A reader of this blog shared how she read a post much later but it was perfect timing. God knew she needed it at the very time she read it. I’ve always been truly amazed at the timing of God. The challenge of waiting for a word or direction brings uncertainty until, at just the right time, God provides.
Have you ever read a scripture over and over again throughout the years and never really understood it? Then, all of a sudden, in light of the circumstances you find yourself in–“Aha! I get it!” God’s perfect timing!
“Neither do people 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.”
I’ve been drawn to the words “new” and “renewed”. Often our lives become restricted by the responsibilities that surround us; however, God is calling us to Himself and asking us to think beyond our restrictions. Restrictions can be in the form of a job, a family situation, a health concern, or a significant loss.
I have found the greatest restriction that I face is my attitude and thought patterns. Try as I might, I receive a word from the Lord–new wine– only for me to pour it into my “old wineskin” thinking. I know the verse was directed toward the Pharisees and Jesus’ work at that time; however, I sometimes feel like a Pharisee. I am given a Word from the Lord in all it’s freshness, but my mind and body will not follow. I have rigid ways of thinking. This is how I’ve always done it. Restricted.
Will we live in our old wineskins, or pray for God to restore and renew? What changes do we need to make in order to receive the new wine and expand our lives?
It’s more than thinking about it–it’s taking action! What steps and choices do you need to make in order to truly be renewed?
I want to close with a term “differentiation of self” which comes from Bowen’s Family Systems Theory. In counseling, the more a person can individualize themselves apart from their family of origin, the more emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy they are as adults.
Abraham was called to leave his family of origin and do the work of God. He left with the Godly heritage his family taught him, but he left. God called him out and expanded Abraham’s work beyond the restrictions he could have used as excuses. He left and established himself in the work God had for him. When we become adults, it’s time to establish ourselves away from our family of origin. God has a plan that is specifically for your family. What if Abraham was too afraid to go? What if he did not have the faith to go where God was calling him?
Changes occur when we realize God has a specific plan for our lives and our family apart from our family of origin.
“I used to try to shape my family in the image of the family I grew up in. But my mom helped me see things differently. She told me, “You have to create your own family. You have to come up with a new model that works for you.” Ann Vaaler (This was a quote on a calendar for January 18/19 that I gave to my mother. She gave the quote to me and wrote, “Anna-I love the way you and Parish have shaped your family” Mom)
Ask your heavenly Father to reveal any old wineskin attitudes and thought patterns. What steps can you make toward change?