I had a dream where we had cases and cases of new wine dropped off at our doorstep.? It was as far as my eyes could see!? The new wine was bottled with the vintage netting on the exterior.? Holding a bottle in each hand I was ecstatically glad with great joy looking forward to the wonder of experience with God!
A New Wineskin
Mark 2:18-22 “The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.? No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
In this passage the question came to Jesus, “Why are your disciples not fasting?”? Jesus in a nutshell says that the Bridegroom (Jesus) is still with them.? Then He follows up saying that because of this there is no need for mourning or fasting.? Clearly the association with fasting in that time was mourning and heaviness.? Jesus was now ready to be rid of this old wineskin of thinking.? He could not pour the new wine of His Presence into this mindset.? There was a need for a completely new way of thinking, a new wineskin and a new creation.? Jesus came to make all things new.? He came to give us a completely new wineskin that could hold the fullness of His life and presence.? The old religious way of doing things will not work for the glory that He desires to pour in us.?? It simply will not hold it.
Joy in the Secret Place
“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
When Jesus put to death the old man on the cross, destroying the body of sin, He was not only doing this but was bringing forth a new creation in our lives by His Spirit.? This new creation is the new wineskin that Jesus can pour His new wine into.?? This new wine is a wine of joy and overflowing glory of His life.? It has nothing to do with mourning but rather joy.? Even as Jesus went to the cross, it was for the “joy” that was set before Him.? It was for the pleasure of the Father’s will as well as the joy of being the firstborn among many brethren.?? One question is, “does this make fasting unneeded?”?? Some would say that it would, but I would say just the opposite.? I believe Jesus was saying that there is a new creation; a new mindset regarding fasting that has a different motivation all together.? Our motivation for fasting now is to bring our bodies into a place of greater sensitivity to His Presence, to get a crisper, clearer ear to His heart and to bring us into a deeper intimacy with Him in communion with His Spirit.? In this we find joy in the secret place of our devotion with God.
Sow to the Spirit
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
Even though we are new creations in Christ, we still have choices to make that will help us move into the place of revelation of who He is and enhance our awareness of His Presence.? In the measure that we sow to the Spirit with the right heart motivation, in the same way we will reap from the Spirit life.? We offer the entirety of our being to God, presenting ourselves as living sacrifices.? In this we are not striving in our flesh, not pushing to make things happen, but rather reckoning ourselves dead in that when He died, we died.? He, making all things new, responds to our hunger and thirst for Him filling us with His new wine over and over again.? His glorious desire is for us to be filled to overflowing with His goodness, joy, peace, love and grace.? Jesus Himself was anointed with the oil of joy far above all of His companions.? His devotion to God was our example in how we are to live in this life exuding the new wine of His Presence.?? The day that we live in is an extreme day of gladness and joy. We are the blessed beneficiaries of the finished work of Christ on the cross. There is nothing but good news for us, we are more than blessed because of the overflow that He has poured into our cup.? He fills us up, over and beyond all that we can think or imagine.? The Father’s deepest desire is to bring glory to the Son.? It is through this new wine of joy, celebration and love that God is able to bring glory to Jesus Christ through us, the dwelling places of God.? What a privilege we have in being the partakers of this most heavenly life of bliss and extravagance!? Advent means “arrival or coming”.? We are most blessed that the new wine has arrived through what Jesus has done for us. We are now the partakers of this first fruits of our inheritance, enthralled at the inflow of this eternal blessing!
His Riches are Unfathomable! John