God, Lead Me!
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
How do you go about making difficult decisions? What steps do you take?
In the past, when I had a tough decision to make, the first thing I would do was write down the pros and cons. Then, I would talk to my wife, asking what she thinks should be done. Then, I would speak with a close friend, a trusted confidante, whose thoughts I trust and respect. Only then, would I bring the decision to the Lord in prayer. Often, simply to ask him to bless the decision I was about to make.
This passage began a process of change in me. Jesus had a very difficult decision to make. We do not know how many people were already following him. We can be certain there were more than 12. Choosing a few of those who were following him was probably going to cause a few not chosen to second guess his choice. I can hear the grumbling, “Why did he choose him and not me?” There is no indication Jesus set up a “flow-chart” to make his choice easier. There is no indication he called his cousin John for some helpful advice, or his mom to give him a few suggestions.
Instead, we are told he went to a private place, up on the mountainside, and prayed. He spoke with his Father, our Father, and listened for his direction. His prayer sought his Father’s direction. He did his Father’s will (cf.-John 6:38).
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