Embracing Change


          “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put in to new wineskins and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5: 37-39.)


          In the ancient world, when an animal was slaughtered the stomach and the bladder were extracted and utilized to store and transport valuable liquids. Wine was a very common first century beverage. Unlike water, wine underwent a process known as fermentation; during which gases were produced; these gases caused the wineskins to swell and expand. The older wineskins were hard and inflexible (like leather.) As the new wine expanded, it would cause them to tear open. Therefore, unfermented wine was always placed into new wineskins. In this illustration, the old wineskins represent old ideas, habits, and beliefs that are incompatible with the new life God has offered through His Son Jesus Christ. Most people desperately cling to their old lives; yet those who follow Jesus Christ must let go of the old and grab hold of the new; they must no longer fear change; but rather, they must fully embrace it.
          Shortly after becoming a Christian, God began to make some very serious changes in my life. For many years I had enjoyed listening to secular rap music and heavy metal. One day God showed me how it was negatively affecting my spirit. So, I made a commitment to only listen to worship music (which was positive, clean, and uplifting.) My appetite for the old music was strong; at first the new music wasn’t appealing to me; but slowly I began to enjoy it. Soon I was joyfully singing along with the songs; I noticed my attitude was more positive; my thoughts were more peaceful; I even began smiling with ever greater frequency Today, I still refuse to listen to the old songs; just worship music. God has made similar changes in every area of my life. He has healed me; the old things have passed away; behold, He “has made all things new.”
          God desires to pour His Spirit into the hearts and minds of those who are willing to receive it. His Spirit produces great transformation. We must let go of our fears; we must become willing to change; we must not be rigid and inflexible; only in embracing and allowing God to transform us, will we truly experience new life. Let go of your old ideas, habits, and beliefs, and receive the fullness of God’s Spirit. Allow Him to guide and direct you and He will lead you into His everlasting peace and eternal joy.
          “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You would make wonderful transformations in our hearts and minds. May we become flexible; may we embrace change. Jesus, we desire to become more like You; remove any habits, ideas, or beliefs that stand in the way of our growth; destroy the old and bring forth the new. May we experience the fullness of Your Holy Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you.

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