Oh my, it has been a long, long while since I have posted anything new. I truly feel like I’ve said everything I set out to say, and that is why there has been a silence. This morning, however, some new thoughts started coming and I didn’t want them to get away.
I saw a clearer picture of myself this morning than I had previously seen in Jesus words of Matthew 9:17.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
This verse helps to explain why I had to leave the meetings back in 2006. By that point, I was trying to pour my new wine into the old wineskins and it just didn’t work. The new wine was my growing relationship with God and new revelations of not only who I was, but more importantly, who He was. Jesus said if you try to force those back in the old wineskins, the skin would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. What a perfect analogy. New wine must be stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.
I tried so hard to “fit” the new ways of understanding into my professing life for a few years. I wanted to stay so I could share what I was finding with others in the hopes that it would inspire them to also “ask, seek and knock”. I have heard of some through the years that are staying in meetings because of that very desire; even though they see many things about the System that are not right. But the growing frustration I felt while trying to do that lead me to eventually feeling like I would truly explode! I would drive away from meetings extremely frustrated because it was all so ho hum, so same-ole-same-ole. There was nothing fresh and new. Everyone seemed content where they were spiritually. I was excited about God and about Jesus and I was yearning for someone else to not only feel that way as well but be willing to act upon it. Talk about it. Dig deeper than ever before. Be willing to think outside the professing box.
The wineskin was what held the wine and it had to be new when there was new wine so that it could expand and get only better with time. The meeting system, the group and what they believed, became old and it wasn’t stretching at all any more. (Ironically, the group seems to be proud of that fact.) It didn’t have the capacity to hold anything new or anything fresh. It burst within me because the pressure became too great. I had to put everything within me into something new.
I’m reminded of what someone once told me years ago. He had been professing and even in the Work for a few years but eventually left the meetings entirely because he said he was meeting with people who didn’t want to grow any more spiritually or emotionally but had he asked them that, they would have denied it completely. But the reality is that folks are afraid to ask, seek or knock because it has been told them for so long that if they did, they would end up “outside”. And yes, this may be true. But you end up outside of the group only.
You do not end up outside of God, His love, or outside of Christ (unless you choose to put yourself there), or outside of other Christians or outside of the Kingdom of God. You don’t end up outside of heaven, or outside of forgiveness, or salvation, or mercy or God’s grace. You find new friends, and new people to have fellowship with. You find new translations of the Bible which make it fresh again. You find new music to listen to and new ways of worshiping Christ. You find new ways of studying the Bible and new ways of praying that simple amaze you. You find new teachers to listen to or read about. You find your heart so full of God and at peace, not to mention happy and thankful, like never before. You understand freedom in Christ and what is so amazing about Grace. You want to be a better person like never before. There is room in the new wineskin for all the new wine pouring in. It is wonderful! Fear of change can be so paralyzing, and the devil knows that, so he tells us that staying in the status quo feels like the only way to survive. But wouldn’t you rather thrive than just survive? Think about it.