Matthew 9:16-17 (NLT)
“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
Ever since I returned from caring for our son during his bone marrow transplant, I have tried to reestablish my old routine and schedule. Getting our home in order preparing to return to work, I have looked for the familiar and normal that I longed for but it is not here. Change has been stirring in my spirit but my flesh is not as welcoming. Oh, I want the blessing of the new season but there is always a process of planting to get there. It’s hard to accept change and welcome the impact of the unknown even when I know that God is good. Yet my attempts to return to my old life are all in vain as I am clearly not the same person who left the house several weeks ago. My roles of wife and mother I gladly hold onto in a tight embrace. It is in these two identities that I can feel the arms of God wrap tightly around me holding them in place as the winds of change swirl all around me. I want to bury my face deeper in His Presence as I do not feel as strong and confident like in the days before. Our life is not the same. I can accept that. In the brokenness, I have found that He is faithful and good in all things. In the victories, I also have discovered that His Love for us is unfailing as His Goodness overtakes us there as well. Today is a brand new day. As much as I want to drag all my “yesterdays” here for comfort, the Lord keeps telling me to let go. He has something different for me in mind. It is better than I could even think to ask for. I must also let go of my idea of the future to fully embrace His Plan. The only problem is that we have learned to survive in the midst of this journey. The Lord has padded our way comfortably through it all. He has been overly gracious to us in so many ways. But now, He wants to do something new. It’s crazy but Jesus want to make “everything” new in our life. (Revelation 21:5) I only want Him to fix the bad things or that which I am dissatisfied with rather than surrendering my “everything” to Him good and bad trusting that Jesus can always do better than I can do for myself. I am trying, Lord. Help me today in this brand new day to surrender my “everything” so you can give me new life.
“New wine in old wineskins” is what the Spirit is whispering to me today. I have to allow the Lord to change me in my skin so that He can do this new work in me. My comfort zone has been disrupted and I keep trying to put everything back in its proper place. But until my mind and heart agree where it all belongs, it will continue to resemble disrupted chaos. It is human nature to try to control the parameters of our life. Even free-spirited people in this world have their limitations. I can be completely open-minded yet still have certain ethics, morals and principles at work in my life. It is human nature to have some level of control over our surroundings and the atmosphere in which we exist. We try to sew a patch of the “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10) over the filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) called our life and believe that is enough to experience the Glory of God in our life. Jesus invites us with each new day to have a brand new life impacting every single detail our existence. Will you accept?
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Lamentations 3:23-24 (NLT)
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
There are two principles at work in my life as the Lord tries to make everything new despite my apprehension. Each day grace and mercy are poured out for me to take advantage of. I have been given a robe of righteousness to wear every day that is not dependent on how I act, what I do, anything that I say but simply a gift from the Father with love. Jesus gave it to me. I choose whether or not I put it on. When I step into the Righteousness of God, immediately the details of my life will begin to change. God begins working each detail for His Good. My flesh rebels against such intrusion because it knows ultimately it will lead to its demise. Now the inner battle ensues. The closer I move to Jesus Christ the greater my flesh will resist. In the past three years, the sufficiency of God’s Grace has become real in my life. I do not know how we made it other than to say that His Grace is sufficient for me. I know that God’s Power is real because when I could not walk another step with a heart too heavy – He carried me the rest of the way. In a season that to the world should be marked by tears, I have too many moments of laughter, joy and peace to remember those any more. His Great Faithfulness so evident. His Mercies new each morning for all the times I failed and allowed fear to worry me through the night or cause me to ever think that my God was not in full control of the situation. So why not now? I must expect the Lord to be my inheritance every day. He must become my hope in everything.
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
In order to have all that Jesus Christ has promised me in our covenant requires that I “throw off” my sinful nature. Now in many ways, I have as I continually study the Word and the Holy Spirit convicts me of those things in my life offensive to God. That being said, the Law of God only shows me how much more I have to remove. But in addition to those things that offend the Lord, I must also be conscious of my “former way of life”. I am a person who loves routine, schedule and order. I am not comfortable in chaos and tend to try to organize anything that becomes out of control. Hence, my problem recently. I must let the Holy Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes to align them with Jesus Christ. Yes, even the ordinary everyday things that prohibit me from accepting the new life that includes everything in my life. The Law of God leads to rebellion. It is all about mindfully keeping the rules which are contrary to our sinful nature that produces rebellion. But when Jesus died and rose again ascending to Heaven with God the Father, He released His Spirit to us. His Spirit restored our peace with God allowing us to experience righteousness. No we are free to uphold the Law of God not because we have to but because we want to. Freedom promotes respect as we can choose whether or not to obey. Our heart keeps us right when our mind wants to rebel. When we allow the Holy Spirit to live in our heart and take hold of our mind, will and emotions turning them back to God and developing a love affair, obedience is not as burdensome and we begin to win our struggle in the flesh. The spirit that you empower and endorse will prevail. We must be conscious to promote God’s Power in our life by feeding our mind God’s Word so the Spirit has something to work with. Not only should we read the Word but pray to God for His Will and Way. We are free to live our life as we choose. I want my life to be Glorious. God’s Way which is following Jesus Christ is the only way my life will ever become Glorious!
