Discipleship Is About Spiritual Pursuit

When the time came for Elijah to leave this earth, Elisha chased him all the way from Gilgal to the Jordan River. He refused to let his mentor leave his sight. Elisha told Elijah: “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me” (2 Kings 2:9). Elisha knew he needed what his mentor had. He was passionate and determined. When heaven’s flaming chariots arrived, Elijah’s mantle fell on his disciple.

Many people today want spiritual power, but few are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain it. You must humble yourself and admit you need the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Don’t become proud and think you can do this on your own. Be a learner. Study the Bible. Read spiritual books. Chase your mentors. Learn everything you can. And most of all, develop a prayer life and pursue the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for a double portion of His anointing in your life!


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Talk to God About Your Disciples!

One of the best ways to “grow” your disciples is through prayer. While they need you to talk to them about God, they also need you to talk to God about them! The apostle Paul selflessly invested his time in his disciples, teaching and training them, but he also spent much time on his knees interceding for them. Paul told his spiritual son Timothy: “I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day” (2 Tim. 1:3).

I keep photos of people I pray for on my iPad and I pray for them daily. Seeing their faces reminds me of how much I love them. Sometimes I spend more than an hour a day just praying for their needs. But I am also aware that prayer helps form a person into Christ’s image. I ask the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, answer specific requests and strengthen them with God’s grace and power. The prophet Samuel said: “Far be it from you that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Sam.12:23). If God has put disciples in your life, you have a parental responsibility to pray for them. Let God use you to nurture and shape them into powerful followers of Jesus!


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Reset Your “GPS” for a New Year

Each new year I do an exercise called “resetting my GPS.” This could help you!

*** “G” stands for “goals.” Setting goals helps you move forward. What do you want God to do through you in 2018? Write down your faith goals. Be specific.

*** “P” stands for “prophetic word.” I always ask God what He is saying to me for the next year. Sometimes He gives a Scripture; other times it’s a word or phrase. This year He gave me the word “ADVANCE,” with instructions to study Deuteronomy 8 and the book of Joshua.

*** “S” stands for “special prayer.” I set aside 1-3 days to saturate my year in prayer. I will unplug my phone and fast for a few days this week. I’ll make a list of specific needs, and then I will pray about all those items during my break. I hope you can reset your GPS for 2018!


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Strong Disciples Need Deep Roots

The apostle Paul knew that roots are vital. He prayed that the Ephesians would be “rooted and grounded in love” (Eph. 3:17). A tall tree will not withstand a storm unless it has deep roots. The same is true for us. Jesus warned that if a person does not have a “firm root,” he will fall away when hard times come (Matt. 13:21). You must let your roots go deep!

The strength of a tree is not determined by the size of its trunk or branches or how beautiful its leaves are; strength is determined by the depth of the roots. The same is true for you spiritually. You must develop your hidden life with God. You need a life of prayer, study and private worship. Don’t be a shallow or surface Christian. Dig deep in prayer. Dig deep in the Bible. Develop intense hunger for God’s presence. Pray for deep roots in your life, and in the lives of your disciples.

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You Will Never Grow Without Discipline!

I know some guys who are very undisciplined in their habits. They can’t go to bed at a sensible hour, they sleep too late in the morning, they can’t manage their time and they can’t control their appetite or their lusts. As a result they rarely have time for daily Bible study and prayer. They are spiritual slackers!

But you can’t grow spiritually without practicing spiritual disciplines. Just as you cannot grow muscle without exercise and a proper diet, you need discipline to become a strong Christian. Part of your job as a mentor is to coach them to work hard and become disciplined so they will study the Bible regularly, develop a strong prayer life and learn to make wise use of their time. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high and motivate them to excel!

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