Mark 2:21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
Jesus teaches a simple truth, a fact of life. He wants us to understand the truth about ourselves and our human tendencies. He reveals something we do a great deal.
Growing up, sewing a patch on our clothes was normal. They served a purpose, but it wasn’t like a new pair of pants. A patch is newer cloth on old cloth. A patched up pair of shoes is the same. Pants can only have so many patches and before too long the strength is in the patches. Verse 21 says it won’t work. The tear comes back and it’s worse. This is a good spiritual lesson. We need renewing. We need to be strengthened. We need a new dedication. Times such as they are wear us down. The elements around us are sinister. We need something.
Revival is not a patched-up affair. It is seeing where the holes are and trading them in. It’s putting off the old and putting on the new. Ten years ago God wanted a certain thing; today he wants something. We need to be sure that we’re doing what God wants now. We can’t live in the past. It’s time to trade in. We don’t need a patch; we need an overhaul.
If you have a fair-weather faith, it’s time for a new faith. If prayer has become routine and you’ve whittled it down to the same old thing day after day, turn it in and get a new zeal in your prayer life. Have you forgotten the Word? Do you study it? Do you hunger for the things of God? We need to know the Word. There is a famine of hearing it. A big percentage of people say they’re Christians but a small percentage really know what that means. The only way to know the Bible is to study it. If you read your Bible through, that’s great. Reading is not studying. You’ve got to get it in your mind and the only way to do that is to study up. Does your faithfulness have a tear? Don’t just assume you’re a Christian. If: you’re not faithful to God’s house and to his standards; you’re not faithful in identifying yourself as a child of God; you’re not as decisive as you once were for God, then you need a checkup. Does the first little thing that pops up put you down? You can’t straddle the fence. You can’t serve God and hold to the world. You must see the wrong of sin and confess it. Do you pay lip service to God? Do you love the world more than him? Do you put others down? Do you trust what everybody else says but God? Do you do what you want instead of what God wants? Do you do what is convenient instead of what you know is your duty to God?
You can’t keep patching the garment. Adam and Eve tried to cover their tear with fig leaves. They couldn’t do it. If we treat the gift of God like a patch, it won’t work. The tears become worse. You’d never go 90 miles per hour down the road on bald, patched-up tires. Why let your spiritual life go? You can’t keep patching. Eventually it will blow just like the bald tire. Don’t be satisfied or think there is nothing for you to do. You will go flat spiritually. We all need something new. We’re comfortable, at ease in Zion. We don’t want to change. Sometimes new things are stiff and uncomfortable. God has given us something new but many won’t put it on. Don’t do that to your soul.
Revival says it’s time to do away with the old and put on the new. Revival might make you uncomfortable, but you’ll be glad for the new, unpatched garment you’ll receive. Revival is renewal, walking in newness of life. If we settle for a patched up revival, we’ll fall apart. He’s not giving us a new patch. He’s giving us a new garment. Lay aside yours and take it. God wants you to wear it. I need a new one, not a repair. There is a new garment waiting. No one can dress up a person like God can. The Lord is waiting. We need what he has for us.