Last Monday as I was studying the sermon for this week, I was struck again by the entire incident surrounding Jesus’ first miracle found in John 2.  One thing left me puzzling.  Why did Jesus say, “My time has not yet come,” to his mother; and then perform the miracle of turning the water into wine anyway.  During the week as I used this scripture for my meditation time, I found myself wondering repeatedly about that phrase,  “My time has not yet come.”

However, as I preached the devotions on Saturday, I realized that God is willing to break the rules for us.  In fact, every miracle he has ever performed is God breaking his own rules to help us, heal us or deliver us.  Even the working out of our salvation meant a realignment of his rule regarding  justice. 

At Special Gathering, I preached this miracle-principle on Saturday and Sunday.  Looking intently at the faces of our members as I shared, I saw amazement, understanding and joy on the faces of most people there.  However, Tom’s eyes almost glowed.  Finally, containing himself no longer, he shouted, “That means I can break the rules, too!”

Great, I thought.  Now I’ve given Tom permission to be inappropriate, misbehave and act badly–as though he needed any encouragement.  I smiled, sweetly, pretending to ignore Tom’s remark and said, “Of course, God doesn’t sin or act inappropriately to answer our prayers and he doesn’t want us to break the rules of bad behavior.”

As though a repeat performance, on Sunday morning before I could give my disclaimer, Mimi shouted, “Every rule is only made so we can break it!” 

Years ago, in ministering to a junior high group, one gorgeous young woman told the youth group on Friday night, “I wish I could be godly most of the time and sin only once in a while.  That would be the perfect life.”  Glenda often fell into sinful practices and then returned tearfully wanting God’s forgiveness.  She, of course, was an extremely gifted person but her desire to want all of God and a bit of the world held her back spiritually.

Tom and Mimi are equally gifted and they have the same tendency.  They can pray like angels.  They use godly speak to convince others of their commitment.  But their daily lives betray their hearts.  It appears that they want all of God, except on the occasions that they want what they want, when they want it.

Unable to sleep last night, I mulled over the wonder that God would break his own rules for me.  I thought of the small and big miracles in my life.  There was a time years ago that seeing a stopped car within feet of me in the middle of a slick road, I cried out to the Lord while slamming on the brakes.  The car did not slow down but it stopped instantly.  My three children who were in the car, said, “Mom, the car stopped!”  God broke the laws of physics to help me and the children.  There have been other rule breakings that were just as dramatic in our lives. 

But as my mind reviewed Tom and Mimi, I realized how closely aligned to their thinking my daily actions can be.  Of course, there will be times of falling and slips along the way.  But I must guard my heart closely that I do not accept the immature philosophy that “all of God is great, as long as I can have my own way when I want it.”

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