Spotlight 8/2024: “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Banging against a window pane like a fly even though there is an open window right next to it … Humans often behave in a similarly bizarre way when it comes to how God answers their prayers. But listening to God is important, says District Apostle Helper Thomas Deubel from Switzerland.

Don’t act like a fly

A fly gets into the house. It walks up and down the window, flies around, and bounces against the window pane as it tries to get out. We open another window next to it and try to coax the fly out, “Just move a little to the left and you’ll be free.” Well, the little creature doesn’t seem to understand. Then we guide it to the open window with our hands. But the little creature persists, flies somewhere else, comes back, and bangs against the same window again with full force several times… until it discovers that there is an open window right next to it.

In our prayers we are similarly stubborn sometimes, insisting that our will be fulfilled. Why don’t we just do what God tells us. He prepared a solution a long time ago, and it is right there in front of us.

“Whatever He says to you, do it.”

The first miracle that Jesus performed was at the wedding in Cana. The wine ran out. Mary knew that if anyone could help it would be Jesus. She told Him, “They have no wine.” He brushed her off. But she had faith in Him and trusted Him, which becomes clear in what she told the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2: 5).

Then Jesus told the servants, “Fill the waterpots with water.” They did exactly what Jesus told them to do. And the miracle happened: water turned into the best wine.

For us, this means that we

  • can ask God for anything, both for ourselves as well as for others.
  • cannot dictate to Him or command Him to do something, as Jesus’ reaction to Mary shows.
  • believe in His omnipotence and trust in His help.
  • do what He tells us in the divine service, even if what He says has no connection to our request or problem.

Talking to others about our faith

This was something that was mentioned in a divine service in Switzerland shortly before I travelled to Bulgaria. In a prayer, I asked God, “Dear God, grant us encounters with people who seek you and want to experience your Son in the midst of the church!”

At the start of the trip to Bulgaria, I was pressed for time. I had to take care of some urgent things. So in a personal prayer, I asked God to guide me so that I would have enough time before the first divine service in Bulgaria. Normally, before a divine service I like to have time to sanctify myself and have a few moments for reflection. When I arrived at the hotel I quickly changed into my black suit. That went well except for my trousers. As I was slipping into them I missed one leg and tore the trousers. So I had to see about getting myself a new pair in the time remaining until the divine service. I approached a man in a bank to ask him about a clothing store and he offered to drive me there. This led to a conversation about our faith. And the purchase of the new black suit was accompanied by a conversation about faith too.

All too often we bang against a window with our wishes and ideas like a trapped fly. All we really need to do is do what God tells us.

Photo: NAC Switzerland

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