Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lamb is in the House

"Jesus, Turn all my water into wine"

Two Sunday’s ago, I heard my spirit man speaking this statement to Jesus: "Jesus, Turn all my water into wine." It was a statement of faith in the Son of God; yet my own mind had no idea what it meant. Even though I didn’t understand it, I just knew the statement was from heaven, so, I spoke it out loud: “Jesus, Turn all my water into wine.”

I thought perhaps it was for something big, like. . . debt relief, or. . .financial restoration. Seems like that is on a lot of people’s minds these days. That is a big one. On the “Life on Earth” scale, I would say that aside from H1N1, financial crisis is on the world’s stage. So, my mind just sort of threw that heavenly statement I was hearing about water and wine toward something I could get my head around on short notice, and I resolved to just fling it at our finances, hoping God would come through.

I woke up today, grabbed my coffee, and opened my Bible. “Jesus,” I said, “Open the scriptures to me. I don’t want to go into my Monday without you ordering my week. Live your life out in me this week. I don’t want chaos and disorder and feeling like I’m two steps behind all day like I did last week. Come and bring the order of heaven to this house today. Bring revelation.”

I started to journal the things God had already been speaking to me. Sometimes it was just a simple phrase, or maybe part of a scripture, but He had been speaking and I needed to take a look into what He was saying. Sometimes, He may speak a simple phrase to me, and I am tempted to say, “wow, cool prayer, Jesus,” and then just leave it there. Obviously, there is a problem with that response. Jesus was opening a window of revelation to me and I just took a glance and said, “nice window.” -- However, Jesus actually wanted to invite me to the window, open it for me, and give me a view into the scriptures from His perspective in heavenly places that would blow my mind.

So, sensing that I may have “missed something” in that whole “water into wine” bit he gave me that Sunday, I took his nudge to open the scripture this morning and started to look for the story of the Wedding at Cana.

I had two things going on as I looked for the verse. I had the temptation to write the whole story off as something I’d already read and therefore wouldn’t find anything new. On the other hand, I had Jesus inside of me FULL of expectation that I would definitely find something new and just needed to keep my heart open to receive. When I really looked at my heart response to the temptation of “writing it off,” I sensed that I just had a lot of questions about the story that I had never stopped long enough to ask. I probably breezed through the story, didn’t get why Jesus stuck it in there, and then moved on. I “missed the window.”

So, I found the scripture in John 2, read it, and then wrote down my questions with each statement that puzzled me. I approached the throne with my pen and journal with boldness and asked my questions to Jesus, knowing He REALLY wanted to open the revelation in the story for me.

First question that puzzled me: “Why did Mary ask Him to turn the water into wine?”

I mean, Jesus responds to her so clearly, “Dear woman, what does this have to do with you and to me?” It obviously wasn’t the time or season for him to respond with a public miracle from heaven. He seemed to be correcting her; yet Mary turns directly to the servants and says, “Do whatever He tells you to do,” and then she stands back in full expectation for Him to do something awesome. HUH???

In my mind, I’m thinking, either Mary was over-zealous for her son to show off his miracle-working power, or she was a responder in distress and really felt overly-obligated to come up with a solution for a problem that didn’t involve her and she asked her son to fix it, because maybe he could do a miracle or something. I’m thinking this, but I wrote down my question anyway.

This is what I sensed Jesus say to me in response to my question, “She knew He could do it, because it had been revealed to her ahead of time who He really was. She identified Him as the Son of God. It had already been revealed to her. This was her life, knowing this fact. She walked everyday with this revelation. She couldn’t separate it out from her every day life experience. He was with her when she woke up, with her during breakfast, with her in housework, and with her in the walk to the market, with her in changing diapers, and with her when she met Joseph at his wood shop to tell him about a debt they had to pay. He was with her when she shopped for a new pot for her kitchen and was with her when they read the scriptures as a family in evening. He was with her when she went to bring bread to a sick neighbor, and He was with her when she went to the temple to worship."

Now, in John 2:3, here they are together at a wedding in Cana, and a crisis presents itself to the kitchen staff. Mary catches wind of the problem and turns to Jesus. “They have no more wine!,” she says to him.

