Out of Our Comfort Zones - A New Wineskin is Forming!

Just the other day, while I was rushing about trying to get ready for our Sunday church service, the Lord's voice came crashing into my world and brought me literally to a halt! In fact, I was so startled I dropped everything on the floor – my Bible, my message, and the contents of my purse ended up splashed all over our hardwood floor. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a small, still voice. It was a clear, directive word I felt was maybe even the audible voice of God.

I heard the Lord say:

"Tell My Church I am leading them out of their comfort zones. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Yes, I am preparing a new wineskin that will house My presence and My purposes for this season. I am exposing doctrines that have kept My people from experiencing all that I desire to give and release to them and through them. I am pouring in a new wine and I am removing the old so that I can pour in the new."

I have heard the Lord speak concerning Isaiah 43:19, often through different seasons that the Body of Christ has experienced. In fact, it has almost become a Christian cliché to say, "God is doing a new thing!" So, when I heard Him speak this, and let me say again that it was in a very directive way, I knew He meant that we must make a shift and prepare for His presence to manifest in a new way. In fact, many of us have been in preparation for a while now. Still, let's look at this passage in its entirety and then we will move forward to discuss what shift is necessary to prepare ourselves for the new wineskins.

Please keep in mind that He said, "I am leading..." which means we must watch closely and listen for His leading! He knows how to lead us; we, on the other hand, must learn to submit and follow, right? OK, so let's look closely at Isaiah 43:19: "Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

Notice several main concepts:

1. God will do a NEW thing.
2. NOW shall it spring forth.
3. Shall we not KNOW it?
4. He will make a way in the WILDERNESS and rivers in the DESERT.

When God says that He is about to do something "new," I am certain that change is in the midst. The word "new" in this passage means "fresh," but it also means to "renew" and to "rebuild." I believe this passage, in this season, is speaking about our being on the threshold of experiencing a new thing- but also a renewal. The word "renewal" implies a repairing or a replacement of something. Think about this for a minute – God desires to replace an old belief system and relationship with Him (that has been limited by mindsets, doctrines, etc.) with an updated and even repaired relationship and revelation of Him.

What does this mean? It means that God is going to intimately visit us; His presence will become so tangible that we will surely KNOW Him and actually see Him as He is! (see 1 John 3:2).

Therefore, many of us are about to experience a renewal of our faith in Him. If we believe we have fallen short or even failed God in our old season, He is repairing our belief system and reestablishing the truths of grace and faith and righteousness! Knowing that we are righteous because of the accomplished work at the Cross will stabilize us during times of change. This is because no matter what our old season held, God does not withhold His love and blessings from us as we move forward into the new. Truly knowing this, we repent and change the way we think about ourselves and about God, so that we can run boldly to His Throne and receive a fresh anointing to shift into our new season. Hold on; there's more!

This renewal will bring forth a refreshing and in the midst of this, His perfect plan for our lives will be rebuilt. Whatever the enemy did to tear down the plans and purposes of God for our lives, churches, businesses, families, etc., will be restored and God will bring forth His original intent for our lives and reestablish purpose. We will KNOW it is happening because He is drawing us closer to Him, in a more intimate way.
Our prayer lives are being re-activated and renewed as we are receiving fresh focus and divine strategy as to how and when to pray. Also, we will know He is doing this new thing because we will experience His grace and love in such a way it will be undeniable...and we will have to give Him all the glory because we will recognize the fact that it was He alone who did this. However, to make this shift, will require that we choose to follow Him, be willing to come out of our comfort zones, our comfortable doctrines and comfortable mindsets!

We All Like Comfort!

I immediately wondered what changes were about to take place in my life, our local church, my ministry and, of course, the Church at large. I'll just bet that you are like me...I like being comfortable. Think about all of the comfort in our lives, looking at this at first non-religiously. I would rather wear comfortable shoes rather than those that hurt my feet. I enjoy sitting in a comfortable chair. I love driving a car with comfortable seats, especially seats that are heated in the winter and provide cool air in the summer!

