Week 1 Abide and Rest
Any blessings you possess are yours because the Lord has ordained them, and not because of anything you have or have not done. Now look to your spiritual health, because it is time to sing a new song! The new wine is a draught of faith built of confidence that what the Lord has said is true: your salvation does not come from a diet, or exercise, or “getting your act together.” Your salvation is in the Lord alone.
hen I first attempted a fast from the world’s influences and sought to increase my intake of Scripture for an entire week, I was surprised at my resistance. And yet each time I turned to God’s Word I was blessed; not just a nod-of-agreement of truth revealed, but goose bumps, alleluia, thank-You-Lord-for-that-blessing BLESSED! So why the resistance?
I think it’s just plain old sin; we are like unruly toddlers who don't like to be told what to do. I’ve found it helpful to think of my flesh as a child: "No, you can't read that now. You will be able to read recipe blogs and check Pinterest again sometime soon, but not today. Today, you will read God's Word."
Abiding in the Lord requires constant realignment to His perspective. The instant we take our eyes off Jesus, the flesh begins an inexorable fall toward sinful appetites and choices. Our goal for this week is to practice abiding in Him so this continual realignment becomes more habitual.
The old wine represents the law, and for so many of us, this is the idea that good health habits have the power to save. God shows us that we are to discipline our bodies, not in an attempt to save ourselves, but in order to walk according to the dictates of His Spirit rather than of the flesh.
Abiding in Christ is like new wine that must be poured into a fresh wineskin. The old wineskin is that of a salvation that must be earned, and cannot contain the joyous volume of freedom that is ours through Christ Jesus.
Pray: Father, help me to seek You first, ahead of everything. Help me believe what is true: my health, loved ones, safety, prosperity, and my very life are all completely in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.