When you have something new, you have to be careful not to attach it to something old, because if you do you can ruin the integrity of both things. Jesus used two incredible illustrations, the wineskins and the cloth. In the first one He speaks of when new wine was not quite fermented, it would go through changes. It has to aerate as the wine goes through gaseous changes. As it does, the wine develops pressure inside the wineskin.
The idea is that you would never take new wine, that is subject to going through changes, and put it into an old, used wineskin. That old wineskin has dried out and lacks the flexibility to adapt to the growth process of wine. The problem that the religious leaders had with Jesus and His disciples is that He came to bring new wine, but the old religious system was so old, so archaic, and so concrete; it would burst them to see what God was getting ready to do!
“No one sews a piece of un-shrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
Your faith is not to be in the clock or calendar. Your faith has to be in God and what He wants to do in your life. Every sunrise is an opportunity to experience the blessing of God, and with some age and a few aches and pains comes an appreciation that life is truly short. In fact, There are some enemies and issues that do not even deserve your attention because you remember that your life is short on time. When you remember that each day is a gift, you will begin to use those days with discretion, by deciding what you will and will not lend your energies to because foolishness wastes time!
One thing that causes you to realize this even more vividly is if you have had waste in your past. When you look back over your shoulder and say, “If I could just do that over again.” “Why did I not forgive them sooner.” “Why did I keep working on that deadbeat job.” Living in regret of the lost opportunities of yesterday have a tendency to rob you of the expectation of what can happen tomorrow.
There is no need in going into a new season of your life if you go into it with an old mind.
It is not so important to focus on having a new year or a fresh start in life, but the real challenge is to have a new mind. Because if God pours a new year or something fresh into an old mentality that you refuse to give up, there will be no change. I think that someone reading this is determined not to have another year like the one you had before! It is like giving two of your children the same opportunities. One will take the opportunity and the other will not. They can be the same children born out of the same womb, raised in the same house, exposed to the same opportunity, have same genetic composition, but they do not respond to it the same way because they do not have the same mind or mentality.
If you try to invest in someone with a negative mindset, they will waste the investment. You have to fix the mind before you can bestow the blessing. Until you have fixed the mind, everything will leak out of the crevices of a perception that refuses to change.
Change Starts With One Word-TODAY
You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. The day has come to dump some stuff our of your mind! But, what does it mean to develop a new mind. I am so glad you asked. To have a new mind is to gain a new way of looking at your situation. It means you are getting your mind set for new struggles. Paul says in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Paul is reminding the Christians in Rome that they should not shape their mind by the opinions and attitudes of a world system. Rather, they should be transformed in their minds. The greek word for transformed is where we get our English word, metamorphosis. You can go through a metamorphosis! A complete transformation is possible, and it comes by renewing your mind. The most powerful tool in your life is your mind. The battle is won or lost in between your ears.
*Taken from Brady’s new book, The Hope Manifesto
*This is also available in MP3 audio, “You Can’t Waste This Year!” in the STORE section.