Text: Matthew 9:16-17
“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,”
Ephesians 4:22 NKJV
Lobster sheds its shell roughly 25 times within its 5-7 years of life. Though, they need the hard shell to protect their flexible body from being torn apart, yet as they grow, the older shell must be discarded. This is because the shell is fixed and not growing as the body. If they don’t discard the old shell, it soon becomes their prison and eventually their coffin. This is the only option to grow. Once that older, smaller shell is discarded, it must lie exposed for up to 48 hours as it develops a newer bigger shell to fit its growing body. That is the most scary and vulnerable period in the life of the lobster.
We are also like lobsters. If we want to grow and receive more blessings, we must shed our old and limiting shell. This is what Jesus illustrated in our main text. “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matt 9:17).
Two Greek words, “neos” and “kainos”, are translated “new” in the New Testament. The word “neos” means numerically new but not different. For example, if you buy a new iPhone 13, it’s new, but there are hundreds of the same model out there. So, it’s new in number but not different from others. The other word, “kainos”, means numerically and qualitatively new. For example, if you buy the newest model and it’s the only one in town. It’s new and different from all others .
Thus, the new wine, that is, the Holy Spirit, is coming new to you, but He is the same Holy Spirit. He hasn’t changed over the years, nor has He been transformed. However, the wine skin represents us. We are meant to contain the Spirit. We need to be changed and transformed to receive His newness. We can’t contain Him with the same old skin. We need a new nature and a new heart (Jer 36:26-27). Christianity is not a change of religion, church, or clothing but a change of heart. This is what, to be born again, means (John 3:3). We are not just refurbished or rebranded but made brand-new persons on the inside (2 Cor 5:17).
Even after being born again, we need to be continually transformed if we want the newness of the Spirit and blessings. Like the lobsters, we need to shed everything limiting our growth. The Holy Spirit won’t pour on us unless the stubborn old nature is put off (Col 3:9; 2 Cor 3:18).
Friends, remove the limiting self and let the Holy Spirit work in you to put more of Himself, His anointing, and His grace on you during this season.
1. Father, I put off the old man, and I put on the new man to receive the newness of the Spirit in Jesus’ name.
2. Father, pour Your Spirit afresh upon me as I wait on You in Jesus’ name.
1.The Holy Spirit will pour on me to the extent of which I am able to put off the old limiting self.
2. I am a brand new person and not a rebranded or a refurbished person.