Apr 26 2012

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Do You Have a New Wineskin?

In my personal devotions this morning I was reading the three accounts in the gospels where Jesus talked about how you can’t put new wine into old wineskins. If you do, the new wine will cause the old wineskins to burst.

New Creations = New Wineskins
I’ve often thought about this as how the old person, before repenting of sin and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, cannot contain the Holy Spirit. The old person is the old wineskin. The new wine of the Holy Spirit’s entrance into our lives only can come as we are made into a new creation, as spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:17. That verse tells us that when we are in Christ, we become a new creation, and the old is gone and the new has come. As we let Jesus Christ take over our lives, he makes us into a new wineskin.

Can a Christian Be an Old Wineskin?
Another application of the old and new wineskins is for those who already have received Jesus into their lives. The Holy Spirit is always up to something new. He leads and moves in new ways all the time. Sometimes He manifests Himself in ways that are different from what we are used to. Just think about how worship has changed over the last few decades! As God’s people have tuned in to the Spirit, new types of music, prayer, praise, dance, flag waving, and other forms of worship have evolved.

People used to expect three hymns and a chorus before a sermon when they went to church. They were told when to stand up and when to sit. And God often poured out His presence through that structure.

However things have changed. Now many of God’s people get so caught up in worship that they hardly notice when an hour and a half of standing, singing, praising, raising their hands, and praying go on before the sermon. During the worship, people are often healed and set free from bondages in their lives. And sometimes when God’s presence moves in so strongly, the sermon just never happens.

People are learning to be new wineskins – letting God lead the worship in whatever way He wants rather than poeple following a set pattern and expecting Him to move through that pattern.

If God’s people are open to receiving fresh Holy Spirit wine – whenever they spend personal time with God and whenever they gather to worship – God transforms them into something new. By His grace, we can be ever changing, as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “from glory to glory.”

We need to be continually changed into new wineskins. The wineskins of last month are not able to receive the new wine of this month.

Jesus’ Words of Caution
At the end of the Luke 5 account of the wineskins, some words of Jesus are recorded that are not in the Matthew and Mark accounts. He says, “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, “The old is better.” This shows our human tendency to want to hold onto what is familiar. It’s more comfortable to hold onto worship, prayer, and sermons that are like the ones we are used to. But God may be calling us to move on into something new. He is giving new inspiration and understanding all the time. Sometimes he uses people to do miracles in different ways than the ways miracle used to happen.

But we might resist for awhile. He says that we might not immediately desire the new wine. But He is faithful to work in our lives and to bring us to the places of hunger for Him in which we will be open to Him making us new again.

Often it’s as easy as asking, “Lord show me where I’m being an old wineskin. Keep changing me. Help me not to resist when You do something in a new way. Make me into a new wineskin so that I can hold your fresh wine and pour it out to others.”

Read the book: Desperate for New Wine – David Herzog – Paperback

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