We obey our Lord wholeheartedly. We simply do what He asks us to do regardless of the size of the task, its unreasonable appearance or the cost to our comfort zone. Patience and abundance are often connected to obedience. Jesus asked the servants to fill six twenty or thirty gallon waterpots of stone with water when there was a need for wine.
It requires patience to walk into what God tells us to do when the result is not seen from afar or understood. We would prefer to have the whole plan ahead of time, but God leads us step by step. When more of the pieces of the puzzle are put together, the picture is clearer. Patience for what is to come is even more challenging when the task is to be done in abundance.
It’s not just one gallon, but twenty or thirty! It’s not just half filled, but filled to the brim! They couldn’t fill a water-bottle with a half-gallon of water to see what would happen before doing the rest. To fill to the brim in our lives is to do whatever He leads us to do to the fullest. The need is wine; He says fill the pot with water. The need is finances; He says give. The need is healing; He says pray. Only when we are filled with His Spirit can we obey and remain filled to the brim, from glory to glory!
John 2:6-7 “Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim.”
It was their works of faith, labors of love, and patience of hope in the Lord that exhorted worshipers in the Thessalonian Church. They really believed and served God. It is through these same characteristics that our maturity in Christ is known to others.
Faith without works is dead, but works of faith are alive and obvious; we know this because of the opposition we encounter. True faith is obvious because of the amazing ability it brings to press through trials. Faith sees, says and seizes the promises of God. Our labor of love is not in vain in the Lord. The love of God in our hearts becomes increasingly real as we grow in the knowledge of who God is, and as He reveals its magnitude. We love one another, heart to heart, in all circumstances. It’s a labor of love because it takes the work of faith to walk in such love. Our patience of hope also makes known the reality of the Lord in our lives. How else could we stand believing in life in the midst of death?
When pressures come, what we really believe can be heard and seen. Faith now is where fear used to come forth. Love is given where offenses tried to establish their lying ways. Forgiveness is granted where resentment used to hold back the blessings. Patience has replaced anger. The works of the Spirit are seen instead of the works of the flesh, really, from glory to glory!
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.
There is a process we must go through to attain all we seek to possess. Patience and perseverance are needed, and faith is tested when it is a long process. Knowing that we always progress helps us stay on course and stand by faith.
The process differs for each one of us, and it may be an unknown. We might think we have completed all that is necessary to reach a destination, and then find we have yet another step. Closures we thought we had might turn out to be continued matters. Also, our perception of our starting point might not be accurate. The where from is important in assessing the direction we are taking to a finishing point. Our progress becomes evident as we look at where we have come from, not at the place we have not yet reached. We never assume we have already arrived. Humbly we trust the Lord’s leading, moment by moment.
In the Lord, each phase is an achievement in itself. Our process is connected to our transformation in Christ, and we can rest assured of our progress. We are ready in and out of season. Every development we encounter draws us closer to Christ, our ultimate objective. We learn to enjoy the journey with peace, truly, from glory to glory!
Luke 14:28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether or not he has enough to finish –”