When Jesus said this, the people listening would have understood what he meant. See new wine is poured into the wineskin before it has fermented. During the process of fermentation the wine will expand. If it is in a new wineskin that is no problem because the new wineskin is still pliable. However, old wineskins have lost their pliability. Therefore, if you pour new wine into them, they will burst when the wine ferments and expands.
In ministry we often pray for new ideas. We pray for God to inspire us with a new way of doing ministry. We realize that doing the same thing and expecting different results is insane, so we look for something new.
This is a good thing. Even if ministry is going well, we need to constantly be growing as leaders. However, maybe we are praying for the wrong thing. Remembering what Jesus said in the passage above, what would happen if God really did give us new ideas? What would happen if He really did inspire us with a new way of doing ministry? Would we burst, causing all this great, new stuff to run out?
So, today I change my prayer. Today I ask God to give me a new Wineskin. I pray for God to change me before changing my ministry, or giving me new ideas or a new vision.
If you have been praying for new ideas, or a new vision for ministry maybe you have been praying for the wrong thing as well. If you have been praying for this stuff, but are experiencing frustration maybe you are praying for the wrong thing. See God knows that pouring new wine into an old wineskin will ruin the wineskin and will waste the wine. Because of this He will not give you new ideas or a new vision until you have become new.
Today I encourage you to change your prayer. Instead of praying for new ideas or a new vision for ministry, pray for God to make YOU new. Pray for God to remake you into a new wineskin. I am convinced that once He makes you new He will then fill you up.
Try this new prayer and let me know what God does in your life and ministry as a result. I look forward to sharing what God does in and around me and I look forward to hearing your stories too.Matt Norman
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