Luke 5:37-38 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins.”
January 25, 2019
Two things do not mix: new wine and old wineskins. The reason is simple: old wineskins cannot grow and stretch to hold the new wine. The new wine God wants to fill you with is expansive; it is a picture of God’s Spirit. It always brings an enlargement. A container that is dead, dry, stiff and shrinking back cannot be entrusted as a storehouse for God’s valued treasure. Our vessels must be prepared for the fresh, dynamic, living presence of God – everything we do will flow from it. This preparation comes through prayer and fasting, producing a container that is ready for the new thing God wants to do. God’s new wine always changes us – it expands our faith, enlarges our purpose, and brings renewed vision.
Everything God does is expansive, He is not into shrinking wineskins – it is up to us to shed them. As we seek Him in this season, let’s shed the old wineskin and ask God to fully prepare our hearts for what’s to come.
What has caused you to shrink back in your expectation of what God wants to do in your life? Are you ready to be expanded beyond recognition? That’s what God’s new wine will do in and through you. Pray the Lord will expand your life to glorify Him, giving you boldness to step out and be
Luke 4:14 "Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region."
January 24, 2019
After praying and fasting for 40 days, Jesus returned to Galilee empowered to do all the Father had called Him to do. To accomplish the assignment God has for our lives, we also need the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. God does not expect us to go through the challenges of life without it.
Prayer and fasting brings us to the place where we can “power up”. Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit is living with a comprehension of the God-given strength and authority in our lives to walk out His will. Through prayer and fasting, God can prepare us for what lies ahead. We might not know what obstacles we’re going to face, but we can know that God will be faithful to us. He will never leave us and He will empower us to meet whatever challenges life may bring.
Today as you worship God in prayer, let Him know that you refuse to go into the future without His power and that you want all that He has for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG "Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
January 23, 2019
Worry seems to be an inescapable fact of modern life. No doubt there is plenty to worry about: our kids, the economy, global warming, war, disease… the list could go on forever! Sometimes it might seem that worry has even replaced Jesus as the focal point of our lives. Jesus Himself admonished us several times not to worry. And the great apostle, Paul, tell us in the passage above that there is an antidote to worry…prayer.
When we worry about something, we are spending energy on it, wondering what might happen, rehearsing the “if only’s” and “what if’s” in our mind. Why not take that same energy and refocus it on prayer instead? When we worry, we are simply talking to ourselves about our fears, but when we pray, we are taking those fears to God. We can’t control the future, but in the words of Anne Graham Lotz, God is already there! He knows exactly what is going to happen and he promises to be with us every step of the journey.
As we are nearing a close to this season of prayer and fasting, let’s make an effort to convert our worry into prayer. As Paul says in the verse above, “let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,” and you will find that the peace of God will guard your heart.
Are there things that you consistently worry about? As you go through your day today, recapture each worried thought and send it up to God as a prayer. See how dramatically your outlook improves when the peace of God is activated through prayer!
Matthew 17:14-16 .. And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
January 22, 2019
What a great example of humility – this man approached Jesus and knelt before Him in the midst of a crowd. As the father approached Jesus, he believed that Jesus would bring his son relief. But even in his belief, his approach was humble and submitted to what Christ would choose to do. Looking further into the story, we find the father was also persistent and resisted taking offense. Though the disciples were not able to help him, he set aside his temporary disappointment in their failure and continued to seek after Jesus – the solution to his circumstance, the source of relief through his trial.
Being humble before God is realizing our need of Him, submitting to His will, pursuing Him and being confident the outcome will occur in God’s perfect timing.
Be encouraged that approaching God with a heart of humility will always position you to find relief in Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to humble yourself before God, even in the midst of others looking on. Offenses and disappointment may come but continue in your pursuit of Jesus. You may not get relief right away but know that God is never late and His solution is always perfect.
Prayer is a posture of humility. Humble yourself before the Lord each day and bring your cares to Him. He wants to meet you where you are and answer your every need. Pray too, that God help you with the disappointment and discouragement that we each face along the way. Is there discouragement in your heart today? Write it down and release it to our perfect God.