Are you going through some kind of challenges in life? Are people mistreating you? Are you struggling financially? And how do you react to these situations? Often times, we resort to grumbling or avenging the wrong done to us rather than trusting in God to change the situation around for us, thus blocking his favour upon us.
You will have to change this kind of attitude if you are to enjoy God’s blessings because God is not going to pour fresh, creative ideas and blessings into old attitudes! Our God, who is a God of renewal, of new beginnings, of freshness and revelations will not put new flesh on dry bones unless the bones first “come to life” (Ezekiel 37: 6).
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment,” Jesus warned. “For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:16-17).
When wineskins are new, they are soft and pliable, but as they age, they lose their elasticity. They harden and can’t expand. If you pour new wine in old wineskin, the container may burst and you will lose your wine. And so when Jesus says “you cannot put new wine in old wineskins” he means that you cannot have a larger life with restricted attitudes.
Many people desire a better life, better relationships or more success. But the same people are not willing to learn new things.
On the same note, there are many disillusioned Christians complaining that God does not seem to fulfill His promises to them, forgetting what the Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you… plans for welfare and not calamity; to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”
Many Christians don’t seem to enjoy the welfare (prosperity) that God promises and calamity seems to follow them like a second shadow.
Their future appears bleak and there is darkness everywhere instead of hope. Why doesn’t God do what He says He will do? I am here to put it to you today that nothing is wrong with God or His promises.
His word is alive and active. We are the problem. We are at fault. And our problem is that we are never prepared to receive God’s promises.
Our hearts are hardened and tied up in dogma, and, therefore, have no place for God’s action. And it is because of this that Jesus says, “You cannot put new wine in old wineskins.” You have to soften your heart and above all increase your faith and allow God to work.
Many times we read out Bible quotes such as “with God all things are possible”, and “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” to encourage ourselves.
But day after day we live in near misery and disappointment because things don’t seem to go our way. But this is because we only quote verses without cultivating our faith in God.
We want God to do good things for us – to provide, to protect and to assure us for the future – but we do not want to do the work involved in being a disciple, which involves sacrificing earthly pleasures to pursue godliness.
So, when God promises all these good things, He is addressing those who are willing to live their life according to God’s commandments; those willing to love Him above all else, and to serve him before all else.
His promises are not for those who just want a good life but are not prepared to pay the price of Christian living. And it is to those He promises new strength for “they will run but not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31).
Bottom line is that a change of attitude is needed in order to enjoy God’s goodness. Allow God to replace your old wineskins with fresh ones so that you can begin to enjoy new wine. Let God replace your old attitudes with new ones so that his promises get to find their fulfillment in your life.