Most of us are the same – we like comfort very much! But, whenever the Lord begins to lead us down a new road or begins to minister to us that it is our season for change, our default button seems to be "hang on to the old; I don't know what the new looks like!" Yes, we get comfortable because we know what to expect and then we begin to sabotage our future by hanging on to whatever is familiar.
Have you ever thought about what the word "comfortable" actually means? It actually means "being free from stress and anxiety and feeling ease and security." Look at the definition again and you'll notice that we desire to be comfortable because a comfort zone says, "Just stay here and you'll be stress free and secure in this place!" Oh my! The only way we can experience true stability and peace is to follow God's leading!
Dear Believer, God is exposing every area of our belief systems and doctrines that blocks us from completely trusting Him and relying on Him only. This must be the reason why His directive word to me emphasized the fact that "He" would lead us. Trusting His lead dictates our complete surrender and our need to always be "right."

The Lord began to download to me concerning how we get comfortable with our lives, our daily activity and, yes, even the church services. But, the Holy Spirit is coming forth with a fresh wind like Pentecost! His breath is being released afresh upon us and it will shake us free from religious mindsets and doctrines of men. I know for a fact that I am thirsty for His presence...and dear ones, there is a thirst that we probably all are experiencing... and it's because we've been in a desert-type experience!

Still in the Wilderness? Join the Club!

Yes. Though we've been having great church and wonderful moves of God, it pales in comparison to what God is about to do! If you will look again at Isaiah 43:19 and the concepts I wrote, God says that He will make a way in the wilderness and provide springs in the desert! Yep, many of us are back in a wilderness experience. But, hold on! It has had its divine purpose!
When experiencing a wilderness, there is an unquenchable thirst that can only be satisfied by a fresh experience with the Lord. The Lord will lead us into a desert experience, just as He did Israel, on purpose! Why? To rid us of an old slavery mentality, the mindsets attached to our past experiences and our false belief systems concerning God, as well as ourselves! The Lord has a way of leading us through a desert that causes us to cry out again. Let's just admit it – we need Him now more than ever before!

Let's not linger any longer in a wilderness experience, but rather let go of every limitation that would tie us to our past. In my recent book, Letting Go of Limitations: Experiencing God's Transforming Power, I discuss religious doctrines, mindsets and hindrances that keep us chained to our past. I thoroughly discuss how to come out of mindsets that keep us in our past and how to shift into God's transforming power.
Reader, I've had to go back and read my own book in times like this. This book will be a help to you as you position yourself for this next season. Dear one, listen up! How can we contain what He is about to do? The answer is this – we must become a new wineskin! God is about to open up fresh springs of refreshing because He is about to do something new.

The New Wineskins

Matthew 9:16-17:
"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

Looking further into God preparing us as NEW wineskins, we must consider the fact that often God will take something used (old) and "restore" it to a new quality. When a wineskin became inflexible and needs a type of "life-extension" so that it can be further used, it had to endure a process where it was soaked in water and followed up with intense rubbing in oil. As this was done, a new flexibility to receive the new wine occurred. It's a good thing that God is opening up rivers and springs right now – this will intensify our need to "soak" in His presence.

As we "soak," Jesus, the Anointed One, will rub us with His holy oil – all for the divine purpose of making us more flexible. We will each seek more of His anointing and, therefore, become even more anointed ourselves as we continue to be used for His glory! For many of us, we become inflexible in our mindsets and belief systems and, therefore, unable to hold new wine from Heaven. The only way to make a shift so that we can experience the river in our wilderness is to be determined to remain steady as He shakes us, removes us from our comfort zones and be willing to hear new direction by His Spirit.

An old season must end before a new season begins. Therefore, let's prepare for the NEW by letting go of the old! Also, the old wine in an old season is coming to an end. I've been noticing that my messages are changing as I travel from region to region. The books and articles I am writing are also in the midst of change. This is because I am desperately attempting to let go of what "I think I know" and embrace His new thing! He is speaking differently...let's not limit His voice to a familiar voice and directive of the past. Yes, the Lord is challenging us to let go! God desires to release a new liberty to us and a fresh anointing that will destroy yokes of oppression in our own lives as well as others!
Allow me to pray for you as you let go of the old and embrace the new:

Father, I pray today for Your children. You are leading us a different way and we are learning to completely trust You. Thank You for leading us out of our old wilderness. Thank You for delivering us from the false voice of the enemy and the seductive voice of our past experiences that do not give You glory. Thank You for preparing each of us to be a new wineskin so that we can receive all that Heaven has to offer to us. As we pray for Heaven to touch earth, we submit to letting go of our comfort zones so that we can be fully used to demonstrate Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sandie Freed
Zion Ministries