God, show me how to live this new life. I don’t want to go back to my first love for You. I want growth, and I have grown. I’m older, hopefully wiser, definitely different. I want an older, wiser, and different relationship with You and understanding of You.
One day, in a moment of introspection, I remembered how passionate I was when I was younger. And the first prayer that came to my lips was asking God to bring me back to Him. That’s good and all until I realized that I was asking to be back in that good place I was in with God before the bad stuff happened. Back to where I was when I was younger. Back to the same passion.
I also realized that it’s not what I really wanted. I didn’t want to have the same passion I had when I was younger because I’m different.
In the Gospels, there’s a discussion about fasting. Here’s what it says in Luke 5:33-39 (NLT):
One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?”
Jesus responded, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Then Jesus gave them this illustration: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the win and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.”
The people asked a seemingly simple question, and Jesus gave a seemingly simple answer.
-Jesus, why are your disciples always partying instead of doing serious faith stuff?
-Because I’m with them right now, and it’s a par-tay! But one day I’m gonna get crucified and BOOM! Faith just got serious.
Then Jesus goes on and gives 2 more illustrations about sewing and drinking. But I believe His point was this. He brought a new kind of faith, a new garment, a new wineskin. This is faith in Him, in who He is, and how He’s going to save the world. This new faith doesn’t mesh well with the old faith (the law, the animal sacrifices, etc). If you try to put them together, things aren’t going to make sense.
And this is why I wrote that prayer at the very top. That’s word-for-word straight out of my prayer journal. I didn’t want to be like the people drinking the old wine and saying, “The old is just fine.”
The old is not fine! I don’t want the old. I don’t want the past. I’ve grown up some, and I want my relationship with God to have grown up some too.