by Pastor Mark Banyard
If you are a student of revival history, you will know there are some moves of God that were very short lived because the people were not ready to receive what God had given them. That is why Jesus spoke on the parable of the new wine in Luke 5:33-35. An old wineskin will not be able to withstand the fermentation process. It won’t be able to handle the activity.
For since the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing. In Luke 5:36-39, Jesus likens this to taking a piece of new fabric, in fact taking it out of a new garment to sew onto an old garment. If you have an old pair of jeans and there was a hole in the jeans, will you get a new pair of jeans and cut them up to sew anew? Who would do that? So, Jesus said nobody takes a new piece of fabric and sew it into an old garment because once it is in there, it’s going to tear it. It’s going to rip it. And the two would be destroyed.
And so I believe in this day and in this time, God is speaking to us about new things. It’s not just what He is going to give us, not just what He is going to pour out. But the new thing also has to be in our own hearts. It’s the preparation of God in our own hearts so that we become that new wineskin individually and corporately.
And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” (Luke 5:39) And this is the verse in Luke that is different from Mark and Matthew. It says, no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says the old is better. What does that mean? Well, it means simply what it means, old wine is better than new wine. The old wine is the best.
Do you know that it says in Isaiah that He saves the best wine until last? What it means is that when God comes and pours out new wine, how many of you would want the new wine? When the new wine comes, some of you won’t like it. It will taste sharp. It will be raw. It would be rude. You say, “I am not sure I like this. Let’s go back to drinking the old.” God is about to do something. We’ve all said we want it. He is going to pour out a new thing. But the inconvenience of the move of God and the unfamiliarity of how things seem like in those times might just tempt us to go back to Egypt. You see, if you are really wanting God to do a new thing, you need to understand this. It’s going to be something that is going to stretch you like a wineskin. It’s going to measure you. It’s going to see whether you can handle a process that is so active that it will literally mold you into Jesus!
Do you remember the story of the wedding in Cana, Galilee in John 2? Jesus went to a wedding. They ran out of wine too soon. Jesus’ mother turned to Jesus and said, Jesus, do something! In verse 6, Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus did not turn the water into grape juice but wine. That’s to deal with our religious spirit because we would rather just fast, it’s easy to fast according to the law than to discern the moment. In verse 7, Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. When the move of God comes, He doesn’t fill up the cup one third, two thirds, but all the way to the top so that it spills over. Ministry is not in the deposit, but in the overflow. That’s where ministry begins.
Jesus took six jars that were used for ceremonial washing. Using them for anything other than ceremony meant you would defile them. God wants to take things that we consider to be ceremonial in our liturgy and in our practice of worship. And when the new wine comes, He takes things that are precious to us and He often does that to reveal a Pharisaical spirit that may have crept into our heart. Jesus took His authority and power to do something that would offend. But He did the miraculous to reveal the hearts of the Pharisees, and also attract those who were true God seekers to Him.
Turning water into wine at a wedding speaks of a day when there will be another wedding, the wedding of the Lamb that the bridegroom is here in a sense, even though He sits at the right hand of the Father and He is making intercession for us. We live in the promise.
And though there are times of fasting, there are times of celebration. God is pouring out new wine. He is going to do it whether we are ready or not. The question is, is the new wineskin in place? Are we flexible enough to move with the dynamics of the river or are we like a cement pool or just a reservoir, a holding tank for God? God wants to bring us into a place of renewal. He wants to renew us once again so that we might be able to contain the fullness of what He is about to pour out. Every time Jesus did a miracle, He revealed the Father. Every time He performed a sign, a wonder, a miracle is to reveal the Father. And in this, He revealed the Father’s glory. And after that, people started to put their faith in Him.
The Spirit of God is moving in Malaysia and I believe that the Lord is doing a new thing. He has already started it. He is going to do it. He is going to release it to us and He is going to release it to you!