recently, i was so overcome with joy by my own thoughts and ponderings and musings, that i just had to write them down and get them on paper.

the following article is one such occurence.
i hope that this which has been the source of great joy for me, will bring you a level of joy as well.
and if doesn’t – oh well. no pressure, people. [that seems to be my current motto].

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The Reality of our New Wineskin
a lifestyle of feasting: what it all means, and why it’s so important.
by: randi strickland

Luke 5:33-38

The Message (MSG)
33They asked him, “John’s disciples are well-known for keeping fasts and saying prayers. Also the Pharisees. But you seem to spend most of your time at parties. Why?”
34-35 Jesus said, “When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but this isn’t the time. As long as the bride and groom are with you, you have a good time. When the groom is gone, the fasting can begin. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!
36-39″No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put wine in old, cracked bottles; you get strong, clean bottles for your fresh vintage wine.”

New King James Version (NKJV)
37 ”And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.
38 But new wine must be put
into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

In this passage, Jesus connects fasting & feasting to something extremely important: Our perception of our position with Him. For the one who percieves the Bridegroom to be far off, separated, “gone,” his reaction is to fast. To skip the food and the drink – if there’s no Bridegroom, there’s nothing to feast on anyway. But to the one who perceives the nearness of the Bridegroom, the one who sees that He is with you, sitting right beside you, at your table – he knows what time it is… Time to party! To eat and drink! Because, “as long as the groom is with you, you have a good time.”

Jesus stirred up much controversy around this issue of fasting vs. feasting. He was always feasting when everyone thought he should be fasting! But he was demonstrating a new reality to them – one where God (the Bridegroom) wasn’t distant, separate, far away from them, but a new reality where He was right there WITH them, right in front of them, INSIDE of them! His feasting lifestyle with the disciples was an outward DEMONSTRATION of a new inner reality He was bringing to the earth, to humanity!

And that new reality is the new “wineskin” He is talking about in the parable immediately following – He tells the parable to explain further what He’s saying.

And this is where the terminology becomes different than what I’ve always heard – because we talk so much in certain circles about the new “wineskin,” but in the context of it meaning a new model or a new way of doing things or something. For instance, maybe some would say that the “apostolic” is a “new wineskin” for the church. Or renewal experiences are a “new wineskin,” or the Prophetic is a “new wineskin” or the list goes on, really.

But here, in context, Jesus is not talking about the church, or an organization, or just “doing things differently.” He’s talking about our CORE REALITY. He’s talking about our perception of our position with Him, our most central understanding of HIM. The “new wineskin” is the REBIRTH. It’s the sin-free existence He came to give us! And our connection, communion, union with Him – His nearness – which is both immediate and eternal. It’s the work of the Cross, the Gospel of Grace, the GOOD NEWS He came to preach!!

And that new wineskin makes a way for us to hold the new wine – which is HIM!! The new wine is GOD! It’s all of Him, the fullness of God, the Glory of God – Christ in us, the hope of glory, it’s mystical unbroken union with God forever, it’s the bliss of Heaven, the unlimited pleasures of God, the eternal irrigation of His Spirit!!! That’s the NEW WINE!!

And it’s received and held within us based on our receiving of the new wineskin! The understanding, revelation, knowledge of the Gospel – the gospel of GRACE. Revelation of our inclusion in Christ’s crucifixion, His burial, and His resurrection!! This new reality is the new wineskin!

Because the old wineskin of Religion – of fear.. fear of failure, fear of the future, fear of disappointment, fear of not being good enough, etc. – the oppression of religion CANNOT hold the new wine of the fullness of God! It will burst!!

When you pour the new wine of God’s bliss, of unbroken union with Him, of His pleasure and delight over you – the new wine of GOD HIMSELF dwelling in you in FULLNESS… When you pour that into the old wineskin of religion, you think you have to WORK for it. You move into self-righteousness. You try to prove yourself – prove that you deserve what’s been poured into you, that you’re good enough to drink it. And the pressure of that performance will eventually WEAR YOU DOWN! It will exhaust you and lord over you, because it’s the “ministry of condemnation and death” until you burn out and suddenly BAM – the wineskin burst. And now
you’re worse off then before – the wineskin has been destroyed and the wine has been spilled out and lost.

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So, friends, there’s only one thing left to say…

Bottom’s up!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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