The God of water, and the God of wine

Christians seem to typically fall into two extremes when it comes to understanding God’s provision in our lives. Blessings, pleasure, and enjoyment are all sometimes difficult to fathom in their relation to God’s plan.

Many earlier Christians and several today seem to believe that God did not want us to enjoy ourselves. That pleasure is carnal and misery is spiritual. Monks that starve themselves, eat boring food, barely speak, and whip themselves come to mind. Self-denial with the purpose of enlightening the soul is a practice that Christians have embraced from time to time.

A few earlier Christians, and many today. Believe that God desires our pleasure almost above all else. That He will consistently provide blessings and pleasure and happiness without regard to the inconsistent obedience we may show in our lives.

Both of these are wrong. God provides for our needs because He knows our needs and He promises to fulfill them. God provides much for our pleasure because He wants to show His love for us in that way.

God provides for our needs. When Israel was in the desert, they needed water. So He provided water. He didn’t give them sparkling soda, or coconut water, or papaya juice. He didn’t give them every variety. Just what they needed. And that was okay. He didn’t have to provide anything else. His promises didn’t require anything else either. He promised a land with milk and honey, for now, they had water.

God gives us blessings and pleasures from His goodness and by his prerogative. At the wedding at Cana, they ran out of wine. Jesus Christ, God on earth, was there and noticed it. By Mary’s faith, she requested that he fulfill the need. Jesus answered by turning water into wine. The thing is, they could have drank water. Honestly. Nobody “needed” wine. God provided it anyway. God who made the beauty in the sky and the flowers of the field and the immense variety of foods to eat, wants us to enjoy ourselves – in the contest of putting Him first. He wants us to be content with water. But I would suggest that when we are, He is just waiting to give us “wine.”

God promised to provide our necessities. He is not obligated to provide our pleasures. He does both out of His loving and generous heart. And when God gives us blessings to enjoy, they are the better than anyone else could offer.

As in the wedding at Cana, not only did God provide wine to enjoy instead of water, He provided the best wine. Wine so good it impressed the ruler of the feast and he complimented the groom on saving the best wine for last.

 

God provides wonderful blessings to us when we obey Him. Let us praise Him for His goodness!

“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.” – Psalm 104:14-15

God is the God of water. And He is the God of wine.

He is also the God of quail. Check back next time for a more complete understanding of how pleasures and necessities fit into God’s plan.

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Is your solution, His solution?

Prayer is a powerful vehicle for our lives for good. We can ask God for His will to come to pass in out lives, and He works on bringing it to fruition. The thing is, we can pray for anything. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. You could pray for the continents to move together and become one land mass (because you think it would be cool). And I’m gonna tell you that’s probably not going to happen.

You could ask God to change your natural hair color. And it’s probably not going to happen.

There’s a lot you could ask God for. The limits are boundless. But the thing is, God isn’t going to do anything that is outside of His will. It’s in His character.

It’s important to pray right. Pray according to His will, or we won’t get results, we will waste our breath, and we will be left with disillusions of what God wants or His capabilities.

Let me give you an example.

In John 17, Jesus is praying. He says, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

Jesus was praying for believers, and praying for them to do well. He clarified at one point (probably for our benefit) that He wasn’t asking the Father to remove the disciples from the influence of the world, but to protect them from evil. Isn’t that interesting. God wanted them in the world as a witness. As a stark contrast between what a righteous person’s life was like, and what a sinners was like. Being in the world was probably a growing experience for the disciples as well.

I invite you to remember what God’s will is when you pray. If you’re stressed, maybe don’t just pray the stress goes away. Perhaps it would be better for you to pray that God teaches you how to trust Him in your stress. If you are scared of something, perhaps you don’t need to pray for a specific solution, but for God to calm your fears. If you are in a job you don’t like, maybe you don’t need to pray for a new one. Maybe you need to pray for contentment right where God has you.

Every situation is different. But I challenge you to consider that God’s solutions are not always our solutions. There was a time when Christ calmed the storm for the disciples. And there was a time He invited Peter to walk on the water in the middle of the storm.

Won’t you ask God for wisdom when you pray?

What kind of fountain are you?

The Bible tells us that even a child will be known by his doings. Even a child. From childhood, we set a pattern in our lives. We will live a faithful life for God, or not. God makes it very clear to us that we live either on one side of the fence or the other. There is no in between.

James 3:11 poses the rhetorical question, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”

Ever drink from a water fountain that was nasty? I know I have. The college I attended put countless water fountains in for us students. Over time, we could tell you which water fountains were good to drink from, and which were horrible. Honestly, if I was thirsty, I would walk up or down stairs to the floor that had the good water fountain.

The difference was that great.

It’s the same way in our lives. We will be known for either being a blessing or being a burden. There is no in-between. Imagine if the mailman delivered your mail faithfully half the time. It wouldn’t be very faithful would it? He wouldn’t be someone you could count on. You wouldn’t trust him with your valuables, or a bill that needed to be paid.

I challenge you, as I challenge myself. Let us endeavor to be faithful in all that we do. Let us act responsibly and do what is right on a consistent basis. Only then will we be known as a faithful servant. As we live for Christ and serve Him responsibly, our testimony will shine for Him. And our trustworthiness will speak for Him.

What kind of fountain are you?

If Christ were hungry . . .

When a person does something nice for another person, they are demonstrating love for that person. When they do something nice for the person’s friend, they are demonstrating love for that person. When they do something nice for that person’s child, they are demonstrating love for that person.

It’s the same with God. When we show love to others, we are showing love to God because we are showing love to His creation. Follow me? Here’s a few scriptures.

Matthew 18:5 says, "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." God seems to be saying that if someone loves a child because that child belongs to God (in my name) then that person is showing love to God.

Matthew 25:34-45 speaks of when people will stand before God. The King of kings is judging the people of the earth. One area of judgment is how they treated those around them in need. When people around them needed food, water, clothes, etc. did they give them their needs. In fact, the King says this of their deeds: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." In short, God says that what you did for those around you in need is what you have done to him.

One of my favorite scriptures says this: "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again." – Proverbs 19:17 Think about that. When a person gives to someone in need they are lending to God. God will pay him back too!

In conclusion, I’d like to challenge you. Next time you see someone in genuine need, imagine that that person IS your Savior. Imagine Christ being homeless, or needing money to pay a debt. Imagine Christ in whatever needy position the person before you is in.

Would you help Christ?

Thirsty?

Have you ever heard those commercials about water? They begin to show water that is being poured out and they amplify the sound and try to get you to be thirsty. Then they begin to talk about how much of the human body is water, the percentage is never the same, but it is always a large percentage. The simple fact is, water is necessary for life. If you have ever exerted a lot of energy on a hot day Im sure you became acutely aware of that fact. Just like you thirsted for a drink on that hot day, we as Christians are supposed to thirst after God.

Psalm 63:1 says, O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Think about a desert, and how much you would want water if you were stranded out there for a while. Have you ever desired God like you would have craved that life giving water? Just like our physical beings need water to survive, our spirit being needs Christ in order to live unto righteousness.

I would like to encourage you, seek after God. Ask Him to give you a sincere desire to know Him. God promises to be found by those who seek Him. Those who truly want a close relationship with Him, He will come close to. It is a good thing to obtain salvation from the Lord, but it is far better to know Him and to seek after Him. Let us seek God. Let us recognize Him as the true giver of life and the sustainer of our souls.

I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. – Psalm 143:6