Jesus said that new wine must be put in new wineskins. We usually focus on this aspect of His teaching stating that to contain the new thing God is doing we need new wine skins. This is true. But, Jesus also said in the same text that no one who has tasted the old will want the new. He is not saying that they cannot have the new but that the desire to leave the old and drink the new is simply not going to be there in believers.
This is, of course, an issue for the local church. To be ready to embrace the new things that God is or is about to do in His Kingdom and through His Church we need to allow Him to form and mould us; adjust and change us; remove things to so as to make room for better things and the new wine. In some cases we simply need to let go of what is before we even know what is to come. This is called a walk of faith.
But, we don’t want to let go because what we have and what we have experienced feels safe even though it isn’t because God is moving on. We don’t want to leave what we know because it is comfortable and familiar even though it is often no longer meeting needs or being productive. It is secure because we know what to expect – even though we are seriously bored at times because it is the same all the time. This is why we know what to expect. So, unless we are willing to give up what is often safe, secure, and comfortable we will continue with the old wine and miss the new wine.
This has happened in every move of the Holy Spirit throughout the history of the Church. Those who were birthed in one wine skin (revival, renewal, restoration, move of the Spirit) do not welcome the next move of the Spirit. They ride one wave in to the beach and then play in the wet sand. But, those who are wanting to move on with God paddle their surf board back out anticipating another wave is coming and hoping that this time it will be the big one.
Those who are “new wine skins” live in faith, worship in anticipation, walk in enthusiasm, and deep in their hearts they have an expectance that today just might be the day that God pours in the new wine. And, if not today, then tomorrow. I am one of those believers. I am excited to be alive and in His Kingdom working to expand the saving knowledge of the Saviour to every nation and people group in the world today. I am looking for the new wine – I am seeing serious changes in my worldview, my understanding of the Kingdom, and the life of the Church. Not always easy. Never comfortable. But, I am willing to live between what I have experienced and now live with (often boring at best) and what I sense and even know is about to come.
So, I am not sitting and waiting. I am making many changes in my lifestyle, my approach to ministry, my understanding of Scripture and how and what I am investing my time in. I can’t say I am patient but I am deeply entrenched in this season of change and forward movement. I am shedding the old skin and slowly seeing the new skin emerge as a snake does as it outgrows its current skin.
It is an exciting time to be alive and challenged by the Kingdom and the King.