of the Spirit look beyond the failure of the messenger and seek to redeem and restore the mantle that came from heaven. Even Elijah didn’t fully accomplish the task of confronting Baal worship. Elisha sought and obtained the mantle and completed the task—at least for his generation.
Mantles have unique movement around them. The mantle that Elijah and Elisha carried was surrounded by horses and chariots of fire (2 Kings 2:12, 6:17, 13:14). The mantle operated on such a powerful level that it gave Israel’s kings confidence in battle against foreign nations. After Elijah was caught up to heaven his mantle was carried primarily by the prophet Elisha, but it was also carried by others: Jehu, Hazael and John the Baptist (see 1 Kings 19:15-17, Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 17:10-13). That is a diverse group of people. Jehu was a reformer. Hazael was a foreign king. John the Baptist was a prophet who lived several centuries later!
When our spiritual eyes are opened we can recognize the source, the purpose and the movement of mantles and the people they rest on. The movement around Michael Jackson’s mantle can be described in two words: childlikeness and passion. Childlikeness and passion are characteristics of God’s kingdom that carry and release His government on the earth (Mark 10:15, 12:30). Through his music Michael Jackson was called to impart and ignite childlikeness and passion. The mantle is still available. Michael Jackson didn’t fully appreciate the mantle he carried. If the church had recognized the mantle and prayed for him, his life would have been different.
We are on the brink of a reformation in the creative arts. Rather than idolize performers, this reformation will ignite creativity. Humanity is created in the image of the creative God. Creativity is waiting to be ignited in every single one of us. God intends to release and ignite creativity, childlikeness and passion in unprecedented measure. Michael Jackson was called to release these powerful dynamics. His mantle will be redeemed, restored and carried by many artists. Are you one of them?
© 2017 Nathan Shaw.
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