• Retah McPherson

Prepare the New Wineskins

After my camp in Hermanus last weekend, I can spend three days on my own at our house by the sea before my family joins up with me on Thursday. I am busy writing articles for a daily devotional that will come out at the end of the year, and, as usual, I am a bit behind schedule!  But I love it to spend my time with my Bibles opened up around me, and Holy Spirit flowing through my pen as I write. I completely lose track of time, and when I find myself again it is after 12 o’clock at night!

Through it all, Holy Spirit ministers to me as well as I write, and see once again how God comes through for us when we think our resources are finished and we don’t know how to go forward. That is when the “hour of God’s power” comes. Believe me, I am no different from you. When I am away from my family, I fight to hold off my despairing thoughts that want to tire me out, and I hear myself say: WHY DOESN’T THE ENEMY JUST LEAVE US ALONE?! I can hear the accusations of the enemy, “Why hasn’t it happened yet??? You are praying so much, and you are giving your entire life for this calling, why hasn’t it happened yet?”

You would think by this time I would be an expert on the fighting arena. No, I realize no matter who we are, we are all just human. Tinus phoned me, and he could hear the despair in my voice. “Retha, Aldo wrote: Mom, it is only the enemy’s plan – he wants to get you discouraged. Can’t you see it?! You mustn’t look at me, only look at God!” Tinus tells me over the phone. Only then do I realize my focus has been completely off. Binoculars that are out of focus are useless! Those binoculars can’t see the plan of God, they only see fuzzy pictures. And that is precisely what the enemy wants to do to us. He will try to overpower us with doubt and fear when we can’t see clearly because we took our focus off God.

Immediately I repented because of my unbelief as I discerned the enemy’s plan. He wants us to only look with our “flesh-eyes”. Sometimes the circumstances we face are so dark it almost completely blinds us. But when the darkness feels overwhelming, I go down on my face before Abba, and all I can softly whisper is “Lord Jesus, let Your glory light shine through me. Lord Jesus, let Your glory light shine through me. Lord Jesus, let Your glory light shine through me…” I can feel how the light of Jesus completely expels the darkness! Doubt and fear come from hell!

Even though Tinus is looking after the kids on his own this week, and he stays awake with Aldo when he can’t sleep which means they are both extremely tired, I can still hear the song in my husband’s heart. It is the enemy’s plan to attack Aldo’s sleeping patterns and to wear him out, and to steal the fluid on his brain. Tinus says to me over the phone: “Come now, Retha. Give me your hand. Stand up… Jesus is alive! Use communion, Retha. I am placing the blood of the Lamb, and the cross between you and your heartache! Your focus is on your pain and on Aldo, and you know what effect that has! Focus on God, Retha!” Over the telephone my husband pulls me out of the whole I have been in, and ashamed I stand up and repent of my unbelief.

This is how easily the enemy can come in – that one moment when you take your eyes of God, and focus on “self” – and he has you! Every one of us will go through trails that will test our faith. Then we need to choose, faith or fear. The enemy will always dig a hole for us to fall in through unbelief, doubt and fear. We need to fill that whole with life giving words, and proclaiming and standing on God’s promises even when our circumstances are difficult.

Even though Aldo is in so much pain, he spends most of his day on his knees and praising God. When he starts talking incoherently, he falls on his knees again and starts praying in the spirit. Our big test at the moment, is not to look at what we see in the natural, but to keep on encouraging his spirit man and building him up with Scripture. He listens to the Bible on his i-pod the whole day.

It seems that God is pleased to wait until we realize we can do nothing from ourselves anymore, until all striving and human efforts cease and the situation calls for nothing less than a miracle. God is never late. He knows the date, the exact hour, of His divine intervention.

But in that waiting time, God is calling His people to abandon themselves to prayer and praise, believing this truth that He is still on the throne and He is sovereign over all.

This morning I awakened with these words on my heart: “God is on the throne! God is on the throne!”

Psalm 66 says:

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul. 17 I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. 18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. 19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!

We need to use this time to confess the sin that still lurks in our hearts - UNBELIEF being one of them.

In the darkest of days, Jesus Christ is still the light of the world. We just need to stay in the light.

Maybe you have reached that point where you have prayed, fasted, and pled with God, but you don’t see the evidence of your faith yet. Just know that Holy Spirit is standing by. He knows the time when the wine of the world will be finished; then He will pour out His new wine over us. In this waiting process He is busy helping us prepare the new wineskin, so that when His oil and anointing falls, there will be a new wineskin ready to receive the new wine.

I want to sing like King David! O God, I don’t know what to do – but my eyes are upon You! I just praise you for who you are!  I praise you in my pain, because I know that You are good! The more I praise Him, the more my spirit is uplifted, and the next moment I could feel how the Holy Spirit fell upon me.

“Retha, I can see the darkness you are facing. But don’t let your heart be broken because of what you can see. Focus on Me – the light shining through the darkness.”

Psalm 66 vs 10: For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.

“Yes, My Child. Faith needs to be tested in order for it to be genuine and pure. It is a refining process that is absolutely necessary for your consecration.”

Psalm 66 vs 11: You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.

“Yes, Retha, at time even affliction is necessary in order to bring you into this place in the spirit where I want you to be, in order to help others.”

Psalm 66 vs 17: I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue.

“Your tongue should be used to always praise Me, not to doubt Me, and never as an instrument for gossip, slander, or judgement.”

Psalm 66 vs 20: Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!

“Retha, always remember My child, the path that leads to Me, can only be kept open IF you depend on Calvary and turn your back on sin (unbelief is also sin) as I give you the grace to do that. Remember – I live in you, and through My strength you can do it! (Gal.2:20)”

After this, my spirit was strengthened and could stand up again. I heard the Holy Spirit say – Remember, the best wine is served last! This generation ran out of wine. Sin robs man from My wine. My people are empty and wanting.

But today, I thank God for His new wine that is ready and waiting for us! Prepare your new wineskin, for the new wine is upon us!

Jesus, let your Glory Light shine in us, through us!

Jesus, You are the light of the world. Let Your light come today in our darkness!

Jesus, our Messiah!

My family arrives tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to our time together. I am going to minister over the weekend, but at least I can see them during the week. Aldo and Josh just love the sea, and all of us can appreciate His greatness when we look at the beauty of His creation. Even though we are separated often, we enjoy each other so much and appreciate each moment together, even in difficult circumstances. We will trust in God, and God alone.

The Lord bless your spirit.

Retha and the family.

Short Message regarding Passover (by Jules Beeton):

As I write the article about Passover (soon to be added to our website), Abba shows me, that the Jews struggled to accept Abba’s love through Yeshua, because of the pain they went through. The pain has blinded them, and so it often does with the Gentile bride. Jews are asking, “If Yeshua loved us, how could He let this happen - Centuries of immense pain and suffering? Why did Yeshua not rescue us from this, if He was really the God of Israel?”

And so the Gentile bride can also succumb to this blindness. Crying out “Why?” and neglecting to receive His love for her. Love already given. Love poured out until the last drop of blood.

The Gentile bride is also blinded by her pain and suffering - Asking the same questions as the Jews. If only she could look up to Him, and open up her heart to receive His love… He will restore, and heal. She too has been trying with her own methods and ways to find His love…. From the outside. While all the while, He pours our His love from the inside.

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