New Wine

or the old wineskin? 

You can't have both! Moses and the Israelites followed the cloud. If they’d built houses, they would need to abandon them every time the Spirit moved. So they lived in tents. Even then, they still needed to dismantle the tent to follow the Spirit.


In our earthly church life, we like to build a house. It’s more comfortable, predictable, and socially acceptable. I don’t mean the building, I mean the form of church. We so easily settle for a form but without the power. People often put pressure on us to have “a church” in the traditional model, rather than “be” the church. We now see many people having to abandon the old house to follow the Spirit. It’s often a painful process. The cost of changing – huge. The cost of not changing – higher still!


Jesus says we’ll lose the wine and ruin the wineskin, the old way of doing things, if we put new wine in it.


But beware – just because our church model is different doesn’t make us any more ready for new wine. Even our tents (ministry, ways of meeting, leadership position) need to be dismantled when the Spirit moves.


The form is of earth, but the life is from the Spirit.

Our body is the jar of clay in the earthly realm which holds the life from the Heavenly Realm – the Spirit. (2 Cor 4)

Our body is the tent our Spirit lives in here on the Earth (2 Cor 5, 2 Pet 1)


The form of our meetings is just clay which is given life from the Spirit.

Our position of leadership is just clay…

Our reputation is just clay…

What is important is not in this realm.

“My kingdom is not of this world” John 18:36


A tent is humble, not showy or boastful, doesn’t push itself forward.

A tent is not territorial, doesn’t own people or ministries.

A tent can easily fold away out of sight to create room.

A tent can dismantle and move.

The only real value of a tent is those who lives in there.

If the light is on, a tent is pretty see-through … when you look at your tent, can you see Jesus?

We know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. - 2 Cor 5 (message)                                                                                          

Originally posted, 7 July, 2015


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