Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Wineskin People

One problem of advancing years is often dry skin because the natural lubricants of our body diminish. Creams and lotions crowd the store shelves touting miraculous results.

Psalm 92:10 is a prayer for “anointing with fresh oil.” As Christians, we’ve hopefully had our exhilarating, anointing times in the past, but fresh oil is still abundantly available to us now—and needed more than ever. The Holy Spirit is both the dispenser of that oil, and the oil itself.

Psalm 45:7 promotes the “oil of joy” as our essential oil at every age. Joy is not the predominant emotion we think of in older people. Rather, it seems that depression, sadness over losses and limitations, weakness, discouragement, and melancholy are more characteristic of aging.

When Jesus referred to “old wineskins” in His teaching, He may not have meant only institutions and traditions. Another layer of understanding is people. The Holy Spirit’s power is prophesied to come upon the old and simultaneously on the young irrespective of gender, status, or position in life. (Joel 2:28-31) The Oil of the Holy Spirit can soften hardened, dry, brittle, leathery wineskin-people so they can contain the new wine of the Spirit which is being poured out these days. God puts oil on the old wineskins to restore them to youthful elasticity and usefulness. We will find we have been stretched in our capacity to hold more of Him.

God does not limit himself to making new things and to moving by His Spirit on the young. He can, and in these last days spoken of by the prophets, may be about to move in tremendous power of renewal upon those more advanced in age. It is never too late to reach higher by opening ourselves to more of God’s fullness. For both the young and those advanced in years there is available “new every morning” refreshing and rejuvenation. There is great potential for elderly people who are not retired but refired with zeal for evangelistic witness to bring into God’s Kingdom other elderly friends.

The Gospel is not just for the young. There can be a great impartation of power by elderly Spirit-filled believers to other age groups in the church. Generations can move in power together similar to the way patriarchs passed on truth to their families in Old Testament days. God’s Kingdom has no retirement plan. We are called to go on “from glory to glory!”