You are probably familiar with Jesus’ metaphor of new wine and new wineskins (Matthew 9:17). The general explanation is that when God is doing something new, we need to be open to it. Many of us rightly equate this metaphor to moves of God that seem large and obvious, such as churchwide or citywide revival. But it can also apply to our lives on a more individual, everyday scale.
Some of us have been Christians for so long that we have become rather set in our ways. Perhaps we’ve even adopted a type of spiritual atrophy and aren’t doing anything other than what we have done in the past. However, throughout Scripture, the people of God who are known for their great faith had to bend with the Holy Spirit. They had to leave behind their normal schedules and typical behavior in order to follow the plan of God for their lives. They accepted the “new wine” when it was presented to them, and they were open to the often radical change it had on their plans and life goals.
New wine — the new thing God is doing — requires new wineskins: people who are willing to be soft and pliable in God’s hands. They change shape as God pours into them, and they listen when He speaks.
What is God asking you to do that may require a bit of bending on your part? What have you been considering doing that maybe you should just go ahead and do? Is it getting up earlier to spend time with Him? Is it exercising regularly? Is it being kind to someone? Is it writing the book you’ve been thinking about writing or applying for a different job? Perhaps this recurring thought you’ve been having is something you should listen to.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:10, “God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” The Holy Spirit is the Great Communicator who searches the very deepest parts of God and then reveals them to us. The Spirit of the Living God dwells in, empowers, prepares and equips us so that we can get where we need to go and do what God has called us to do — so we reach the purpose for which He created us. Our next step could be as simple as paying attention to the idea that keeps coming up, the thought that keeps returning to us.
What is God telling your heart to do? Are you doing it? Whatever it is, it is sure to be a grand adventure, and it is sure to produce change.