We saw how it was with the Israelites. They were enslaved in Egypt for a long, long time before they began crying out to God. Then after their deliverance they murmured, grumbled, griped, and complained about the wilderness.
We’re going to Matthew 9 and Luke 5. There is a lot in the Scriptures that talk about bondage, captivity, and enslavement that Christians are involved in. Many times, they would rather have the captivity than the freedom. It takes a lot of dedication to be free.
Matthew 9:16 No man puts a piece of new cloth on an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
I think everybody understands that. If you have an old garment and you put on a new piece of cloth, when you wash it, it shrinks and pretty soon it is tearing where it had been sewn and the rent gets worse. Then there is another example with the wine and bottles.
Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
The new wine begins to work and to ferment. It expands and breaks the old wineskins that are not able to take the workings of the wine. He is talking about the wine of the Kingdom. Repairing the old garments – you can take some of the old doctrines with which you have been clothed, some of the old teachings, and try to patch them in the new, but it just doesn’t work. The same thing as with the wine. The new wine must go in new wineskins. There has to be a change that takes place within us. It was necessary for a change to take place in those Israelites before they were willing to leave Egypt.
Jesus gives the same teaching in Luke chapter 5.
Luke 5:36-38 And He spake also a parable unto them. No man puts a piece of
new garment upon an old one; otherwise the new makes a rent, and the piece that
was taken out of the new agrees not with the old.
37 And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
New wine must be put into new bottles. Something has to happen to bring a new desire, a new longing, a new want-to. Something has to change in us, or we will not be willing to leave the old that we have been involved in. You have heard the old saying, “The old-time religion is good enough for me.” That is not a good attitude. We want something new. We want something fresh from God. But something new and fresh from God will just tear you to pieces unless there is something within you that becomes new to agree with it. Two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). So, the newness that God is placing in us has to agree with the newness that He wants us to walk in.
Luke 5:38-39 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are
39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desires new, for he says, The old is better.
Our man-nature does not want the new. He says, “The old is better.” I think God has dealt with us long enough and worked in us enough that we are ready for something new. Also, I do not want to decide what the new thing is that God is going to do. I want it to be something that my mind could not even conceive of. Otherwise, I would be rushing into something I think I want, and I would miss the will of God. Do you understand what I am saying? We have to say, “Whatever you do, Lord, we want it. Whatever the next level is, whatever the next realm, we are marching out of the old because we are ready to get rid of it!” We have been in captivity too long, and we refuse to stay in it any longer. All the things that have seemed good to us, Lord, we drop them all. We say like Paul, “We count all things as lost” (Philippians 3:7). Whatever we have dreamed about, whatever has been a blessing to us up to this point, we are not going to hang on to any of it.
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me – the things that were a blessing, things that seemed to help my life, that good job we had that poured the money in, whatever it is, whatever made life good – those I counted loss for Christ.
Lord, we are determined! You will be the most important thing to us during our lifetime. Not the blessings, but You yourself.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
We want to get to the place where we feel what Paul is talking about here – all things but loss … for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung. I tell you, some people have to be in bondage for a long, long time before they get to that place. Well, I am determined in my heart that the taskmaster and the Pharaoh of Egypt do not have to make anything worse than what it already is. I want to be ready to go. Lord, You have said enough. I am ready to go. I am ready to be free of these things that I may win Christ.
Philippians 3:9-10 And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness,
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ – not my
faith but Your faith, Lord Jesus – the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.
Why do we want to break out of the old? Because we want to know You, Lord. We want to know the power of Your resurrection, the power of Your resurrection that takes place within us.
Philippians 3:11-13 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended …
All the blessings of the past, the ministry, the excellency, everything that has happened, I do not count that as having apprehended the fullness of the Lord or the fullness of the life that God would have for me.
Philippians 3:13 … but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind …
Everything of the past, drop it all, every bit, which includes everything. Drop it all; forgetting those things which are behind. I can’t even remember them. Lord, wipe them out of my mind.
Philippians 3:13 … and reaching forth unto those things which are before…
The man-nature wants to hold on. I have certain things in my past, the way that I lived, the way that I loved, things that I like, things that I did, my own relationship with You, Lord, I don’t need to turn that loose, do I? Yes! Turn it all loose! You are not going to go forward until you turn everything loose - reaching forth unto those things which are before. What are those things that are before? What are you reaching for? I don’t know what they are, but they are things that God has for us. They are waiting for me, whatever it is that He has. I don’t know what it is. “You don’t know what you are reaching for or what you believe?” No, I don’t know. I just want more of Christ and whatever He is involved in that is fine with me, but I am forgetting what is in the past and reaching forward to that which is before me, whatever it is.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Now, the Lord does not have to try to convince me of this. I know in my heart that there is a prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I haven’t even scratched the surface of it yet. I haven’t even come close to it yet. I press toward the mark. The Greek reads, “I press into.”
Philippians 3:14-15 I press toward (into) the mark into the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded.
We turn loose the past. All the things that we counted as good, as a
blessing, we turn them loose to move into more. Amen.
Copyright © 2013 by Henry DuBose