Over the years, I’ve been in a lot of church meetings and ministry settings in which the image of new wineskins flows as freely as bad coffee and doughnuts between services. We apply the concept within church structure, however, discussing the “new wineskins” of programs, strategic plans and denominational ideals.
I rarely hear the concept of new wineskins applied to a life, as in your life or my life.
Don’t we often try to put new wine into old wineskins when it comes to our Christian journey?
This is an example: We place a new wine of “slowing down the pace of our lives” and pour it into an old wineskin of “extreme busyness.”
The good news is that God pours the new wine of the Holy Spirit into the new wineskin of our renewed lives, and that sets us steady on our kingdom walk. But too often we reach back into our closets and pull out our old wineskin, trying to put it back on and make it work in our new life in Christ.
At a recent silent retreat, I reflected on making changes in my own life. That meant I needed to consider some things about new wine and my old wineskins. I realized there are new wines that we try to pour into our old wineskins that leave us on the verge of calamity because we haven’t allowed the Holy Spirit to give us new wineskins. These are a few examples:
- The new wine of unconditional love poured into the old wineskin of hatred.
- The new wine of worship poured into the old wineskin of idolatry.
- The new wine of humility poured into the old wineskin of conceit.
- The new wine of forgiveness poured into the old wineskin of bitterness.
- The new wine of “others first” poured into the old wineskin of selfish ambition.
- The new wine of joy poured into the old wineskin of jealousy and factions.
- The new wine of peace poured into the old wineskin of discord.
- The new wine of dependence on God poured into the old wineskin of independence.
- The new wine of “trying something new” into the old wineskin of “running through the motions.”
- The new wine of dreaming into the old wineskin of worrying.
How open am I to the new wine God wants for me and the new wineskins that only the Holy Spirit gives?
by Pastor Bob Henry