Time for a new wineskin

I’ve been on holiday for a week.  Which is always a great time for contemplation. And these are a few of my mullings:

It is time for a new wineskin.

 Then the disciples of John came to Jesus, inquiring, Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, [that is, abstain from food and drink as a religious exercise], but Your disciples do not fast? And Jesus replied to them, Can the wedding guests mourn while the bridegroom is still with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. And no one puts a piece of cloth that has not been shrunk on an old garment, for such a patch tears away from the garment and a worse rent (tear) is made. Neither is new wine put in old wineskins; for if it is, the skins burst and are torn in pieces, and the wine is spilled and the skins are ruined. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved. Matthew 9:14-17 Amp.

Wineskins.

Christ -The Anointed One abides in us. The Spirit dwells within is. We are the earthen vessels, the containers so to speak, the dwelling place of God.

And our revelation of who God is, is what we release to those around us. Our wineskin contains our revelation.

Twenty years ago there was a stretching of wineskins as God began revealing Himself in a fresh way as The Father. Our eyes were unveiled (and continue to be) to His love and intimacy , to His goodness, and near-ness. We became fresh wineskins as we mourned for Him. That is, we began to see our lack in our understanding of who God is, we longed for Him, we cried out for Him, to meet Him in His aspect of the Father that we had not known. We were undone by His love.

Now God is beginning to stretch us again. He is adding to our revelation of who He is. He is beginning to display Himself in His Greatness and Power. It will take a fresh new wineskin to hold this.

We are to contain both aspects of who He is. His intimacy, love and goodness, as well as His majesty, His awe generating Greatness, His Holiness. His Glory. It has to be both. That is who He is.

I’ve heard His Glory described as His reputation. It is who He is displayed. His Glory is not shared with us…it’s not our power and might. Yet Jesus says we are given His Glory. We contain His reputation, we are to be wineskins holding the revelation of who God is. Witnesses of His supernatural love, supernatural peace, supernatural hope, supernatural resurrective power.

I don’t think we are able to comprehend what this will look like. We’ve heard of stories from the past, just take Azuza Street for example. But that was one church. What will it look like on mass worldwide scale?

I know my wineskin needs refreshing, renewing, replacing, updating  – however one would phrase it. New wine is put into fresh wineskins. I am surrendering my old wineskin, saying God I want to hold the fresh revelation you are bringing. Greater understanding of who you are!

 

 

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It’s simple. Isn’t it?

Two commandments.  That is all.  It’s that simple.

Love God

Love one another.

As I began to explore John’s writings on abiding, and reading of the relationship between abiding in God and loving others, I kept coming back to these two commandments.

Having experienced revelation of Jesus’ love for me,  I began asking for His love for others. Because let’s face it, I think we don’t really know how to love others as He does. I’m not flogging myself in saying that. I just think human nature is self-serving to a large extent.  So I decided on asking God for His love, to see people through His eyes.  Because I know it’s His love that ministers.  It’s His love that delivers, heals, encourages, strengthens, makes whole..  And because I believe He is fully able to place the grace for that love in our hearts.

It’s been many years since I first prayed that. There have been the ugly seasons. Where I have learnt that love takes risk. And pain. And forgiveness. Where I have learnt it takes initiation. And persistence. And it takes my time.

And I have seen God ministering to people.  That’s the wonderful part.  I have seen the impact of loving others as I learn to recognise and respond to His prompts.

And I have had precious encounters with God as he has shown me aspects of  Himself.

It’s a journey I feel I’ve just started. And absolutely want to continue!

Just today I read these beautiful words in another blog (the full post can be read on the link)

I believe there is new movement waking to Love. A movement like the Celtic saints of old.  Out of broken places comes beauty that transforms brokenness itself.  Interconnected communities embracing the marginalized, seeing the unseen, choosing the raw and real.  Supernatural molten hot glory filling our lives to be a river to the low places changing landscapes within and without. 

Michelle Perry

 

The reveal

Luke 24. Now there is a chapter to read and re-read. And re-read again!

I was reading it earlier this week. And have been soaking in the words of verse 31.

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  Luke 24:31

Or in my phone’s Bible reader.. ‘ He became invisible’

Either way – what an awesome account of Jesus revealing himself to a few folks. At first they don’t recognise Him as He teaches about Himself, but later as they have a meal together and He breaks bread, their eyes are opened. They see Him as Jesus. Their Saviour. The Son of God. And then He vanishes.

Reading this makes me hunger all the more. Hunger for having encounters with Jesus. For greater intimacy with Him. For more of His Manifest presence. For His Supernatural self. I love how He blows our minds and boxes of how we think He should come. I pray that I will always recognise Him, and what He is doing.

I pray for an awakening in this land. Where eyes are opened to His presence. Where Jesus reveals Himself.  I think of awakenings in our global history. How communities are changed because of encountering Him, and His Righteousness.  Think about it… Marae becoming communities of deliverance and healings.  Police bored because crime has stopped (it happened in Wales). Doctors retiring because the medical centres are empty. Traditional rush hour traffic and congested areas radically altered because priorities have changed.

Names added to the Book of Life. Eternity in the Presence of God.

So, I pray for Jesus to be revealed. In each of us. In powerful life changing encounters. That His Word would burn in us. The understanding of who He is.

Come Lord Jesus, Come!

God’s nature.

How great is God – beyond our understanding.. Job36:26

Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the limits of the Almighty?.. Job 11:7

Our God: The Great I Am, Creator, Father, Giver, Deliverer, Saviour, Healer, Friend, Holy, Majestic, Good, Faithful…..

You get the picture. God’s nature is far larger than our comprehension of Him. We know in part. He reveals glimpses of Himself to us. Some revelations come in an instant, an encounter with Him, caught up in His very presence. Others come through seasons of time.

And through these revelations (along with our own boxes, baggage, unchallenged ideologies, and imaginations), we see God in a certain way. We minister out from this place, and we minister this aspect of Him to those around us.

It is something I have been contemplating recently. I look at the variety of (Christian) ministries globally and throughout history. And there are many differing streams, styles, denominations etc around. We all tend to have our favourites. The ones we ‘align’ ourselves with. Follow. We tend to choose those that have a similar revelation of God we have, or desire to have.

What irks me, is that we dismiss or even worse, speak against those that minister an aspect of God’s nature that we haven’t encountered, or understand.  (Don’t panic – I’m talking scriptural truth.. don’t get all upset that I’m endorsing strange unbiblical doctrine!). Although truth can appear strange to our conceptions!

Weaknesses, cultural differences (even volume – too loud – too quiet)!! are picked apart. And we miss the treasure. Not one of us is perfect. We need each other. It’s called The Body. We need each others’ revelations. To inspire us to seek revelation of aspects of His nature we haven’t yet received.

Encountering God in fresh ways, is encountering aspects of His nature. Who do you know Him as? Who is He to you? Why don’t you begin praying to known Him afresh?

I pray fresh revelation. Fresh encounter. Fresh intimacy.