Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17
Good Christian leadership requires consistent growth:
- In your relationship with God
- In Godly character
- In wisdom and understanding
- In developing new skills
As you grow in the Lord and as a leader, He will constantly bring “new wine” into your life.
- He will reveal new things you did not know before
- He will call you to do new things you have not done before
- He will take you to new levels you have not been before
When we have theses experiences, we often say, “God is doing a new thing …..” Although that sounds good, there is actually nothing new for God. He lives outside of time and sees the end and the beginning at the same time. It would be better to say, “I am learning new things about God,” or “I am experiencing God in a new way,” or as the scripture text says, “God is bringing new wine into my life.”
The challenge is for you to be a wineskin that is ready to receive from God, the things that are new to you.
Every wineskin starts out new. Time and circumstances cause it to become old and dry. So the challenge is not how you begin, but what you become.
- Have you become so used to doing things your way, that you are now a wineskin that is hard and inflexible?
- Have you been hurt or disappointed so many times that you have become dry and brittle?
- Or have you allowed God’s love, grace and forgiveness – to you and through you – to keep your heart soft and tender, so that you are able and willing to bend and stretch as God brings new things into your life?
The secret to keeping an old wineskin soft and flexible is to rub it regularly with oil. Oil in the Bible symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit and it is the Holy Spirit who will work in you to preserve you as a “new wineskin.”
If you will spend time, yielding your life to Him day by day, He will lead you:
- To forgive those who hurt and disappoint you
- To get rid of anger, bitterness and judgment towards others
- To give grace to those who criticize and condemn you
- To free yourself of covetousness or envy about the success of others
- To walk in the Spirit so as to not fulfill the lust of the flesh
These are things that will keep your heart and soul tender, so that you are able to receive and retain the new wine God brings into your life to change you from what you are to what He has designed you to be.
Lord, I thank you that I am not what I used to be, but I realize that I am not yet all that you want me to be. Work in me by your Holy Spirit so that I can preserve the new wine you bring to my life, Amen.