MATTHEW 9:16-17: “People don’t sew a patch of new cloth on old clothes. The new piece will pull away from the old. That will make the tear worse. People don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst. The wine will run out, and the wineskins will be destroyed. No, people pour new wine into new wineskins. Then both are saved.”
OBSERVATION: Am I ready for the Lord to do something NEW in my life? Is my heart prepared for a FRESH MOVE of the Holy Spirit? These are the questions I am asking myself as I enter into this New Year. As I read God’s Word I become fully aware that He is the God of the new cloth, of the new wine. The question is – what kind of receptacle am I? Am I a set of old clothes or new, an old wine skin or new?
The effect of the NEW was fully determined by the receiver, not by the giver. It was not the new patch that made the clothes tear, it was the old clothes. It was not the new wine that made the wineskins burst, it was the old wineskins. Just as salvation must be received in a new heart of faith, so a FRESH MOVE of the Holy Spirit must be received by the same. The question is – how do we do this?
It is easy to understand this concept in relation to salvation. We repent of our sins, turn from our former way of life, and place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, when we think about a FRESH MOVE of the Holy Spirit, how does this come? Does it come at a great revival meeting? Does it come as we are singing a song of worship and praise? Does it come at a moment when we are reading our Bibles? Or does it come in the same way in which we received salvation – by Grace through Faith? Paul speaks to this in his letter to the Galatians.
- “I would like to learn just one thing from you. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law? Or did you receive the Spirit by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? You began with the Holy Spirit. Are you now trying to complete God’s work in you by your own strength? Have you suffered so much for nothing? And was it really for nothing? Why does God give you his Spirit? Why does he work miracles among you? Is it because you do what the law says? Or is it because you believe what you have heard?” (Galatians 3:2-5 NIRV)
Our salvation and the receiving of the Holy Spirit was by grace through faith – alone! We could not work it up, nor earn it. And the continued outpouring and ministry of the Holy Spirit comes in the same way. We receive a FRESH MOVE of the Holy Spirit when we position our hearts to receive it by grace through faith. I cannot sing it in, (as if it came from the stoking of my emotions). I cannot work it in, (as if it came from my diligence in service). I can but surrender my heart to God in faith, and pray it in.
I can only receive it by grace through faith!
So this New Year – I come to surrender my life anew to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! I come to position my heart in faith! I come to call upon the name of the Lord in believing prayer! Lord Jesus – make me a new piece of cloth! Lord Jesus – make me a new wineskin! Help me to let go of all that is old and is keeping me from fully receiving the outpouring of a FRESH MOVE of the Holy Spirit!
My heart is open – pour out Your NEW WINE!
In Jesus Name!