During World War 2, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was made supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in western Europe. In this position he was faced with making the decision for changing the date of the D. Day invasion. He knew he did not have the required wisdom and foresight for the decision but he knew his God, who did. Eisenhower asked the Lord to give him peace of mind in the knowledge that he had been guided by Him to make the right decision, which meant he could then leave the result to God. God honoured that prayer and thousands of lives were saved by that decision.
Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths”.
When we seek the Lord for direction and He gives us a proceeding word to obey, we do not have to concern ourselves with the result. That is God’s business. We can trust and wait. In the fullness of God’s appointed time we will see the result of God’s handy work, working the impossible, all for His glory.
God’s word is creative and fulfils itself. He requires my obedience and trust in abandoning results to His mighty hand. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”, Matthew 4:4. This is the proceeding word we need to go forward with God.
When God moves us into a new dispensation, it is time to change our ways of doing things. Jesus said, “No man puts a piece of new cloth on an old garment……..neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break and the wine runs out……..but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved”, Matthew 9: 16-17.
The whole of creation in a weary world is groaning, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. I can become a new wine skin by daily preparing my heart for the Lord Jesus to reign there comfortably. I cannot change myself, but I can choose to change my heart’s attitude. As I walk in humility before God and men, I abide in the Vine and become a branch of Christ’s resurrection life. The new wine skin will only hold new wine, the life and character of our Lord Jesus. Jesus consulted His Father in everything, only speaking the words His Father gave Him, only doing the works He directed Him to do. Jesus had surrendered His “Himself”, preferring and choosing His Father’s will before His own. He lived by the Father’s proceeding word, that is why He could declare that the words He spoke were spirit and life, (John 6:63), straight from the throne room of Heaven. His words carried authority and were creative.
Our heart is the container for the life of Christ, and heart purity cannot be tainted. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, Matthew 5:8. Do I see God in all things, or only when I like my circumstances. I need to let God be true in my life and choose to believe Romans 8: 28 in adversity -“ALL things work together for good to those that love the Lord…”. May the Lord continue working with us in making us His vessels fit for purpose, His purpose, for His glory – new wine skins.
2 Chronicles 20 records King Jehoshaphat in a desperate situation. The Ammonites and Moabites were pressing in on his kingdom of Judah. Jehoshaphat sought the Lord for help and deliverance: “O our God, will you not judge them? We have no might against this great company that comes against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon you”. The Lord replied, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s”, verse 15. The Lord continued, verse 17, “You shall not need to fight in this battle, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…..”. The remainder of the chapter records how God delivered his people without a fight, He fought the battle for them!
How often do we find ourselves in situations where we do not know what to do? When we acknowledge our lack of wisdom and direction to the Lord and invite Him into our situation, He will dispense heavenly wisdom and peace in that decision. Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. I do not have to understand, just trust! The nature and character of Christ is the new wine skin which has the ability to hold all the fullness of Christ Himself.
Paul declared, “I do not count myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.