Now, see, this is the same Jesus that was with her in her kitchen yesterday when she ran out of eggs for the dish she was preparing, and he offered her a simple solution of heavenly wisdom so that she could finish her task. This is also the same Jesus that probably shocked the family during ‘family cell’ at the age of 9, when he opened the scriptures to Mary and explained what God was actually trying to say to them. This is the same Jesus.

So here they are now, together at a wedding, and there is an earthly crisis of “no wine.” Her life was not like most other lives in her day. Her life was constantly interrupted by the “unearthly” presence among them. Jesus was Holy. He had to be different than his brothers! He must have been like an alien in his household. But God had revealed Jesus to her when she conceived. She knew Him before he was known. So her life was lined with heaven’s solution. It was common place for her to reach for an unearthly solution in small and large crisis’ of life. Heaven’s solution was in her house. The Lamb was in her house. Therefore, there was a solution for everything in her life-grid. The Kingdom of Heaven was more than near to her, it was her life as she watched it unfolding in her home. So, she was so familiar with Kingdom activity in her household, that to solve an issue in public was naturally to turn to the One God had sent for the solution.

Here’s My Next Question: “Why did Jesus say to her ‘What is that [no wine issue] to do with you and to Me?”

Jesus inferred a couple of things in this statement as I studied the scripture references for the language He used. He was saying in essence, “why is this our problem, woman? why is this your and my business?” and he was also saying, “why are you asking me, my time/season of performing public displays of miracles and wonderworks has not come yet.”

Now I know that Jesus doesn’t ask questions for which he doesn’t know the answer, so as I’m reading this story, I banked on the fact that this question was purely for Mary’s benefit and the benefit of the hearers to reveal Jesus and the character of the Father to everyone. So, I almost sense a grin inside of Jesus as he asks this question to his mother—this woman so used to the Lamb in her house.

I sense him smiling inside, knowing that she’s “Got It.” She has got it in the sense that her common life and spiritual life, and earthly tasks and everyday stuff have become completely infected with the life of God in her midst. Oh yeah, this is THEIR business alright. This is their ordinary daily encounter. She is unable to separate her life from the Lamb of God. He is grinning, because this is why He has come. This is heaven’s solution for man, sent to the earth in human form, sitting at the table in Cana with Mary and the disciples at the wedding, and Mary gets confused about what is public ministry and what is private life when it comes to needing a solution. Her private life experience leaks into her public experience, and she reaches to the Lamb of God for a solution. Of course Jesus is grinning about this!

Mary didn’t know how to separate out her relationship with Jesus anymore, in regards to public and private life. This was her life-- to reach to God for help, wisdom, assistance, understanding, provision. Mary, sitting in this crowd in Cana, was holding something very precious in her womb again. She is holding a life of knowing that God sent his only Son as a solution for all man’s needs. All of man’s needs. The whole Lamb for the whole of man.

She was an alien among men at this point. She had a secret life with God that had begun to leak into every part of life-- to the point that her response in this public place of a wedding in Cana becoming the same as the response she would have had at home—“Oh, . . . there’s no more wine? Well, just ask the Lamb.” This response was common place to her now.

This made me laugh out loud! I then imagined Mary, in her home, stirring a pot of cake batter that is sitting on the kitchen fire pit. I could imagine Jesus resting his head on his hand while seated at the table next to her, watching what she is doing. I imagined her hanging out with Jesus, preparing to host her in-laws for a birthday party and her desiring everything to be just right. She isn’t all stressed about it, though, because Jesus’ presence and peace just brings a sense of order in her life. She is actually enjoying the work of preparation.

Suddenly she realizes that she needs a cup of oil for the cake she is baking, and all she can find is a cup of vinegar. Knowing she is in crisis now, even though seemingly small to the average teacher of The Law, she looks over at Jesus, who is sitting next to her smiling as he watches her cook. Mary, smiles back, thinking to herself, “well, he did this with the laundry soap yesterday, hmmmm, could he really turn this vinegar into the oil I need for this cake?” So, she hands him the cup with a grin. And to her amazement, Jesus hands her back the cup, which is now brimming with the oil she needs for the cake. They both smile and laugh and Mary shakes her head in wonderment. I can imagine her saying “You never cease to amaze me!” Such a sweet relationship of dependence growing as Jesus grew up in her house. The Lamb in her house, hovering over her very menial tasks of baking and cleaning, wanting to partner with her in all things.

