I’ve started a new devotional book and it is taking me through the book of John over a 40 day period. I loved that when I hit that first couple of lessons I was met with the instruction to put the book away if I was going to use it to simply go through the motions. The author was very clear that his words were not important. What he wanted to see is for the reader to FOCUS on the daily scripture passages and really let God’s Word sink in.
Today the passage I read was John 2:1-12. Here we get the story of Jesus’ first and probably most controversial (at least among some of the “Old Guard” Baptists I know and love) miracles – the turning of water into wine. (Yes, I believe it was wine and not grape juice. Sorry if I have let anyone down.. Nah. Never mind. It’s good!) I read the passage this morning and kinda let it run around in my head the rest of the day. (There was nothing in there to really keep it from enjoying the space!)
By the time I sat down to go through the devotional reading I had kinda cut my focus to a couple of things. First, Mary had some pull. She tells Jesus there is no wine left at the wedding. Jesus tells her His time has not yet come, and she just turns to the servants:
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” – John 2:5
I don’t know exactly why Jesus changed His mind after His response to Mary, but I wonder if it might have been related to her words immediately after His apparent refusal to help. His time had not come, but she turned and said to the help that He was in control and something was about to happen. Whether she intended for Him to go and get some wine at the local 7-11 or what, I am not at liberty to say. She just took a step of faith and asked some others to do the same.
Right after that, Jesus puts these guys to work:
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. – John 2:7,8
Who were these guys? Did they know anything of Jesus? Were they there at His Baptism? Had they heard Him teach? What did they know about Him that made them just step into immediate obedience like that? I wish I had an answer. Put yourself in their position. There is no wine, this woman tells you to do what this guy says, He tells you to go and fill some pots with water and then take some of the water to the guy in charge so he can taste it.
And. They. Did. It. Think about that. They did it. They just did it! and Voila! Wine!
We read that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Well, I see here that the obedience of a waiter/bartender can result in taking tap water and turning it into a fine Chardonnay. If they had not done as they were told, do you think this story would have gone the same way? I think not.
Here is the neat thing about obedience to Christ. When you step out and do something that Jesus tells you to do, you have positioned yourself to be in the perfect position to see Christ do something amazing! Sometimes the crazier the act of obedience, the bigger the “payoff”. These guys jumped to action when asked and they were soon partaking in the finest wine ever to be served. What do you think that did in their lives? Do you wonder of they followed Jesus after that? I do.
The devotional asked me a question I am going to ask you. I came up with an answer, and I challenge you to do the same.
“What do you believe God has been asking you to do that you have been sidestepping?”
Ouch. That was a big step on the toes. I know I have something that I have been making excuses over for a while now. I keep looking for that perfect excuse, and I have been pretty good at coming up with one every time I feel that little “push” the Holy Spirit gives me. That needs to stop.
If I am going to live a Relentless Life for Christ, I need to go ahead and do what He asks me to do. He knows best, and He will pour into me and then unlock whatever He put inside me that is necessary to accomplish the task. If it is His plan and goal, it will get done, and I will be blessed to be involved!
I have some work to do, and I’m not sure how it is going to shake out and look like at the end of it all, but I believe it is time to get myself out of God’s way and just do what He asks. I don’t think it is going to result in an open bar or anything, but all that matters is that God’s best is poured freely into those around me!