I received this email this morning from Anne Ortlund’s website:
If you don’t have your group of disciples picked yet for this fall, how do you choose them?First, last and always, you pray. You ask the Lord! Jesus is our Model:“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying toGod. When morning came he called his disciples [generic word for followers] to him and chosetwelve of them, whom he also designated apostles” (Lk. 6:12).If you can’t pray all night, prayer is still the key, because He always knows whom He wants to give you.Don’t just choose warm bodies! In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul wrote his disciple Timothy,“The things you have heard me say… entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teachothers.”So when you’re choosing, have certain questions in mind: Is he (she) reliable? Can you picture this person discipling others in future years? Is his life an example? Is he eager to learn? Is he not over-busy and distracted?It’s interesting whom Jesus didn’t choose. Not Nicodemus, who loved Him and was a big shot in religious circles. Not Joseph of Arimathea, who loved Him and had lots of money. But probably both of them were just too enmeshed in their worlds to be freed up to give themselves to Jesus.Prayer doesn’t ensure that your disciples will be perfect (Jesus chose Judas!). But earnest prayer will ensure they’re God’s choice for you.Does all this sound scary and hard? Paul’s very next words to Timothy were,“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier in Christ Jesus” (2 Ti. 2:3).