This whole encounter brought my mind back to a verse I read yesterday in 1Peter 2. Verse 21 says,
“For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps.” [AMP]
When I read, “it is inseparable from your vocation,” I felt God revealing to me the life Mary was experiencing in oneness with a life of the Lamb in her household. It is inseparable from any part of our lives. Public and private alike.

Then, Verse 9 in 1Peter 2 says,
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

So, I am hearing this verse say that we are a people that are special, purchased, and setting forth public and private wonderful deeds and displays and virtues of Jesus. We are those whose lives are completely one with the Lamb in our homes.

Here’s My Final Question about the Wedding of Cana: “Why did Jesus say, ‘It isn’t my season or time yet?’”

I sensed God answer my question this way:

He knew the timing for the Glory of God to be revealed publicly, and it had not yet come upon Him; HOWEVER, . . . Here’s this woman! What does he do with HER??? I mean, she already knew Him as He was known. She already had the Lamb in her house! She already knew the solution God sent for the big and small things of life. . .
--a broken handle on her cooking pot
--or a decision about their taxes
--or the death of Joseph
--or how about a wedding that ran out of wine!

The “solution” had so leaked into every-day life for her, that she couldn’t separate Jesus out from private and public. Therefore, He stretched forth His hand and released a wonderous deed (1Peter 2:9). She knew this Way! She didn’t need it modeled like the disciples were about to learn over the next season of life. She already knew. What could He do? She already knew Him, identified Him as the One God sent. He had to respond to that, even if it were out of season.

She was in season already! He had been revealed to her by the Father, through angels, so she could carry Him, give birth to Him, and she and Joseph could guard the revelation with God’s own strength, wisdom, and angelic assistance during and after Jesus’ birth. She watched Him grow in her home—amazed I’m sure, at his behavior and words. He was Holy. That had to look different than the other children. She watched the Lamb operate in her house in everyday things, and then on Sunday, she watched him operate with the teachers of The Law in the temple.

The Lamb in her house had become her life. He leaked into every part of life –the common and the uncommon practices—cooking, vacuuming, building a door at a bank, going to the grocery store, writing computer programs, attending Sunday service at church, selling cars, ordering food at a cafĂ©, picking up items at the hardware store, fixing a tractor on the farm, and BAM!—Mary and Jesus find themselves at a wedding in Cana—and the SAME Jesus that gave her the idea for the next ingredient for the stew she made last Thursday, and the same Jesus that gave her heart the strength to endure Joseph’s death, was the same Jesus she reached for to solve a public crisis and He has to stretch forth His heavenly solution, in her everyday revelation, to solve her request and He changed that water into wine.


How does this impact my life?

Well, first of all, it takes the pressure off me to perform miracles. Whew! I stood up to join the ministry team in praying for people needing healing yesterday and felt no pressure to do anything but be a child of God and believe in the One God sent for everything. I felt totally different than I usually do. The old dynamics were not there. I didn’t even put healing in a different category than trusting Jesus in Tony’s job. (my vocation is not separate 1Peter2:9)
This keeps the playing field of what is “church life activity (miracles, signs, deliverance, whatever)”—all level for me. Sometimes in the past, I have run into a wall of performance anxiety in church, in regards to someone needing obvious deliverance or healing, but then, at home last week, I leaned over to Jesus while I making a meal for guests and asked Jesus what to put in the potatoes next. I fully expect him to tell me to throw a little rosemary on the potatoes. And He did! Why shouldn’t I fully expect him to heal knees with fire from heaven on Sunday morning??—especially, when HE suggests it? HA!
This also keeps Jesus in my everything, not just my “Sunday thing”. This also keeps angels working with me just for the normal stuff of life, because I’m drawing from heaven’s solution all day, not just in the uncommon situations in public ministry or missions or something that might seem to be more notable. Nothing is more notable than when the Lamb is in the house. This means that He has become my life.