Follow a godly mother’s advice: “Whatever He says to ‘you’, do it.” – quote from Mary – John 2:5 (Emphasis on “you” mine.)
God knows “you” personally and desires to guide “you” in a manner that is unique with His purpose and design for you. His instruction and guidance will never contradict scripture, but may not be what He has told your best friend, close relative, or others within your small group to do.
Even in the context of the scripture reference above, where Jesus performed His first miracle turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana, His instruction required specific obedience, faith and trust in a somewhat unusual manner. They had run out of wine for the guests at the wedding, and after making Jesus aware of this, Mary, Jesus’ mother, had advised the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” The first instruction Jesus gave the servants was to fill the six water pots with water. Filling water pots with water seems normal – except, they needed wine not water, and providing wine for wedding guests was not just a nice thing to do, it was the customary, expected thing to do in keeping with the hospitality protocol of that day; therefore, offering only water to the wedding guests would not be acceptable and the servants were fully aware of this. This was an unusual request and certainly not what their natural reasoning would have deemed best (and likely they were questioning among themselves or at least wondering what He had in mind). Still, the servants chose to obey just as Jesus directed, knowing it would be humiliating to bring water out for all the guests at the end of this most important ceremonial reception (again, going against their human reasoning, in keeping with the sacred duty of offering wine). How often do we, after sensing a direction we need to take from the Lord, offer up our various responses such as: “That doesn’t make sense”, “Is that what you really want me to do?”, “Lord, you know, if I do that, this will be the result”, “Lord, you know my friends will not understand,” or, “Lord, I really want to obey, but …” (you fill in the blank), etc. Beyond filling the water pots, the servants then had to obey Jesus’ instruction to “draw some of the water out and take it to the master of the feast”. This was an act of trust on their behalf, because they were aware they had filled the pots with water and had to expect that they would be reprimanded or ridiculed for bringing only water instead of wine for him to taste. Often, we will take the first step Jesus has asked of us, but when it requires us to go to the next level of trust in a manner that is out in the open for all to see, we bail out. Nevertheless, they followed Jesus and His mother’s advice: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Finally, after following specifically in this situation what Jesus had said to do (acting in faith and certainly not by sight – seeing water only in the water pots), they were blessed with experiencing the miracle of the water not only being turned into wine, but the best wine that had been provided to the guests up to that point (John 2:10).
How do we relate this to us personally following “whatever He says to you, do it”?
- First, obey even if the request may seem strange or different or new to you or misunderstood by others (because you are not doing what everyone else is doing or what they are used to you always doing, etc.), and, obey as He specifically speaks to you (such as, make this phone call, write this note, lead this group, drop that commitment, come sit and talk with Me, etc.).
- Secondly, trust Him every step of the way and act in faith – even when you do not see results yet (i.e., there is still only water in your pot – it has not been miraculously turned into wine yet – in other words, you are not sure how your obedience will make a difference). This may also require pressing beyond the fear of what others might say to you or about you (just as the servants had to do when taking the water to the master to taste).
He has spoken through His Word and still desires to speak to us everyday. If we will only sit at the feet of His Word and listen to the voice of His Spirit, we will hear what He is saying to do (or refrain from “doing”) in each season of our lives. Before we “do”, we must “be” — be His son or daughter, be a worshipper, and, yes, take time to “be still” (another topic).
When we follow what Jesus is telling us to do, we experience blessings and miracles, and His best plan for our lives.
Obedience is better than sacrifice, and obedience always leads to His best plan for “you”!*
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me. Jesus – John 10:27
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, … Hebrews 3:7
*1 Samuel 15:22