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A New Wineskin For A New Season

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”

You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
-Isaiah 43:19, Mark 2:22, John 4:35 (NLT)

I got the idea that God is going to do a new thing in our lives.  This new thing will require us to embrace new ways of functioning and the old way will not work.  He is doing this for the harvest.

The new thing that God is doing is totally different than what we are accustomed to God doing.  We need a new way of functioning, to participate in the new thing.  The old way of functioning will not work.  I believe that the new thing has to do with evangelism, mission, and God's kingdom activity, for the harvest.

The new way is the unexpected way.  We get very used to the expected, and the usual.  The greatest barrier for Christians, to walking with the living God, is our traditions.  The seven last words of a dying church are, "we've never done it that way before!"

Once we start functioning in the new thing and in the new way it requires, we will wonder why it did not come sooner, because it will seem more efficient and just easier.  But we will be thankful and a little embarrassed or humbled at how we got so frustrated at first, when the old way, old structure, kept not working with this new thing God is doing.  The new thing, the new wine, requires a new wineskin, a new structure, a new way.

I got the idea also that as soon as we step out and get our metaphorical new wineskins working, that God will show up in our lives with fortuitous provision.  The way that the kingdom works is that you get after you give or you receive after to move in faith.  After being frustrated, we will learn again to cast our nets a different way, at Jesus direction, and the catch will be more than we alone can handle (Luke 5 and John 21).

Some people have taken the words of the verse in Isaiah, "For I am about to do something new", and dumbed it down to three words - "a God thing", and made it sound like a novelty item.  God's new things are not like that.  God works in relationship with us.  It is a love relationship, not a "may the force be with you", relationship.

I also Got the idea that some of the people that God wants to save are people that we have either given up on, for various reasons, as too hard to get saved; or their sins or brokenness has been glossed over as not being sin, but just the way they are.

I got the idea that there are people who are nice people, but who are not saved and need to get saved, who have been told that they don't need to get saved.  But, the way to get these people saved is through the new wineskin.  The old one will not reach them.  They would love to know Jesus, if only we would use the ways and means of God, which are a new thing to us, or like a new wineskin; to reach them.

I got the idea that part of the way that the new thing, the new wineskin works, it that it is a different shape than what we are used to.  God has a shaping up for us, to be in shape, to bring the good news to the people he wants to reach at this time.  Jesus has the right shaped form, for himself to be in, for this time.  We need to be shaped into this new thing now, to participate in the kingdom of God, for the harvest.


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