Wineskin
A wineskin (Flickr )

In a recent encounter, I saw someone who had not experienced "a song of joy" in a long time. I karate chopped them in the back to help deliver them from this oppression then started playing joyful songs.

Joy is heavenly substance, energy and strength to us. Joy is not something that can be obtained apart from the Holy Spirit.

"... for the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17, MEV).

People can be happy about things, stuff and events, but joy is from God's world. When we pursue the Lord, desiring Him above all things, He gives us songs of joy. The psalmist David knew this realm of joy that was accessible through a life of worship and praise to God.

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"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11, MEV).

The new wine that Jesus spoke about was a wine of joy in the presence of God. A few years ago I had dream where I was standing in a very long driveway where there had been stacked cases and cases of wine. I grabbed a bottle and looked at the label. In this dream I read the label on the bottle saying, "Vintage New Wine!!" with great joy. This was the new wine of the Ancient of Days!

Isn't this what Paul talked about? Joy unspeakable and full of glory? When we realize that we have only had a "taste" of the reality of heaven's substance, we can see that there is so much more! More love, more power and more joy!

God does not call us to be sad, but to be glad. Anyone can be sad, but it takes God to be glad. God takes us up, not down. He makes us the head, not the tail. He only knows how to give increase. Decrease is not in His vocabulary. It is the heart of God for us to grow, expand, increase and awake to His goodness.

The devil is bad. God is good. God comes to give joy while the devil tries to steal it. It is important for us to live as sons of God. We are part of the family. Our Father is good. Some think God is holding a gavel, like the Great Judge, over their head ready to strike at the slightest mistake. That is an old-wineskin mindset that cannot hold the new wine of His presence.

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the new wine will burst the wineskins, and it will be spilled, and the wineskins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new. For he says, 'The old is better' " (Luke 5:37-39).

We must realize that we are part of His family, that He loves us and has good in store for us so we can walk in the inheritance that Christ died for us to obtain. The joy of God is part of our inheritance. We have a good inheritance from God that is ready to be manifest in our lives right now.

In the story of the prodigal son, the elder brother was jealous because of all the blessings the Father gave to the younger son when he came home. The father gave a feast, killing the fattened calf, then embraced his returned son and gave him a robe and ring of authority. The elder brother was enraged at the goodness that was shown to his brother. The father turns to the elder son saying, "Everything I have is yours ..."

The issue was the elder brother had an orphaned impoverished mindset. He began to complain to his father about all the "works" that he had done but was never rewarded.

"'Look! These many years have I served you. Nor have I ever transgressed your commands, yet never have you given me a goat, so that I might be merry with my friends. ...' He said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours'" (Luke 15:29-31, MEV).

Because of his ignorance, living by works instead of grace, not really knowing what his father was like, he never was able to partake of the inheritance that was there for him the entire time.

"... giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light" (Col. 1:12, MEV).

God wants us to know that the blood of His Son has made us worthy. God sees the sacrifice of Jesus and is ready to reward His Son by making us part of the family, giving us His eternal inheritance which encompasses every spectrum of life. Isn't that what Jesus promised? Abundant life?

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd" (John 10:10-11).

God's desire is for us to live in a higher place. Live where you belong—at the Father's right hand with Jesus. He is good, having seated us with Him in the heavenly places where all else remains under our feet

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3, MEV).

John Belt helps people discover abundant life in God's presence through intimacy and breakthrough. He is co-founder, along with his wife Brandi, of Overflow Global Ministries and travels itinerantly through speaking and worship in the U.S. and abroad. John has produced over 30 instrumental and worship albums that create an atmosphere for encounters with heaven and can be found around the world in places such as Bethel Redding, 24/7 Burns, Catch the Fire Toronto, XPMedia, International Houses of Prayer and people's living rooms. He the author of Overflowing in His Presence, to be released later this year.

For the original article, visit overflowglobal.com.

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