Spirit-Led Woman

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JESUS WAS INVESTED WITH FULL AUTHORITY After speaking with Jesus, Mary called the servants and instructed them: " 'Do whatever He tells you'" (John 2:5). She was confident Jesus could make a difference in the crisis.

Have you placed your marriage and your situation under His authority? Maybe one reason He has allowed you to be in your present crisis is to bring you to the point of complete submission to His will.

I believe that's what happened in my life. I remember getting up early one morning, slipping down on my knees and tearfully asking God once more how I could fix my relationship with Danny.

I opened my Bible to 1 John 4. As I meditated, God began to give me specific instructions on what to do.

His words to me were: "You are to love Danny because I first loved you. If you say 'I love God,' yet you don't love Danny, you are a liar. Because if you don't love your husband, whom you have seen, you cannot love Me, whom you have not seen. So I give you this command: If you love Me, you must--it's not an option--also love Danny.

"Dear Anne, love one another, for love comes from Me. Everyone who loves has been born of Me and knows Me."

Through His gentle words, God laid out three very basic principles about my love for Danny:

•Love comes from God.

•Those who are able to love others, including their spouses, are those who have been born of God.

•Those who are able to love others, even when the love runs out, are those who not only are born of God but also know God.

Although God lives within me, His love for Danny is available to me only in proportion to my knowledge of Him. God made this clear to me by saying, "If you are not able to love Danny, it's because you do not know Me, because I am love."

I realized that knowing God is more than just being born again, just as knowing my husband is more than saying marriage vows at the wedding altar. Knowing God involves an intimate, personal relationship that is developed over time through prayer, Bible study, obedience and being filled by the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment.

I knew God had given me the key for changing my marriage--for turning water into wine. The key was not to focus on my relationship with Danny but to focus on my relationship with God!

As I spent time with God, He would fill my life. And because God is love, His love would also fill me. Therefore, since God loved Danny, love for Danny would fill my life and overflow from Him, through me, to my husband.

It would be weeks before I could say honestly that the water had been turned into wine, but I was no longer frustrated, tense or worried. God gave me peace and joy within as I trusted Him to infuse my life and my marriage with His love.

When the shortage of wine first became known at the wedding feast in Cana, it seemed that Jesus would do nothing. But Mary knew He would act in His own time and in His own way.

I wonder what the servants were thinking as they obediently filled those jars with water. What did they think when He told them, " 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet'" (John 2:8)?

What made them risk their reputation and their jobs to carry out His instructions? It must have been something about Jesus Himself that thrust them out on the limb of risk-taking obedience.

I can imagine all the servants, jostling for position to get an unobstructed view of their co-worker as he made his way to the master of the banquet with the pitcher of water. I wonder, as he began to pour, if his hand jerked, spilling a few drops, when he saw that although he had put water into the pitcher, wine came out?

The water had been turned into wine! And the new wine was the best (see John 2:9-10).

It was a miracle! But it was such a quiet miracle--nothing flashy that would have drawn attention to Jesus or announced that the Messiah had come. Just a quiet change that saved a young bridegroom's honor and a newlywed couple's marriage--and answered a mother's prayer.

Can you imagine the thrill those servants experienced? It's the same thrill I've experienced again and again as I have climbed down from a pulpit to a standing ovation, acutely conscious of the water I had put into the message--the interrupted prayer time, the scattered thoughts and the weak delivery. Yet wine had flowed out.

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