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT)
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Is my life glorious? Glorious means delightful, wonderful and completely enjoyable. It means to be brilliantly beautiful, splendid and magnificent. Do you believe that your life has such potential? Come on. You are probably alone reading this today so be honest with yourself. Is your life glorious? Is it what you expected when you gave your heart and life to Christ? Are you trying to make the Plan of God fit into your idea of the perfect life? The Spirit of God lives in you. He is all the freedom that you need to step out of mediocrity and into supernatural living but this will never ever be accomplished our way. God has a plan. It contains a future and hope. Our hope must be in the Lord driven by a willingness to go where He goes, do what He tells us to do, say what He tells us to say and be who He called us to be. This is accomplished by daily surrendering our life (and everything in it) to His Way even when it is not our way. This is not a forfeiture of freedom but acceptance of His Glory. We have been given the Holy Spirit and set free to have His Glory in our life. (2 Corinthians 3:7-11) Yes, I realize it is easy to change certain habits and stop doing unacceptable things. This is never enough. Until we full accept of His Grace, Mercy and Love freeing our heart and mind to pursue Christ and align our life with God we are wasting our potential. I have seen the Glory of God working in the life of our son. God has healed him of cancer five times in less than three years which defies statistics. What makes it so hard to accept that God wants to bless me with new life, too?
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NLT)
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Your new life is not necessarily marked by prosperity in a material way. It may not hold a powerful or influential place in society as we know it. What will God’s Glory bring with new life? Peace, joy and satisfaction. Faith will be secured by confident hope that has the strength to believe even when it means bringing the dead back to life. (Romans 4:16-18) The pressure you feel deep inside you is the Holy Spirit bringing about change in your life today. It is the new life that you were promised but have failed to achieve as of yet. It’s not too late to accept it. In fact, the Lord has been trying to give it to you throughout your entire life. Now is the time to accept it and make your life glorious. Trust the Lord. I am not telling you but reminding myself. It is much easier to trust the Lord with things when there is no other hope than when presented with options. I believe that His Glory is for everything in my life so now I must work to surrender everything in my life to Jesus Christ. Not everyone will understand this today, but I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the source of your pressure and to guide you in what to do next. The Glory must return to the House of God or what difference will we make in the world? God’s Glory is reflected in each and every person labeled Child of the Living God. If our lives are shambles what credibility does this lend to followers of Jesus Christ? The world wants relief. It is looking for an answer to all the mounting problems it is facing. Love has grown cold and people do not even know where to find it. I will never convince the world of God’s Love until I allow His Love to change my life and produce His Glory in it. There are too many one-hit wonders in the church and not enough pressing in boldly to His Throne surrendering freedom to obtain His Promises. It is clear that the Lord wants to do something new and fantastic in my life today. He wants to do the same for you. Are we standing in His Way? Have we allowed our sinful nature to cause rebellion in our heart and mind? Today I surrender my life and everything it. I choose to throw off my sinful nature because I want the Glory of God to manifest in everything in my life. I am confident that His Grace and Mercy will meet me tomorrow morning for all the areas that I tried today and failed so I can commit tomorrow to doing the same.
Colossians 2:6-9 (NLT)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
There is enough opposition in this world without me being my own worst enemy. I surrender everything in my life to Jesus Christ and pray that the Holy Spirit will root me and ground me deeper in His Love today than ever before. I want to build the rest of my life on faith in Christ alone. I want the Truth to be the structure that I live in. I pray that this pressure leads to constant thanksgiving and continual praise rather than complaining and griping about change. Lord, teach me to listen for your voice and block out human rationale and empty philosophies. I want my life to be so full of you – Jesus that it spills over into the life of every person who I come into contact with. I want the fullness of Christ to live in me. It’s a brand new day! I want a brand new life in preparation for the hope that will be a brand new Kingdom!
Revelation 21:5-7 (NLT)
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.