Can we really release expectations and outcomes to the Lord? Is it possible to walk into new experiences totally trusting He has the best in store for us? Can we allow God to work in ways we have not seen yet? The increase that is waiting for us depends on it.
“He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” Luke 5:36-39
Here, Jesus was teaching that you cannot take an old shirt and try to repair it with new fabric because after a while, it will tear again because it’s not designed to hold the new fabric to the old. Both fabrics have different textures, they’ve had different experiences.
We cannot allow our experience yesterday to hold us back from what He wants to do today.
Jesus is saying, when you get ready for something new, you have to be careful that you don’t try to attach it to something old, resulting in ruining the integrity of both.
You are at an incredible time in your journey. To advance beyond where you are, letting go of the “old” is vital to your growth. For each of us, our “old” represents something relevant to us. An old mindset of lack, unbelief, or perhaps an old expectation cycle of disappointment or deferred hope. To receive the more of God will require transition on our part to capture and hold the new wine, His living presence in our lives. He has storehouses for you but without a new wineskin in your life, a container to hold the increase, it would all fall to the ground and be lost.
In 2005 we moved back to Greensboro, NC to plant Center City Church. It didn’t take me long to realize I had an old wineskin that wasn’t serving the dream He had given us for this church. The spirit of God was stirring within us to experience more but my container (mindset) couldn’t comprehend or adapt. I had an old wineskin (structure) that wasn’t able to expand as His presence (new wine) invaded. I had a decision to make; keep the wineskin and waste the new wine or trust God for a new wineskin that would hold the new. The latter seems like a much scarier place to be in the moment.
In the passage from Luke, Jesus taught that you wouldn’t take new wine and put it in something that was inflexible knowing of the changes it had to go through. The old wineskins lack the flexibility to make the adjustments and adapt to the growth process of the wine.
At times we put our trust in the wrong things. We put our trust in history and the mentality that if it hasn’t happened yet it probably won’t. We have more faith in history repeating itself rather than a God that says He makes all things NEW. We’ve developed a level of comfort inside the old, growth inhibiting wineskin, but He has an upgrade for you today. It’s time we ask Him for a new picture of our future without attaching it to an old mindset that constricts possibility.
Ask yourself: What must I let go of in order to receive the new wine, the new thing God will pour out in my life? Is it self-protection, is it fear of rejection, pride, shame? Ask Him to show you.
Let’s give God permission to give us a whole new experience with Him, as we learn to honor the wine He’s releasing into our lives, His glorious presence. We acknowledge our need to make room in our lives for His increase. God, we welcome the new things being placed in our hands. Give us hearts that embrace the new and feet that don’t run from it.