Am I trying to pour the Spirit of Christ (new wine) back into any of my old ways or legalistic religion (old wineskins)?
36 He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.'" - Luke 5:36-39
Jesus and His Spirit are the "new wine" and in this particular parable, Judaism (old religion and law) are the "old wineskins". Jesus is saying first that you can't pour His Spirit into stale legalistic religion. But it also implies that we can't go back to our old ways and attitudes, or the Spirit of Christ will be grieved. This would be the same as turning away or shipwrecking our faith (Heb 6:4-6, 1 Tim 1:19, 6:10, 21, 2 Tim 2:18).
It was still early in the divorce and it had only been six weeks since I moved away from the children in FL, and back into my parents’ house in AL. I was getting very anxious to get my life back in order. I was talking with a friend one day and she said, “Michael, I don’t think you are going to be happy until you are back out there doing your sales training and motivational speaking.” I started thinking she was right and I began seeing that as my way out of this wilderness. I started doing the mental planning and all of a sudden I realized, “Hey, maybe you should check with God first before you just move forward.” I had been seeing the number 222 pop up for days, but didn’t know what it meant. One afternoon I was sitting on the porch swing praying about this and I got up to get some water. As I passed by the digital clock, it was 2:22pm. I stopped in my tracks and said, “Ok, God, what does this mean…are you trying to tell me something?” I sensed in my spirit that it was a Scripture, so I started in Matthew. I got to Mark 2:22, the same teaching as today, and as I read it, the Holy Spirit applied the Scripture specifically to my situation, and I heard in my spirit, “Michael, we are not going to take the new wine of Christ that is in your heart, and turn around and pour it back into the old wine skins of being a sales trainer/motivational speaker.” God was letting me know that part of my life was over. I had now put my hand to the plow and there was no turning back. Eventually, God even helped me see how He sees motivational speaking as another false man-made religion, where man is master of his destiny. Ultimately, I was blown away and completely humbled. God had providentially guided me to a specific verse to give me precise guidance, which would forever change the direction of my life. I didn’t necessarily like the message at first, but I was excited to have such clear guidance. If I had not obeyed the Spirit’s guidance that day, you would not be reading this book and hundreds of lives would have never been touched by Christ through this little ministry. Incidentally, this would become the very first of over a hundred verses that God would providentially guide me to for specific direction. But, just imagine if I was one of those people who don’t believe God still speaks, and in whatever way He wants to! Poof! (Book disappears)