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As leaders we must know God in ever new moment of our lives, and we must demonstrate knowing God in the now reality of what He is doing to those we lead. This requires an ability to embrace new things. More specifically, those new things are what God is doing now. What God has done in the past is wonderful, but what God is doing in this moment is the testimony of His existence today. To be a leader we must embrace what is in the present and lead others from the past into the realities of today. There is a wonderful testimony of this in the first miracle recorded in the life of Jesus. It was in the turning of water to wine at the wedding celebration in Cana. It begins on a “third day”. Wherever we find a “third day” statement in the Scriptures we are reading something of the miracle working of God. The number three is prophetically symbolic of God in His godhead.
John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
In this story the mother of Jesus, Mary, knew that the words of Jesus were the words of God. She knew that what He said would bring the life of heaven into the circumstance of the moment. God’s word to us today will bring the celebration of the life of God into our world today. As leaders we must embrace God’s words to us today above His words to us in the past. We must never let go of the foundation set in our lives because of what God did yesterday, but we must live to hear Him in every moment of our journey in life.
John 2:6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.
Embracing what God is doing today will often require us to embrace things that appear to be contrary to what He has said in the past. In this story, what were ceremonial washing pots to cleanse the outside had to become containers of living wine that activated life in the hearts of those who would drink it. What God did in our lives yesterday can often give us a feeling of security and sense of being holy, but only what God is doing in our lives today can give us the fullness of God’s life in our hearts and minds in this moment. Jesus came so that we would have abundant life, the eternal life that comes from intimately knowing God. He didn’t merely come to make us clean. He came to make us alive. Leaders must lead to the place of life, not merely a place of being clean. The servants at the wedding feast had to trust the words of Jesus. They had to believe that giving the water from the vessels to the master of the feast would not have grave consequences. The purpose of the vessels had changed. God’s word to us today will not change the truths of the past, but there will be a greater fullness of truth in embracing what God is doing today. In that process, the purpose of the vessels had to change. They were no longer vessels to wash in, but vessels to drink from. Leaders trust God in His words today and they know that God’s words today cannot be carried out in the same way they were in the past. The purpose of everything that serves God must be to serve God in the present reality of His present truth. God does not serve His purposes, His purposes serve Him!
John 2:10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
The master was astonished that the wine presented was better than any wine that had been served thus far in the celebration. The party had been going for some time and the guests had already feasted well. The wine created at the word of Jesus was the best wine to that moment in time. God always saves the best wine for NOW. NOW is not a memory of yesterday nor is it a hope for tomorrow. NOW involves the reality of the moment. Today is the day of God’s salvation. The moment before us is the opportunity for the fullness God’s life. As leaders we must seek to excel in embracing the moment before us. We cannot live in the past, and we cannot live to recreate the past. We must embrace what has not been seen, heard, or thought before and allow it to become the reality of our reality today.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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