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.
Luke 5:37-38, New International Version
When God is leading you, you cannot do things the old way.
Jesus warned us not to pour new wine into old wineskins because they will burst and spill out the wine. Old wineskins represent the rigid and inflexible system of the Old Covenant which cannot contain the expanding “new wine” of the New Covenant. This means once you are transformed by the new way of the Holy Spirit; you can no longer fit into the old way of the law.
The Pharisees resisted Jesus because they wanted to keep to their old religious way of doing things. Legalism narrows our minds to the point that it impedes our ability to receive the mind of Christ. And the mind of Christ always reveals His grace. Rather than enjoying the freedom of who we are and what we have in Christ, legalism seeks to control people’s thinking and actions because it cannot believe that God’s grace alone is enough to bring about God’s desired changes.
You need a new wineskin, that is, a new mindset and way of thinking every time you desire God to do something new in and through you. If you want to have a prophetic presence in the world, don’t hold on to what works in the past. Be open to new strategies, new models of ministry and new structures. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this important lesson. When he thought he could reach Asia Minor without much help, the Holy Spirit led Paul to equip and train others to carry out the work together with him. As such, what could have taken him years to accomplish was achieved within a short time (Acts 19:10).
Get rid of old wineskin thinking.
Be humble and be willing to listen and learn because God’s ways are higher than your ways and His thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Don’t lean on your own understanding. There are still plenty of gospel revelations for you to discover and experience—and unless there is an on-going renewing of the mind, you cannot enjoy the fullness of Christ’s life and presence in every area of life.
Can I recall an example of a new thinking in my relationship with God?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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