New Wineskins

by Marcia Clarke

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else, the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskin is ruined. But new wine is put into new wineskins. Mark 2:22 NKJV

I often reflect on this verse and try to better capture its meaning. It’s a lot like when we buy a new pair of shoes but still continue to prefer the old. It’s hard to give up the old to break in the new. Why do we hesitate to accept change. Change is uncomfortable. Change challenges us to adapt to a new lifestyle. A new job, a divorce, welcoming a new baby, or moving to a new neighborhood: it all boils down to hanging on to the old instead of embracing the new.

In the verse above, God is pointing out that when we hang on to the old, we are missing the opportunity to experience the new that he has in mind for us. God has said he knows the plans he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). There is no use in attaching ourselves to things that no longer serve us. If we hang on to the old, it may cause us needless pain, hold us back, or forfeit our destinies, while he is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).

The fishermen were at sea toiling all night with no catch. Jesus came along and told them to throw their net on the other side (Matthew 4:18-22). The fishermen were using an old method to make their catch, so they doubted that change would be for the better. They were putting new wine into old wineskins. It was far more comfortable to stay in the familiar. But when they tried the new, their net became so loaded with fish, it almost capsized the boat! God’s ways are always best.

Are you giving up something new to stay in the familiar? Let’s look at the way in which Abraham responded to God’s request to move to Canaan. He immediately left his homeland for something new (Genesis 12:1). When God makes a request, we should trust him, seize the moment, and honor his requests. His way is always best.

I recall when God called me to teach, I was working in the medical field and had a very comfortable lifestyle. I couldn’t give up the idea of making less money, but I had no choice but to conform to his will. I never looked back.

Moving forward can be difficult. But the reality is, God has great plans for each one of us. There is no need to hang on to the old. When we hold on to the familiar, we are failing to make room for new things. Proverbs 16:8 tells us it’s better to have a little with righteousness than great gain with iniquity. In other words, the old that we are holding onto does not compare to the little that we have when we let go of the unnecessary things that hold us back. Trust God in your letting go and make room for His new.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you know what is best for me and that you have great plans for me. Help me to let go of old patterns and embrace the new that will lead to growth in Jesus’ name. Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Marcia Clarke writes daily encouragement for meditation and spiritual enrichment. Writing to help people through difficult seasons is her greatest passion. She loves sharing encouragement and practical devotion through her daily blog and enjoys the practice of meditation, yoga, and daily affirmation to create balance in her life. Marcia is the author of Journey to Abundance with content-rich affirmation for your meditation experience. Marcia’s most recent book, Thirty Days of Grace contains prayer for every season. Visit her at her website for more information.

Join the conversation: Are you keeping yourself from God’s best by hanging on to the familiar?

One thought on “New Wineskins

  1. Marcia, your message gave me a brand-new perspective on this mysterious verse! Your words are so encouraging and have given me fresh resolve to “let go” of a lot of stuff, both in material things and busyness, to take hold of God’s BEST. Blessings to you today!


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