Renewing the Wineskin
How do we become new wineskins? (I am continuing from my last post - if you have not read it, please see it here.) Let’s start by looking at the physical process of renewing a wineskin. Once a wineskin has been emptied of all the old wine, it becomes dry, hard and brittle. The wineskin needs to be submerged in water for a period of time. Then, it has oiled poured onto it and the oil is massaged into the leather to renew it and make it pliable again. I believe that God follows a similar process when renewing our ‘wineskin’.
Once all the wine of the last season has been poured out, we enter into a season of transition. We are entering the process of renewal. And the first thing to do in a transition is accept that God is wanting to bring change. Choosing to let go of the old is the first step and I discussed this more fully in the last post. Then we need to be submerged in the water of the Word. We need to really soak ourselves afresh in the Word of God. This includes studying out scripture on a new level and also being with the Word, that is Jesus. This is a very important part of the process and too often we miss or confuse this step. Instead of simply immersing ourselves in Jesus, the Word – we want to work out what is happening and try to figure out the future and what God is doing. This is not the aim of this part of the process. The aim is to get a fresh revelation of Jesus in your spirit. The aim is to ‘load up’ your spirit with fresh Word and deeper intimacy.
Then, in due time, God will begin to pour oil over you. A fresh anointing will be released over you. A new awareness of His presence, fresh revelation and understanding of what He is doing in and through you. This is a wonderful and exciting place. You suddenly start to feel as if you can do anything, you have an excitement about the future and what was impossible begins to feel possible. Grace is being released to you. This is SUCH a great time so remember to enjoy it!
Soon after this pouring out of oil, the Father begins to massage the oil into you, As He does this, He gently (and sometimes not so gently) begins to stretch you into a new shape. In the midst of your excitement and renewed passion for Him and His kingdom, He begins to speak to you and challenge you in your thinking. He challenges you to step out and do some of the things you have been reading about in His Word or dreaming about. The process you have been in has been about getting you to this new place. It is now that you are in a position to be able to reform into a new wineskin. And remember 'new' meansnew – something that has not been here before, something the world has not seen.
In this time, Father may instruct you to do something that looks just plain crazy. Moving houses, starting a new company, starting a new job, stepping out into a new arena that you have not been in before. It could be anything. What I have seen is that the stretching is different for everyone, but everyone needs to enlarge their faith in order to step into it. We need to understand that God orchestrates the process up to this point. He arranges all the circumstances, He moves your life around so that His purposes can be established and He positions you on the brink of the new season – fully prepared for what is ahead. Then He gives you the choice as to whether you will choose to step into it. That single step is where we need to exercise our faith. He will not override our will. He will bring us to it, but we need to decide, in faith, to step into it. As the scripture says, ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God.' Hebrews 11:6
Faith is the ingredient that is needed from our side. Faith to believe Him. Faith to believe that He brought you to this place and it is for your good and His glory. Faith to believe that you are well able to enter in and conquer every giant in the land. At this point, it is time to believe God and act on it.
For me, this is the critical step. God can do everything else, but we need to choose to move with Him. Many have been in this process of renewing our wineskins during the last 2 years. God has brought us into the process sovereignly. Looking back, I hope you can see His hand in the trials you have been through. He has been renewing your wineskin. He is looking for vessels into which He can pour new wine. No matter where you are in the process, the sooner you can begin cooperating with Him and choose, by faith, to embrace the process, the sooner He can release the new wine into the earth.
God has limited himself to working through human beings. He needs US to bring about His purposes in our nations and communities. He does His part, but it requires us stepping out in faith, believing His word for it to actually manifest on earth. We are in such a day. He has the new wine, He is looking for the new wineskins, but you need to choose to say yes. Psalm 110 says, "Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power". I urge you to stir up your faith and say yes. Say yes to the stretch and be amazed at what He will do in and through you!