The becoming journey is all about change. It’s a constant state of progressing, a resolve to be okay with an ever-changing self as we pursue the woman God has called us to be. And so it only seems fitting that in a time where our culture put resolutions and newness on a pedestal that we talk about becoming––about change.
Because after all, that’s what we all want for a new year, right?
Whether this last year was one for the memory books, or you couldn’t wait to seal the file labeled “2016” and condemn it to forgotten headspace, we all seek some extent of change coming into January. We want something fresh, something new, something better… It’s how we’re programmed. That doesn’t always mean that things feel that way once the ball drops, though.
That’s because, in order to experience freshness, you have to be positioned to receive it. And that doesn’t happen without change.
In the Bible, Jesus explained it like this:
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” –Matthew 9:17
Now in that culture, wine was kept in these little satchels or pouch-like bags made from animal skin. They had to be treated by being soaked in water, then being rubbed fervently on both sides with oil. That kept them pliable, otherwise, they would become dry, cracked, and eventually ruined.
It’s a lot like our hands or lips in the winter need some extra TLC. (And it’s about 20 degrees in South Carolina, so I know many of you in experiencing this cold front get what I’m saying.) Rub a little lotion or chapstick on those rough and dry places and you’re good to go!
The point is, in both of these examples, a change had to happen to keep the ability to move and flow without breaking. And not just any change! In the Hebrew, the word they would use for the process for the wineskins is a word you may have heard in the church world: anoint. Anointing isn’t some super spiritual word, though it has deep spiritual significance.
To anoint something literally means to rub. And oil is a representation of God’s Spirit. Just like the oil was rubbed into the wineskins for them to be able to receive new wine, we can invite God’s Spirit to do a work in us that will prepare us for the newness, freshness, and future He has for us. It’s the process of Him shaping our character, our dreams, and our heart. The “rub” doesn’t always feel good at first, but it’s for a purpose. It’s like the illustration of a dry wineskin, He wants to invade all our spaces, mend our broken places, and really bind to who we are. His desire for us is healing, restoration, resilience, and effectiveness as we navigate this journey called life. If you want to really move forward, really passionately pursue the woman God has called you to be, you can’t do it without allowing God to prepare you to receive the next thing He has in store over and over again.
Practical habits you can put into action:
– Wake up 15 minutes earlier each day to ask God to shape your priorities, make His will yours, and begin to show you what your purpose is.
– Set lunch aside one day as a practice of fasting for intentional time to read God’s Word.
– Taking a day to get away from the noise to journal and ask God to reveal what needs to change this year.
As you make actions like these a part of your life, you’ll grow closer to Him and hear His voice more clearly. Your thoughts, habits, reactions, desires, and dreams will all begin to align with God’s as He unlocks so much joy, purpose, and freshness in your life. And I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than to start there.