Several years ago I was struggling with a Church assignment I had been given. Discussing the situation with a wise man who lives in my neighborhood, I asked for some advice. In response, he asked me two questions that gave me something to ponder. First he asked, “When was the last time you had an answer to your prayers?” I tried to think back over my week to remember when that might have been. Then he said, “If it wasn’t in the last two days, you need to change the way you are praying.” Next he asked, “When was the last time you received an answer through your scripture study?” Again my thoughts tried to think back over the scripture reading I had done recently. Again he counseled, “If it wasn’t within the last week, you need to change the way you study the scriptures.”
That was a life-altering learning experience that changed my relationship with the Lord. Since that moment, I have learned to approach my prayers and scripture study in an entirely different way. The change in my life has been profound. There is a powerful communication process we can draw upon when we pray and study the scriptures in this manner. The Lord will speak to us if we are patient enough to watch and listen for these personal moments of inspiration. Being willing to follow this counsel will open up a line of communication with the Lord that many of us have never experienced before.
The seventh step on the road to discipleship is to become drawn to Him. We do this through prayer and through scripture study. Studying the scriptures becomes a great resource as we strive to draw closer to the Lord because the stories in the scriptures are layered with meaning. This makes them an invaluable resource, for the verses within are able to teach us what we need to know from the Lord in the very moment we need it. Through that process we become drawn to Him.
A great example of this is found in the New Testament, in the story of the marriage in Cana of Galilee. You may be familiar with this story; it is the one where Mary, Christ’s mother, is worried because they have run out of wine. Often we focus on the exchange that takes place between Christ and His mother—at least, that is what I have previously done. However, my favorite part of the story happens in the verses that follow that conversation.
I love to read these verses figuratively rather than literally. In my mind the water becomes reminiscent of the living water of the scriptures. The servants are symbolic of disciples of Christ. When I look at the story in this regard, it becomes a lesson in learning to love the scriptures and the power they have to draw us closer to Christ as we strive to become His disciples.
The first lesson takes place in the very beginning of the conversation. “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). If I want to be a servant, a disciple of Christ, I must do whatsoever He says. Knowing this, I look carefully at the next instruction He gives, “Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim” (John 2:7). Consider the instructions the Lord gave in light of your own relationship with Him. When you have the opportunity to fill your soul with living water, how much do you take? Just a drop or two? A bit? Or do you fill completely to the brim? Sometimes I wonder how my scripture study would differ if my goal was to be filled to the brim each time I finished reading.
“And he saith unto them, Draw it now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it” (John 2:8; emphasis added). It is not enough to be filled to the brim; as servants of the Lord we must draw out from what we have filled and share it with others. There is great importance in bearing what we know of the scriptures to those who we associate with. The sharing requires us to draw out from our reservoir of knowledge. “The ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;)” (John 2:9). There is a profound lesson here—the servants did more than just draw out from what they had filled, they knew what they were sharing.
This moment was recorded in the scriptures as “the beginning of miracles” (John 2:11). I believe this is true in more than one regard. When we learn to love the scriptures, when we become filled to the brim with them, when we draw out and bear to others what we know, this is the beginning of miracles. Through this process we are drawn to the Lord. As we hear and recognize His voice, answers come, and we are led to become His disciples. We begin to experience miracles and to believe in Him because our life is filled with Him. Filled with His words.
To the brim.