From the old to the new
By Ivan Ho 2 March 2017
Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”
Luke 5:36-39 NKJV
Torn between the new and the old
You keep going back to your old ways because you surround yourself with the same old group of people who have been putting rubbish in your mind.
You cannot renew your old mindset that keeps you in defeat if the people and things that constantly surround your life remains in the old. It is the familiar people, the familiar environment etc that familiar spirits work with to keep you bound in your old way of thinking, keeping you stuck in your old life. Even when God speaks to you the truth, the lies you have been entertaining are crowding out the new that you receive. God speaks but the voice of familiar spirits immediately cancels out the new seed that has been sown. The condition of the environment you put yourself in is not condusive for God’s words to bear fruit in your life. That is why even after you received the new, you still cannot move forward, due to the familiar people and things you choose to surround yourself with. You talk to the same old people, listen to the same old teachings, go to the same old places, sitting in the same old spot, and you wonder why your life remains the same?
You tasted the new wine but immediately you say: “The old is better”. You feel really comfortable in the old because it doesn’t require you to change. There is no breakthrough in your life because you prefer to stay in the past and surround yourself with the same old things that kept you bound. God may have sown new thinking pattern in your spirit man but it only stays in your heart for a short while because your unrenewed mind as well as your body prefers to stay in the past where you feel more comfortable. Moreover, you try to interpret the new things God is saying to you with your old unrenewed mindset.
You are kind of torn between the new and the old, because while your heart may see a new way forward, you mind is still stuck in the past.
The enemy comes to steal the seed
In fact, immediately after a new seed has been sown, the enemy comes and steal what was sown in your heart.
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
Matthew 13:19 NKJV
How does the wicked one manage to steal God’s words that was sown into your life? Often times, he uses unrenewed people you surround yourself with to talk you out of the new that you have received. Because they refuse to change, they don’t want you to change either. They feel if you change and they don’t, they may loose your friendship. Likewise, you don’t want to change because you fear your old friends may leave you.
You may be hearing a new message but immediately an old friend calls and steals the seed that has been sown. Your past relationships have been keeping you in the past and preventing you from moving forward.
The woman at the well
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
John 4:13-26 NKJV
Jesus said to the woman at the well: “Whoever drinks from the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” However, the woman did not get it, thinking that Jesus was referring to physical water. She was hoping that Jesus would tell her where she could get permanent supply of water so she did not have to keep coming to the same place over and over again to draw water. So Jesus said to her: “If you are looking for physical water, go get your husband to come here to fetch water for you.”
At this point, having heard the word from Jesus, she was still trying to figure it out with her natural mind. Her mindset was still stuck in the natural thinking of the past. So the woman said to Jesus: “But I have no husband to turn to”. What happened was: Jesus knew what was going on in the woman’s life, that she have had five husbands in the past, and the man she was in relationship with wasn’t even her husband. Her past relationships had been providing for her needs but she could not find any lasting satisfaction from any of her relationships. She tried to move from one relationship to another looking for answers but she was kept in the same cycle of dissatisfaction and defeat.
In the same way, the old covenant before Jesus came could only offer temporal solutions to people’s spiritual needs. The Jews had to go to the priest year after year to deal with their sins. The water they received was not permanent.
All that changed when the Living Water, Jesus Christ, came. He is the one who offers Everlasting Life to us, the one from whom we drink and never get thirsty again.
Finally, the woman understood what Jesus was saying when her natural mind had been enlightened to perceive spiritual matters. She could now perceive that Jesus was the Messiah, not just a prophet, that Jesus was the permanent answer to her life!
Break free from the past to embrace the new
Our mindset needs to be constantly renewed by receiving fresh and uncontaminated water from the Spirit of God. If we allow people and circumstances to keep us bound in the familiarity of the past, we will not be able to experience the new life that Jesus offers. We may go to church week in week out but nothing really changes because internally we are still holding on to the past.
If you want to see breakthrough in your life, you need to break away from the bondage of the past so you can embrace the new life in Christ!
Once we become born again in the spirit, let us not return to the bondage of the flesh. Just as Abraham had to cast out Hagar the bondwoman and her son born in the flesh, we need to cast out the things of the flesh that keep us in bondage so we can become totally set free.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Galatians 4:28-31 NKJV
New life in Christ
By dying on the cross, Jesus dealt with our sins once and for all and removed all the curses of sin and death.
By his resurrection, Christ gives us the power to overcome the bondage of the past and live a brand new life in him!
When you repent of the past and make the decision to follow Jesus, you become a new creation in Christ! The past no longer has any hold on you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Once we become born again in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in our flesh. To continue to walk in the Spirit, however, is our daily decision. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:24-25 NKJV