JOURNEY TO REST DAY 7
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
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. - Matthew 9:17
I'm overwhelmingly grateful and awed by God's faithfulness this past week. His Word has been demonstrated in my life in so many intricate and personal ways. So many loving reminders and reassurances that "I am here". "I am with you." "You are on the right track." "Trust Me." "Keep going." I find it amazing that when we're quieted. Still and void of the noise of the world. Seeking God wholeheartedly how much closer Father draws to us, and how much peace He gives.
In these times of uncertainty, one thing I know for sure is that God is teaching us how to trust Him. There are so many opportunities right now for our faith to grow and to trust God more. Our faith is being intensely stretched in these uncommon times. Sometimes it might feel like our faith is being pulled so tightly that there is no stretch left. But God in His faithfulness helps us to discover the strength and elasticity that we didn't know we had.
Let's look to Jesus to learn from Him more about stretching in His illustration of the old and new wineskins.
Jesus used a description of putting new wine in old wineskins to explain to the religious leaders that He didn't come to patch up their old religious system. His purpose was to bring something new. The new message, the Good news, that Jesus Christ came to earth to offer all people forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God. The Good news didn't fit into the old legalistic system of their religion. They needed a new start. New wineskins. New wine.
In bible times wine was kept in goatskins sewn around the edges to form a watertight bag. New wine would ferment and stretch the wineskins. After the wine was aged the stretched skin would burst if new wine was poured into it. Therefore new wine required new wineskins.
I liken this to the time we are living in now. Our faith is being stretched to the limit. Our old wineskins will burst under the pressure we're experiencing having little to no stretch left. But God in His mercy has so graciously given us the opportunity for fresh wineskins, for Him to pour into us new wine to quench, nourish, sustain and empower us in these perilous times.
The shaking, stripping, washing of our hearts, the trials, the uncertainties are pressing us into the Father's heart, making us one with Him, conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ, making us ready for the Bridegroom. Making new wine. Endowing us with a fresh anointing. New strength. New grace to cope and withstand this new level of unrest, opposition, tests, and trials.
God in His great mercy is working in ways we cannot begin to understand. We don't know what tomorrow will bring but we are admonished not to even worry about it. (Matthew 6:34) The Lord gives us sufficient grace for the day and if we are a child of God we know that we are all good!
We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus overcame the world, and in Him we have peace. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Jesus overcame the world!
Thank you so much for journeying with me this past week. I pray that God has touched your life in a real and personal way. Hope you've heard the Lord whisper in your ear. Felt His love poured out in your heart like a flood. Had His Word confirmed in your situation. Experienced overflowing joy in His presence and rest for your soul.
May God move beyond all your expectations for you and for those you hold dear.
Be greatly encouraged.
Receive the deep and lasting peace of God.
Praying for you.
For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length, and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:14-20