39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ” Luke 5:36-39
My heart is filled with an overflowing joy this morning as I write this piece. I am excited and almost giddy with laughter and joy as I muse and write. God is doing something quite profound and I want you to enter into this joy too. I think, I have a sense of what Jesus must have felt when He announced the inauguration and accessibility of the Kingdom of God on earth. He must have been full of joy. The New Nigeria is like New Wine. It just gladdens the heart.
In times past, I have entered into debates, like most of us on the future of Nigeria and how this nation can be changed and transformed. These debates and conversations mostly ended with a lot of unresolved conundrums. We all just left to resume the next time we gather. When most Nigerians gather for whatever purpose, we always end up on the state of our nation and we all talk about possible solutions etc, but never have we all agreed on a course of action to transform the nation.
But, I recall on one of such occasions, I had a distinct impression in my heart, that the problems of Nigeria were foundational and we as a nation had built a huge edifice on a faulty foundation. How do you fix the foundation of a 60 plus storey building, without bringing the whole building down. Here lies the deep enigmatic question, that hopefully I would try to answer today.
We have all been immersed in the Old Nigeria and the New Nigeria cannot rest on the template of the Old. It must have its own pure foundations. All of us, have imbibed the Old Nigeria. Some are drunk on it. We were born into it, raised in it, and became fully immersed in it. It is in all of us, regardless of tribe, tongue or creed.
It is in all of us, regardless of tribe, tongue or creed.
It will take God’s mercy to cleanse us from the Old and grant us access to the New. It can only come to the truly repentant. Some of us are so acquainted with the Old Nigeria, we do not even see it as a sinful contraption. We think it is the right way to be or the right thing to do. The Old Nigeria is diametrically opposed to the New. They have nothing in common. By the time, the New Nigeria is fully manifested, some will not even remember the Old Nigeria. It is so different.
Now let’s go a bit deeper and explore some of the characteristics of the Old Nigeria and consequently understand what we need to repent of and what we need to renounce and then what we need to embrace. In short what we need to do to enter into the New Nigeria.
In Joshua 4:1-9, God instructed Joshua to take 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan and build a memorial in the promised land with those stones, whilst they took 12 stones from the promised land and place them in the midst of the Jordan river. This is a very significant action. 12 is the number of God’s government, Apostolic Government/Council. It is Governmental. So God was helping them establish a Government in the promised land, whilst they were to fully subdue all the governments in the land.
In our case, we will use this model to determine the 12 things we need to overcome, kill, destroy, for us to leave the Old Nigeria and enter the New Nigeria and the 12 things we must manifest in the New Nigeria.
These are not in any order of importance, nor can I say exhaustive.
|Old Nigeria||New Nigeria|
|1||Esau (Profane), Cain||Jacob, Abel (Holy)|
|3||Corrupt, Deceptive||Honest full of Integrity, Truth|
|6||Careless||Careful and Considerate|
|7||Oppressive, Unjust, Unrighteous||Liberating, empowering, Just, Righteous|
|8||Short sighted (Now, NOW!)||Long Sighted (Invest, nurture)|
|10||Want to be served||Wants to serve and serves|
|11||Love of Money||Love of God|
|12||Idolatory, Witchcraft, Inpunity||Fear of God, True Reverence|
Just consider the list above. I am sure you can identify.
In the days ahead we will unpack each of them and discuss them contextually, so we can repent and renounce from a place of understanding.
Before the Joshua Generation could even begin to conquer the promised land, the Lord ordered a mass circumcision of the new generation. Yes, I know it was about the covenant, but I also want to say it was about God cutting out of them the vestiges of the Old Order and the ‘Slaves’ who came out of Egypt, who had all died in the wilderness. This is what the Lord said in Joshua 5:8-9 – 8 So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. 9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal[e] to this day.
Again, we can look at 2Chron 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
If, means conditional. ‘turn from their wicked ways’. Here again we see the call to repentance. There must be a turning from to enter the New Nigeria.
Here is where I truly feel the Church in Nigeria needs to concentrate to first be shorn of all the Old Nigeria vestiges. The Church needs to accept its complicity in the failed Old Nigeria. The Church needs deep repentance and renunciation. Then the Church can then start to lead the nation in the New Nigeria. Today, I call the New Nigeria Church to come forth!
36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one [g]puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, [h]and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, [i]immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is [j]better.’ ”
WARNING: Jesus used the expression ‘No One’ three times in the passage above. No one means nobody. If you do not forsake the old, you cannot possess the new. You cannot hold on to the old and make the transition into the new. You have to forsake one for the other. This is a warning I plead with you to consider deeply. Out of the over 600,000 men that came out of Egypt, and wondered in the wilderness for 40 years, only two are recorded as part of that generation that made it into the Promise Land. Joshua and Caleb. God patiently waited for the rest to die off. But I am convinced of better things pertaining to us in this context. I am convinced of God’s goodness and His abundant grace, that will be made available for us to make the internal and mental change that will enable us cross into the promised land of the New Nigeria.
Now back to the building. You and I are that building. We have to tear down the old building in our hearts, by repenting and renouncing all that we have seen above, and then consciously, intentionally build the New Nigeria building in our hearts, by apprehending and assimilating the new characteristics as stated above.
39 And no one, having drunk old wine, [i]immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is [j]better.’ This verse warns us of the inertia, reluctance and resistance to the New, not from anyone external, but in our selves, we find that resistance to the new, because the Old is still very much alive in us. So, be ruthless with the Old in you, so the New can live!
The New Nigeria is New Wine and it requires New Wine Skins. The Old order cannot be patched up to fit the new. We must completely depart from one to embrace the other. It is a returning to God’s original intention for Nigeria. It is the God ordained Nigeria. This is the New Nigeria.
The door to the New Nigeria is wide open. Can you find it? Will you enter in?
Grow New Nigeria, Grow!
Let’s Pray: Father God, we cry out today for your mercy. Visit us and help our hearts to depart from the Old Nigeria into the New. Lord, grant us the gift of repentance, so we can truly change our ways. Examine us deeply by your Holy Spirit and convict us. We desire to be in the New Nigeria, please help us to be part of it, In Jesus name. Amen. (This is a short prayer, but I recommend you take these model and work through it. God will help us all and we will be in the New Nigeria.)