“Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into FRESH wine skins and both are preserved,” Matthew 9:17.
My daughter Kayla said, “Dad, just because it looks clean doesn’t mean it is clean. You need to smell it!” As I remember, she was referring to my socks. I guess looks aren’t everything and there’s more to freshness than meets the eye. The same can be said about ministry. As you enter the New Year, freshness really does matter.
Old, stale, musty are not words that stir excitement. Yet, in life and ministry, it’s easy to grow accustom to something. So much so, that you don’t recognize the ways it’s having a negative impact. Without even realizing it, the New Year’s opportunity can be lost to the old order and odor of going through the motions … kind of stinks.
On the other hand, words like new and fresh kindle a sense of anticipation. Just like a fresh coat of paint, a new moving of the Spirit brightens and freshens everything. In the New Year ahead, I believe this is what God has in mind for each of our lives and ministries. A fresh vision that stimulates new passion for Him, for souls, for ministry! A God-breathed vision that produces a sweet smelling savor … the aroma of Christ!
That’s why Shepherding encourages assessment. In practical terms, it’s a Spirit-led ‘sniffing’. What’s the desired result for the New Year? … a life and ministry that will exude the sweet smelling fragrance of Christ.