New Bottles for New Wine ~ Read more....

Day 12 (Category: The Holy Spirit)

Today’s Reading: Gen. 29-30, Matt. 9:1-17

Today’s Reflection: Matt. 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

“…both are preserved.” Just as wine cannot be collected and preserved without a bottle, neither is it the primary function of the Holy Spirit to operate without the existence of a human vessel. Often, the Holy Spirit wants to do a new thing, but is grieved by the inflexibility of the old, hardened wine skins of man-made religious persuasion. It is not until we allow the work of the Holy Spirit to tenderize and moisturize our leather-dry souls that He is then able to complete that work which He began in us the day we believed! If we’re not careful, we can, through our religious ruts, routines, and traditions, so institutionalize our walk with God that we reduce it to nothing more than a weekly Sunday morning church service. It is at this point that we become like an old wine skin, not able to take in the fresh moving of the Holy Spirit due to an inability to budge. What happens next is very sad; the old wine skin breaks, causing the church to die, and the Holy Spirit to “run out”. It is not that the Holy Spirit is through working in the earth, but it is that He is not welcome to operate in a particular church or location, and therefore will have no choice but to withdraw His presence from that kind of congregation. So, when Jesus uses the phrase “both are preserved”, He is teaching us that we can have both a contemporary, relevant walk with God, and a powerful moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives, all at the same time! In fact, we are meant to work together. The wine needs the bottle, and the bottle needs the wine. We just get in trouble when we get so set in our ways that we cannot handle the leading of the Holy Spirit into new territory. Always remember that God will work with us, when we are willing to work with Him! We cannot afford to become so rigid, formal, religious, and predictable that we break when He moves in a different direction that we prefer. Otherwise, we lose our power with God and are left to our own miserable existence without His manifested presence working in our lives. What we need is for God to make us again another vessel, as it seemeth good to the potter to make us! Once we become flexible and pliable in His hands, we can see His works!

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copyright © by Gary D. Caudill