Have you ever wondered why your experiences feel as though you are been pressed hard on every side? As though every situation is squeezing the very life out of you? Today we can learn a very important lesson from the process of renewing old wineskins. The Bible tells us that when we receive Christ old things are passed away and all things are become new, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Now how are things to become new? Becoming new is a process. It is a process we must endure in order for the glory of God to be seen through us.
Scripture References: Matthew 9:16-17; Luke 5:36-38
In Matthew 9:16-17 Jesus said: No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The work that God wants to do in us and through us cannot be accomplished unless the old man (our usual self, sinful nature) is renewed. The process of renewing an old wineskin it to saturate or submerge it oil. Once the oil is absorbed into the wineskin it is then rubbed into the skin until it becomes flexible again. Take for instance a pair of old leather shoe, and what it looks like after it has been cleaned and polish. Looks good right? That is the same effect oil has on the wineskin. This is done repeatedly until the wineskin becomes new. In order for us to be renewed we must endure the process. Let us take a look at what it takes to be renewed.
As I mentioned before being renewed is a process. It is a process of endurance. Ecclesiastes 9:11 states; the race is not for the swift nor the battle for the strong. Jesus endured the cross for our sake to give us a new life in Him, Hebrews 12:1-6. The first step in the process of becoming new is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If He had not endured the cross none of us would be able to endure to the end. Jesus said in John 14:6; “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Secondly, we must abide in Christ. John 15:1-7. As we abide in His presence and His word, He cuts away (prune) from our lives the people, places and things that are hindrances to our spiritual growth. We must submerge ourselves in the presence of God, like old wineskins in oil. Hebrews 4:12 tells us; the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart. Here we clearly see that the word of God is necessary for the process of renewal. The Apostle Paul also tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, Romans 12:2. It is by reading, study, meditating, and obeying the word our mind is renewed.
Why do we need to be renewed?
The process of becoming new is not for us to just look good, or to say we have been in the presence of the Lord; it is so that God can pour into us in order for us to pour out to others. See Acts 1: 8. It wasn’t until after the day of Pentecost when the disciples received the Holy Spirit that they were able to turn their world upside-down. God has to pour in us for us to pour out to others. However, we must be willing to spend time in His presence for Him to do the work in us.
his is not a one-time process. It is a daily routine. Just like how a person who drives a car has to buy gas and refuel for the car to keep running, we too must constantly go before God for our daily renewal. Each time we pour out to others we must come back to God for a refreshing because we will dry out if we don’t. In John 15:5 Jesus declares “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” It is necessary for us to be renewed because God cannot pour into us in our current state or else everything He pours in us will be destroyed. God has to sift out our personalities, attitudes, bad habits, fears, doubt, indiscipline, selfish desires and all that will limit His power from being demonstrated through us.
You are probably wondering by now what does all this have to do with my experiences. God is not going to put us in a container of oil and rub oil in our skin for us to become new, He uses circumstances, situations, people and things to rub us. Once we spend time in His word and in His presence the challenge is to allow what we have received during these times to come out in every experience we have. It is not always an easy task because we are still living in a world where pleasing self is a way of life. It is much easier to tell that person who did you wrong a piece of your mind than to allow the peace of God to rule in your heart when you are hurting. It is easier to look for a quick solution to your financial problems when you have bills piled high and the job you are in cannot suffice; rather than believing that God is your source and provider. I can list the many things that we can easily do without thinking twice about them, but that is not the lesson I want for us to learn; I want for us to see that in all that we go through we have a choice. We can allow God to renew us and demonstrate His power through us in our experiences or we can fight against His will and live a defeated life.
We must be mindful that becoming new “wineskins” for God is a process, not something that happen over night or a one time occurrence. Though it might be painful, its end result is rewarding. Every day we will face trials, obstacles, and circumstances that will tell us it is not worth it. We must remember that it is not done in our strength and we are not alone. Christ endured the ultimate test of all time to give us the power to overcome the world. As we allow God to renew us, and pour into us, we must seek to know how He wants to use us for His glory. The ultimate purpose of the process is to build His kingdom, using us to bring others to Him to be renewed and used for His glory.
My friends I leave you with this thought from the great Apostle Paul; 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 For alll things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.