Thursday, March 17, 2016

Out With The Old, In With The New

There is a failure of God's children to grasp what Jesus has done. We are trying to pour the new wine into the old wine skin. Unfortunately too many of us don't even understand the problem, let alone the solution.

The religious leaders of Jesus' three year mission on this earth were challenging why Jesus was not following all the customs of Israel, doing things the way they have always been done. Jesus responded by saying that if you put new wine into old wine skins the wine skins will burst, ruining the wine skin and the wine.

Wine skins were made of animal parts and when they were new they were flexible. New wine is still giving off gases. This was not a problem in the flexible new wine skins but disastrous in the old, which were no longer flexible. Jesus said a lot with this simple truth.

Jesus came to die for us but also to introduce the Kingdom to those who would become the children of God. He also came to show us how to live in obedience to Father, controlled by the Spirit. But the Kingdom was not like the old system which was rigid and fixed. Jesus was bringing what was alive, moving and breathing to something that had lost its life. It did not fit into the old system.

The Kingdom would be introduced into the hearts of people. These hearts could not be caged and left inflexible. It had to be able to breathe. Minds could not be caged but needed to be open to the unlimited possibilities of Yahweh. Jesus freed us from the cage of sin and the cage of man's system. At last, the Holy Spirit was bringing the Kingdom to rule in the children of God. Jesus warned us:

"I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it's not possible to see God's kingdom." (John 3:3)

The old had to die, pass away and the new had to be introduced and used. We had to become new vessels for the new wine. But humanity has a problem with remaining new and flexible. Three hundred years after the Church was birthed in the Spirit, we returned to our religious systems. During the 2 thousand years that followed Jesus has continued to want to revive his Bride. Many different awakenings have happened but within a short period of time man's desire for systems has put out the fire of the Spirit.

We currently live a form of godliness but we deny the power of God. We are content with intellectual pursuit or emotional infatuation but we don't want the power because it moves us away from the familiar and comfortable. To live by the Spirit means denying our dependence on ourselves and the acceptance of dependence of our God for all things. It means giving up control and giving it to the Spirit. It means taking off the old garments and putting on the new. It means throwing away the old wine skin in favour of the new. But look at what Jesus said at the end of this passage:

"No one who drinks a well-aged wine wants new wine, but says, 'The well-aged wine is better.'" (Luke 5:39)

Jesus knows us so well. The old established Church always tries to kill the newest move of the Spirit. We like to hold on to the old because it is familiar and comfortable. But Jesus never told us that he wanted us comfortable. I pray we will decide that whatever Yahweh wants is far better than anything we want. Obedience is the only road to intimacy with Jesus.

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