January 26, 2012
How in the world could I have forgotten? This question is boggling my mind this morning and I share with you what God is doing. Lest me first start by sharing something that God is revealing to me in Scripture this morning.
It is found in Matthew 9:14-17 (TNIV) and reads as follows.
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 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.”
This scripture has always eluded me until this morning. In this passage I know that Jesus is saying that when he ascends into heaven that his disciples will once again fast. At this moment they were feasting because Jesus was still with them. Fasting is a discipline that Gods people have done since early on in the Old Testament and it is carried out through the New Testament.
This is not what had me bound, it was verses 16 and 17, but not anymore.
Wine and oil represent the Holy Spirit throughout the scriptures in many instances and here the new wine represents a new thing that God wants to do and is going to do. As a matter of fact, he is getting ready to send the Holy Spirit into the lives of his disciples. In that day, they would pour wine into something called wineskins.
The material the wineskins were made of had to be new and pliable when new wine was poured into them because the new wine would expand. If the wineskins were old they became hard and would crack when the wine expanded.
Fasting is a tool (a spiritual discipline) that helps us have new room for Holy Spirit to work. God has already given us everything available to us in the spirit but we do not often walk in newness of life because the gunk of this world tends to get in and clog us up. (Not just spiritually but physically as well.
God wants to do a New Thing! In this passage of scripture, as soon as Jesus took His last breath on earth, He was sending the Holy Spirit, a New Thing.
God reminded me this morning that it was during my first 40 day fast that started in February 2010 that Out of the Box Worship Center became a REALITY.
The first meeting we had to discuss the possibility of a second site for 1st Hillsville UMC was in February 2010. I remember the meeting with Pastor Ty and Richard Edwards in O’ Charlies in Bristol at Exit 7 and I wasn’t eating. I remember how great the food looked to this day but now I see how AWESOME the BLESSING OF GOD IS. It is better than physical food, it is greater than our appetite, He is greater than anything in this world.
Wow, this is just what I needed from God this morning. How could I have forgotten? It is because we get so involved in the day-to-day struggles and we neglect to renew our old wineskins (our soul and spirit and our mind). Fasting cleans out the GUNK in our lives.