Gateways to Growth
Jesus, His mother, and the disciples were invited to a wedding
at Cana (John 2:1-11). Mary, concerned because the wine had
run out, approached Jesus with the problem, then went to the
servants and told them to do whatever was required of them.
Afterwards, Jesus instructed the servants to fill six stone
water pots with water. Then He told them to draw some out
and take it to the headwaiter. When tasted, it had become
wine, better than that which had been served at the beginning
of the feast.
At the conclusion of this account it is said,
"This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus
performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed
His glory, and His disciples put their faith
in Him" John 2:11 NIV.
Jesus manifested His glory; that is, He revealed the beauty
and the power of His Presence at Cana of Galilee. This is
the second reference to the word "glory" in the
gospel of John. You will recall John's first reference to
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among
us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father,) full of
grace and truth" John 1:14 KJV.
This is the first recorded miracle that Jesus performed as
He commenced His public ministry; His first demonstration
of glory, grace, and truth in action.
After the birth of the Church at Pentecost, one of the first
events recorded is the healing of the lame beggar at the Gate
Beautiful. This healing in chapter three of Acts is apparently
one of the first miracles after Pentecost. It is a manifestation,
a showing forth of the glory of God radiating through Peter
and John to the lame man at the gate.
The presence of God had swept over those who were gathered
in the upper room and they were filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak with tongues which were foreign to them,
but recognizable to others.
According to Acts 2:12, the onlookers were amazed, and even
though they heard these speaking the wonderful works of God
in their own languages, they doubted. They asked each other,
"What is the meaning of this?" and attributed what
they witnessed to drunkenness.
"Onlookers" always have the need to analyze because
it keeps them safely outside the perimeters of the absurd.
However, they again may find themselves "outside"
when the glory, the grace of His presence, meets "the
man at the gate" - the one in need, begging for a splash
from God's showers.
There is presently a wave of joy sweeping through the Church;
and, the opinions regarding it are diversified. We say we
desire to see His glory, but are we prepared to receive it
as it comes?
How should we respond to what He is doing today? Our third
reference to the word "glory" in John's gospel gives
us the answer. In this instance, Jesus had sent the disciples
ahead to the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:6). When Jesus finally
did go, it was as it were in secret (John 7:10).
During the days of the feast, Jesus went into the temple
and taught, speaking boldly and creating a stir; but the best
was yet to come. Finally, He put the finishing touches to
"In the last day, that great day of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst,
let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth
on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water" John 7:37-38.
Now, consider the question before us. If there are no rivers
flowing from our lives to meet the needs of others; if we
are experiencing little or no miracle-working power of Jesus,
then it would seem the reason is clear. Something is wrong
with our response to Him.
Jesus still comes into the "temple" to teach. He
even attends our feasts. He asks us to draw water, and when
needed, He turns this water into wine. He may come into our
midst incognito, simply because we are not prepared to receive
His tailor-made blessing. Some may be ready for wine, some
for water, but are we ready for something more?
If you have not gotten your feet wet yet, then start here,
and plunge in. If He has turned your water into wine, then
drink deeply. It would be shameful, even spiritually dangerous,
to water-down the wine. "Thy silver is become dross,
thy wine mixed with water" Isaiah 1:22.
This present wave of the Spirit has been referred to by some
as being "superficial" because of the physical manifestations
accompanying it. When Peter received the vision on the roof,
He rejected what God presented in the sheet that dropped down
from heaven. God said in effect, "do not call common
that which I show you."
Michal, David's wife, rebuked him for his so-called shameless
behavior when he stripped and danced with all his might in
public (2 Samuel 6) because the Ark was returning. When we
receive a glimpse of the Divine Presence of God manifesting
His glory in our midst, we too will become either an analytical
and critical Michal, or a responding, rejoicing David.
The Lord longs to lead us through "gateways to glory"
right here on earth. He desires to use us and to bring fulfillment
into our lives. But there are two essential ingredients which
are needed to experience spiritual growth and glory; (1) a
thirst for more of Him, and (2) a hearing ear. These form
the basis for our response to Him.
The best way to develop this spiritual thirst for the Lord
is to begin drinking. "If any man thirst, let him come
unto Me, and drink" John 7:37. This is one of the many
paradoxes of our walk in the Lord. The more we have of Him,
the more we will want; and the more we want, the more He will
give, and on it goes.
As our spiritual thirst increases, we experience a quickening
of our spiritual senses, especially our spiritual ear, the
inner mechanism in our spirit which "hears" His
voice above all others. But the spiritual ear, to be activated,
must be listening. This requires time spent in the Word, in
prayer, and in waiting quietly in His presence, even when
we feel nothing. The Lord cried through the prophet, Isaiah,
"Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and
your soul shall live" Isaiah 55:3.
We need to learn from whence our strength really comes. Our
spiritual growth will be stunted unless we redefine our attitudes
and make ourselves available to Him for whatever; then it
is that we become candidates for the manifestation of His
Just suppose that the time of His appearing has come. It
is far better that He find us filling the water pots rather
than standing apart, analyzing them.
We cannot rightly deal with the one who is in need, unless
we first learn to rightly respond to the Lord in the way He
is presently working in us. Whether it is to fill water pots
or to pour out wine, we can only give that which we have first
Then Peter said, "silver and gold have I none; but such
as I have give I thee" Acts 3:6. And the man at the gate
knew that the Lord of Glory had come on the scene.