Matthew 9:17 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
Often times, when we reach a new level of maturity, we pray that God would remove. Remove things, people…that don’t draw us closer to Christ. Remove anything that doesn’t please Him. And He will. I’ve noticed recently in my life, what I like to call the great falling away. People that I just don’t deal with anymore…people I don’t have to deal with anymore. People that, I didn’t know how to cut out of my life, God simply did for me. And honestly, I didn’t even truly pray that prayer! But it got me thinking…
The question is, with all the empty spaces I’ve acquired after my own personal falling away, what…and who, am I filling it with? The reason so many people repeat the same mistakes, with the same type of person, is because they don’t require change for the better. They don’t use wisdom when selecting their circle. It’s like, out with the old, in with the same. Same drama. Same issues. Different person. Not good.
Another good question is how have I changed? With new things coming, new people coming…if they are met with the old me, then what? Same drama. Same issues. Same me. Not good.
Just as God cuts away at the things and people we no longer need in our lives, we must also remember to pray for, and allow Him to perform the same process on us. Perfect us. Psalms 51:2 says Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! AMP. We know it as “give me a clean heart”. I liked this version because it says repeatedly. Cleaning up, getting right, is not a one time thing. It is repeatedly. Oft! Just as we have to wash our physical bodies often, otherwise we smell, appear unclean…we are unclean. EW! Our spiritual beings require the same type of attention. As often as it requires, we need to go to God, and get cleaned up. So as He fills us with new thoughts, they aren’t overcome by old thoughts. As he gives us new friends, we don’t turn them off because the “old us” keeps coming back. God needs to be ever present, so that our old ways do not intimidate and overwhelm or trounce our new ways. A little bit of sin turns into a lot, quickly. A small sinful thought can lead us to a big and bad decision, with catastrophic results, before we can even blink good.
But being right before God’s eyes takes work. It takes being intentional. Diligence. It takes the right desires. It takes prayer. And it cannot be done on our own. It takes Jesus! That is a downfall for a lot of us, I think. We take the fact that we need Jesus out of the equation. We don’t say that. In fact, we might get a little offended or indignant at the insinuation. But our actions say it. When our prayer life is small…when time spent with Christ is sporadic and quick…when we “handle” things without even thinking how He feels about our decisions…when we treat him as if He is a magician, instead of GOD.
“Lord give me new” is not independent of “Lord make me new”. They go hand in hand.
God wants to clean you up. He wants to rid you of wrong friends…sometimes family, desires, things that are counterproductive to your walk with Him. But you have to be open to it. Not just talk about it. But actually open to it, giving it to Him, and willing to do the work. He wants to fill you with His love, His grace, His ways…HIM. Your next level will require this. There’s a meme floating around that says something like “I can’t take everybody with me to the next level”. This is true. And this includes the old you!
You want the new, you have to be made new…