New Wine for New Wineskins April 2015

By , March 31, 2015 7:29 pm

2015AYearOfGreatChange022015 – A Year Of Great Change (Part 4)
2015 – A Year Of Great Change

Romans 12: 2 (Amplified)

2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

All change in our lives begins by changing the way we think.

Repentance actually means a change of mind that results in a change of thought, purpose, and action.  Repentance is not merely saying, “I am sorry.”  True repentance is saying,  “I have changed.

Saying sorry is important, but the word of God says that godly sorrow leads to repentance.  Being sorry on its own will not get you further than the next time you do the same thing. We have all heard of alcoholic remorse, the “never again” syndrome which can be associated with all habitual or compulsive behaviour.  It has long been a conundrum why many wives who have suffered marital abuse or betrayal return to their husbands time after time.  They will tell you that their husband has said that he is sorry and that it will never happen again.  But unless there is genuine repentance there will be another repeat performance regardless of how sorry he may claim to be afterwards.  These may be extreme examples but the principle applies to every place in our lives where we desire change.

The reality is that you have to change what you think if you are going to change what you do.  We are changed, transformed – metamorphosised – by the renewing of our minds, just like a caterpillar that slips on its ‘onesy’, has a rest, and breaks out and reappears completely transformed.

Jesus invites us to come to him and learn how to rest.

Matthew 11: 28 – 30

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The metamorphosis that takes place from caterpillar to butterfly is a process, and although there is an apparent struggle at the end of the process it all occurs perfectly naturally because the caterpillar / butterfly is genetically programmed with the ability to complete the process of transformation.

It is the same with us when we are born again from above.  There is a process in our new life of faith, but it is a supernaturally natural process, and although there may appear to be struggles we are genetically programmed to overcome every obstacle from a position of rest.

The process of growth is not mechanical or engineered.  We don’t think about it, or feel pressured and stressed by it.  We don’t have to try and make it happen.

A baby doesn’t try to grow, he or she just grows.  They feed, they sleep, and they grow. When you haven’t seen a young child for a while you are often shocked by how much they have grown, and how much they have changed.

The caterpillar feeds on the vegetation, slips on its ‘onesy’, enters its place of rest, and following a brief struggle emerges as a butterfly. Changed, transformed, metamorphosised.

Do you want to change?  Change begins with a decision to come to Jesus and learn from him, acknowledging that his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  What you feed on is of vital importance, which is why Jesus said that our new lives are not sustained only by physical bread but by the word that God speaks.

Hebrews 4: 4 – 16

4 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;  5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Feeding on the word of God takes us into the rest of faith in Christ. We slip on our ‘onesy’, and following a brief struggle that we are genetically programmed and supernaturally empowered to overcome, we emerge changed, transformed, metamorphosised.

2 Timothy 2: 15

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Listen up.

Ephesians 4: 20 – 24

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

If you don’t change what you think you won’t change what you do, but simply feed on the word of God which is the will of God, enter the rest of faith, and you will be changed, guaranteed.

For years I have counseled people to stop trying and to start crying.

Romans 8: 14 – 15

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4: 6

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

This is not a sniveling, snot-slinging cry, it is a strong cry or call of faith and expectancy.  We call on Daddy and we expect Father to show up. Father, who every child believes knows everything and can do anything.

Mark 14: 32 – 36

32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Jesus called out to his Father. He prayed that prayer at a point when a part of him was tempted to give up on the word that he had come to fulfill.  But he chose to realign his thoughts with his Father’ will so that he could finish what he had come to do.

James 1: 16 – 18

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

The Message

18…..He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

We have nothing left to do to try and prove ourselves to our heavenly Father, but he wants to spend eternity proving himself to us, proving his good, acceptable, and perfect will for our lives.

Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give….

You can expect healing, cleansing, resurrection power, and complete freedom from oppression manifesting in a brand new life. And because you receive everything in abundance you can give it away.

We are here to be a demonstration, a manifestation of our Father’s will and to live the life he created us to live.  Don’t ever be tempted to give up on that no matter how hard it might get sometimes or how much opposition you might encounter.

Too many of God’s people spend their time trying to get more of his anointing and so all of their focus is on that, but we have been brought into relationship with our heavenly Father primarily to know him.

Paul said, “that I might know him (first)….and the power of his resurrection (second)….”

Jesus spent thirty years just knowing the Father before he stepped out in the anointing to engage in public ministry.  Before he had anything notably miraculous His Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased….

He hadn’t done any great works, He just knew him.

Jesus spoke about people who will say that they have done all kinds of spectacular things in his name, and yet he will say that he never knew them. What should that tell us is most important?

When Jesus’ disciples came back from their first ministry outing all excited because the demons were submitted to their authority, he told them that was not what they should be really excited about. He told them that they should be jumping up and down more because their names are written in heaven, because they are sons of God. We are not supposed to be rejoicing most about the impact or effect of the anointing that we have upon the lives of others but in our relationship with the Father.

We are anointed to do good and to heal. We have authority to do good and to heal. We have no authority to do evil and to harm. But the anointing and authority to do good is not a validation of our character, but of his.

That is why even when we mess up or blow it we don’t lose our anointing or authority to do good. People have wondered how a minister caught up in adultery or some other moral failure could still minister under the anointing and minister healing to others. But that reality says a lot more about God than the person who has a flaw in his character.

Romans 11: 29 (Amplified)

29 For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

The Father will not withhold good or blessing from a third party because you or I have messed up.

Many people have thought that if they were more anointed and did more spectacular stuff that somehow God would be more pleased with them and so they have come up with all kinds of bogus and soulishly driven ways to try and accomplish this.

But the Father was well pleased with Jesus before there was any outward evidence of the powerful anointing upon his life. Jesus knew that the most important thing, the number one priority in his life, was his relationship with his Father.

Don’t ever be overly concerned if there appears to be nothing spectacular “happening” through you, instead continue to rejoice in your relationship with the Father.

Habakkuk 3: 17 – 18

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Proverbs 3: 5 – 6

5 Trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Back in 2004 Catriona and I received a prophetic word that the oil of intimacy was going to become more important to us than the flame of ministry. Since then I have begun to discover what that meant. The flame of ministry is important but the oil of intimacy is more important.

You see, I can minister to you from the flame of ministry and you can be blessed, but I cannot share the oil of intimacy with you. That is something that you have to get for yourself. I can introduce you to someone but how well you get to know that person is down to you. Remember the ten virgins that Jesus spoke about? Five were wise and five were foolish.

Matthew 25: 1 – 13

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Our first priority is not ministry, it is intimacy.

Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation.  He was counseling them to spend intimate time with the Father and to count that as the most important thing.

Jesus began every day of ministry in intimate fellowship with his Father, not so that his ministry would be guaranteed success, but because that is what was most important to Him.

Some folks only ever think about looking for God after they mess up and think they had better sort things out in case they forfeit their salvation and lose their place in heaven. In the religious church we have been programmed to think that we have some distant connection with God that is maintained by trying harder to do something good from time to time in a bid to compensate for all the bad stuff we do.

If we are going to do the same works that Jesus it will be because we have the same relationship with the Father that Jesus had. That is what Jesus came to make possible for us. We have been given a clean sheet and all of the obstacles have been removed so that we can now be as close to the Father as we want to be all of the time.

That  awesome reality is what has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for heaven to invade earth.

It is in the place of relationship with the Father that the greatest change occurs in us. Not through trying, but through crying, calling out, “Abba….Father….

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy