Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.”
“If you know that God loves you, you should never question a directive from Him. It will always be right and best. When He gives you a directive, you are not just to observe it, discuss it, or debate it. You are to obey it.”
Jesus and His disciples had been invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee where His mother was also a guest. The story in John chapter 2 begins with the dilemma of “when the wine ran out” (vs.3 ESV)
The servants came to Mary, Jesus’ mother, probably a bit panicked. To run out of wine at a wedding feast would be a horrible embarrassment to the head of the house, and the blame would rest solely on the shoulders of the ones in charge of planning and preparation.
What’s interesting is Mary’s instructions to these servants – “Whatever He (Jesus) says to you, do it.” (vs. 5 NAS) The implication was that no matter what Jesus said – even if they didn’t understand it – even if they couldn’t see the outcome – they were to do it anyway!
There is no record to this point that Jesus had ever done a miracle. His mother simply knew her son’s character. She trusted Him. She knew Who He was, and that His very nature mandated that whatever He said to do, it would be good and right.
This year, as you work through your “New Year’s Resolution” list – to lose weight…spend more time with family…get organized…spend less…save more (all good things by the way), put something “life-changing” at the top of that list.
In this “new year”, resolve that whatever He (Jesus) says to you, you will do it!
Do what He says in your personal lives.
Do what He says in your homes – in your families.
Do what He says in the places where you work.
Too often, the thought that echoes through the corridors of our minds is, “How can I know what Jesus wants me to do? If I knew – I would do it!”
You can know. God has given us three wonderful gifts in this “following Christ” journey:
His Word. The Psalmist declares that “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105 ESV) The Bible will clearly guide you as you “resolve” to do all that Jesus asks. Even Jesus, when faced with temptation, responded with “It is written…”
Spend some time in the gospels – in the “red letters” – the very words of Jesus. Soak in everything He spoke about grace…about forgiveness…about facing challenges…about a relationship with God the Father.
As those words take root in your heart and soul, resolve to follow His guidance, and whatever He says to you, do it.
Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit – our Helper – and promised that “He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26 ESV) In chapter 16 Jesus added “He (Holy Spirit) will guide you into all the truth” (vs. 13) Listen and hear what Jesus says to do through the whispers of His Spirit.
Other Believers. The great Apostle Paul reminded the Philippians “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things…” (Philippians 4:9 ESV) Again in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul admonishes, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (ESV)
You are who you spend time with.
Each one of us needs spiritual leaders and “coaches” in our lives from whom we hear and see and learn and receive guidance in doing what Jesus says. Resolve to get more Godly people speaking into your life this year.
In this New Year, make a resolution to soak in His Word…meditate and listen to His Holy Spirit…commune and fellowship with other Christians.
And whatever Jesus says to you – do it!!
It will turn your New Year – and your life – around.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who recently married Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.