The Gibson Gazette

This blog contains the ramblings of a Brit who been living in Singapore 20 years and counting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Wine 2009

The Lord spoke to me that this year (2009) will be a year of turning water into wine. Indeed I preached this message on the first Sunday of 2009 in our church.

The first sign of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John was the turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana when they had run out of wine (John 2:1-10). This sign was actually pointing to the ministry of Jesus in the lives of believers that would be accomplished through His death and ressurrection through the shedding of his blood (symbolized by wine). The use of "On the third day" in verse 1 actually points to a later similar phrase in the same chapter, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (v19) where Jesus was giving them the sign of His own death and ressurrection, the Temple here referring to His own body. When Jesus told Mary that His hour had not yet come (v4), he was referring to the hour (not literal hour but a season of time) of His death that came as the Disciples met for the last supper (John 13:1 - "His hour had come that He should depart from this world") where they partook of the wine together, Jesus revealing this was a symbol of His blood about to be poured our for our sins.

So Mary's "They have no wine" (v3) was taken by Jesus to mean "they have no life in Christ, no real abundant, joyful, sparkling life". When His hour did come, and He died for us on the Cross, He made that wine-filled life possible. But we can only live that life if we, like the servants, are obedient to Jesus and fill our lives with His water (by repenting of our sins and asking Jesus into our lives) and then draw out that water to bless those waiting to be served (especially the Lost). As we step out in obedience to the Lord and minister to others as He leads us then we will see the water turn into wine.

There are three things I see water turning into wine can represent:

1. Dead tradition into Abundant Living.
The six stone water pots were used for ritual purification. Each guest was required by the religious law to wash from these pots before and after the feast otherwise they would bring a curse on the couple. Although ritual purification is mentioned in the Biblical Law this particular ritual purification was a later addition by the religious teachers and had become a dead, even superstitious practice. Because of this tradition these stone pots stood more than half empty. Six is the number of work (man was to work six days and rest on the seventh). Hence these pots represent man living in dead works with dead traditions trying to reach God. In that state we will always be amost empty!

We need to simply obey Jesus and be filled to the brim with living water - by asking Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit. He wants to fill us with His new wine, bringing Joy and abundance into our lives - "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ehesians 5:18).

2. Natural to Supernatural Living.
Pouring the water into the pots was nothing extraordinary, but drawing out that water into jars and it turning into wine was supernatural. If the master of the feast who tasted the wine had seen where the wine came from he would have been fuming mad - "What are you doing to the ritual purification pots? People have washed in that water and you are driwing it our to drink!". Often Christ asks us to do things that seem sacriligious, going against our religious (or superstitious) nature. But if we want the new wine to flow in and through our lives we must break dead religiosity in our lives.

As we obey Jesus in drawing out our lives to minster more to Him and to others then we will see the supernatural released in our lives. We must break out of dead traditions that hold us back in our worship of God and service to others. God maybe prompting you to dance during the worship service but you say, "That's foolish, we don't do things like that here", but in drawing out to do that you will experience the wine of the Lord, the flow of the supernatural in your life. The Lord may be asking you to lay hands and pray for healing for your sick neighbour and you may say "But that's too radical Lord. I will pray for them in secret". If you only allow God to draw you out of your comfort zone and go and lay hands on them you will see God's healing wine flow! If you only believe you will see the glory of God!

Would you rather be a boring half-filled pot, standing in the same place day in, day out, performing the same mundane rituals, or would you like to be drawn out by the Lord, overflowing with His abundance and dripping with His Joy-filled, supernatural New Wine?

3. Shame to Joy.
At the beginning of this story the bride and groom in that wedding would have been filled with shame. In those days if the wine ran out during the week-long wedding celebrations it was a great shame. Years on people would harshly remember that shameful start to their marriage. But Jesus turned all that around! He turned the sombre, shame filled mood into ecstatic joy and celebration. Not only was there wine but it was the best wine, usually drank at the start of the wedding. Here Jesus saved the best for last. Jesus has the best in store for you. He want to turn all your shame into joy and use you to bring the wine of joy to others living in shame.

This year God will do these three things for you if you simply ask Him to fill you up to the brim with His Spirit (as you are filled to the brim with expectation that He will do this then He will) and then allow Him to draw you out in your ministry to Him and others.

Let's see the water turn to wine in 2009!