If there is going to be a new wine of the Spirit that’s poured out, then we must learn how to become a new wineskin.
And if there is one thing the church needs right now, it’s new wine.
We need the Holy Spirit.
We need to be completely and utterly immersed in Him.
We need a greater baptism.
After the waiting disciples themselves were baptized in the Holy Spirit in the upper room, suddenly, by the supernatural power and grace of God, these uneducated men began declaring the mysteries of God in languages they were never taught as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Jews that were gathered in Jerusalem that day to celebrate Pentecost or the Feast of Harvest heard the disciples and were bewildered.
A true sign and wonder was taking place before them as they beheld it with their eyes and heard it with their ears.
Some were astonished while others mocked and said, “They are full of sweet wine” (Acts 2:13).
New wine is always the sweetest.
In the same way that wine has an intoxicating effect on those who consume it, so does the Holy Spirit on those who are baptized with Him.
The effects of drunkenness with alcohol is merely a perversion of what it means to be intoxicated with the Holy Spirit.
Both have the ability to influence an individual.
But only one has the ability to impart the power that is necessary to live and demonstrate the Christian life.
Through the born again experience, the disciples became a new wineskin that was able to contain this new thing that God was doing.
Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the promise that God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, as prophesied by the prophet Joel, has now become a reality.
But I do not believe we have seen nor experienced the full measure of this promise.
Recently, I was reminiscing about the first time I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and the many wonderful things that followed my experience.
I had the privilege of leading meetings where there were times when a corporate baptism in the Spirit broke out.
I bore witness to visitations of God that lasted for hours and brought immediate transformation and deliverance to people.
I saw demons cast out and healings take place.
And although I still see some of those things happen today, it’s not nearly in the same quantity or with the same potency that I had once seen them.
In some ways, I feel like that first baptism in the Spirit has stretched this wineskin called Brian Connolly as far as he can be stretched… and I need to become a new wineskin.
The process begins with me first seeing my need for more and humbling myself in prayer.
I cannot afford to live off of the wine that was given me in 2010.
It feels like it has run out.
The things I used to see and the things that once felt so effortless seem like a distant memory.
Where I currently am is not enough.
What I currently possess isn’t enough.
I need a fresh baptism in the Spirit.
I need to be immersed.
I want to be under the complete influence and control of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t want to live off of yesterday’s testimonies.
I never want the old to be enough.
The new normal in the world demands a new normal within me.
The need of the moment always demands a response… and I believe the world is starving and looking for what only the Holy Spirit can provide.
New wine must be placed into fresh wineskins… Wineskins that are pliable, flexible, and stretchable and able to contain the expansion of God’s kingdom in them and through them.
If you place new wine into old wineskins, the new wine will burst the old wineskin… AND… it will be spilled out (see Luke 5:37).
I don’t want to miss or ruin what God wants to fill me with.
I don’t want to settle for what God did in the past… Although, there will be those who, after they have drunk old wine, will say, “The old is good enough” (Luke 5:39).
Unfortunately, the old isn’t good enough.
Is what we are currently doing working?
Are we effective?
Is it leading to the salvation of thousands?
Is there a sense of awe among us?
Are signs and wonders the norm?
Is there a longing to pray and to fellowship with one another?
Are we fully devoted to the teachings in the scriptures?
Are we radically generous?
If not, something is missing…
These are just some of the characteristics that described the early church and there is only one person to blame: The Holy Spirit.
We need Him, guys.
Dear reader, we need new wine.
Let the onlookers mock us if they wish, but I’d rather be filled with the Holy Spirit and laughed at than remain as I am now.
Come, Holy Spirit.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
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