Luke 5:36-39 “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”
New wine must be put into new bottles. God is trying to do something new in us. We can’t receive that unless we are properly positioned.
Isa 43:1-2, 18-19 “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
In Bible days, a bladder was used to make wine. There was a process of allowing the sediment to settle and pour it out over and over again getting rid of the waste. The new wine needed to be strained. As the fermentation process took place, gasses released caused it to expand. Therefore, a new container was needed for new wine. An old container simply didn’t have the elasticity required.
Jer 48:11 “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”
God used the analogy of wine ‘settled on his lees’. It needed to go through a necessary process. God was saying Moab was complacent and not desiring the Lord. God wasn’t pleased with them.
The process of pouring out over and over and not allowing the wine to settle, was necessary to improve the taste.
This process is what God is doing with the church today. The Lord wants His church to continuously change, not our doctrine, but as people to daily change to become more and more like Jesus. He intends for us to be always growing more in Him. It’s all about challenges to change us and grow us as His own. These things challenge us to grow.
Right now, God wants this church and the body of Christ to grow and let go of some things. We settle in certain practices. God can’t do something new if we are settled. The old wine skin can’t handle the new wine. He is putting us in a new container.
2 Cor 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
God’s glory ought to be reflected in us. We go from victory to victory, from revelation to revelation. It’s not the fear of death that will change you. Sometimes, fear brings us to God, but fear will not change us.
It’s God’s love that changes us. God never uses the spirit of fear to teach us a lesson. He loves us. We must fight this fear. We are not to reject the promises and the Word of God and say they aren’t for us. God has already warned us of things to come. This is so we wouldn’t be afraid. We are to preach the gospel—the good news.
Rev 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Forget 5G and the Coronavirus and do what the church is supposed to do. Jesus Christ died for YOUR sins. His mercy and love is toward you in all this chaos. In the end of it all, the tender mercies of God is for you.
James 5:11 “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
In all of that process of Job, the end was God’s tender mercies. Job lost his health for a season. Job lost people close to him. Then, the media came and criticized him, no, his friends came and criticized him. God had all of that planned out because of the end that He had in mind.
Here we are in the middle, not at the end, but in the middle God is trying to talk to us. He has an end in mind. He wants us to be the way He created us to be. Christ was an example of what a child of God is to think like, act like, be like.
Jesus loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way. He wants you to change. He wants you to abide in Him.
When we talk about wine, grape juice is really what it is. It’s all about Him being the vine and we are the branches. The branches is where the juice comes from. We must be part of the vine so that juice can grow and be produced properly. Branches are pruned and then the new shoots come out. Grapes don’t grow on the same branch twice. We must be constantly pruned. Change is part of this whole process. In order for new wine to happen, there must be new branches.
If God is doing something new in your life, God wants to show you something new, to renew your mind, to reflect Himself.
What are some reasons why we can’t change? Why do we need to change? It’s so we can experience something new. We can’t experience new things in our old selves.
- Slave Mentality, ‘I am a victim, diseased, a slave, not free.’ You can’t receive change if you have this mentality. If you identify with slavery and bondage, you can’t be set free. ‘I’ll always be this way, so these promises are not for me.’ You dig your heals in. Being a victim for so long, you can’t fathom any other reality. In Exodus 6:5-9 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord. 9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.” They wouldn’t listen because of their own anguish. They couldn’t even hear the good news of their freedom. It’s doubt. You can’t hear that God is for you. Your whole focus is on suffering, disaster, bondage. God needs to change your mentality. Remember Micah 7:8 “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” This is the mentality that God wants for us. ‘I will RISE! God is a LIGHT to me!’ You can’t have new wine in an old mentality. Jesus constantly challenged that mentality.
- Religion and Tradition will stop a new thing from coming into your life. We must be continually moving. We must be pliable and flexible in God. We must be willing and able to move with the Spirit of God. We’ve got to be like soft clay in His hands. Don’t get stuck in our religious ways. Don’t let yourself get stale.
The verse in Hebrews where it says, ‘Don’t forsake the gathering together,’ was written when persecution was happening and they couldn’t gather together without risking their lives. Right now, we are not being persecuted. This is the Lord speaking to us and changing us and drawing us to Himself.
Tradition, without caring about the purpose of these traditions, can cause us to miss what God has for us in these new days.
You can fight the voice of God that tries to change you. There is a mentality of conforming to the ways of this world. We must beware of that. God wants to purify and cleanse us and to make something new and create a vessel worthy of the Master.
Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Prov 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Guard and protect your thought life. When we present our bodies to Jesus, that includes our minds—our thought life.
Prov 4:24-26 “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
Watch what you say, what you see, where you go. Choose carefully.
When you change your thoughts, you change your attitudes; when you change your attitudes, you change your actions; when you change your actions, you change your destiny.
We are on our way to heaven—our destiny. In order for that to happen, we’ve got to change our actions. In order for that to happen, we must have the right attitudes. In order to change your attitude, you’ve got to change your thoughts.
God is doing something new and different. God wants you to change you. This is why daily spending time with Him through His Word and prayer is so important.
The end result is a loving God and a tender, merciful God transforming His people to reach this lost world.
Submit to whatever Jesus has for you. Ask Him what He wants and then do it. How can I respond to what God is asking me to do right now? We can’t go out in this quarantine time, but what does God want us to do instead? God’s Spirit is not bound by a building. His Spirit is all-powerful.
Let us be more like Him and to have a mentality that is in line with His and the change that He is working in our lives.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What are some of your daily habits?
- What are some new habits you want to form in your life? Why?
- Read Phil 4:1-13. What is the thinking that Paul is encouraging here? How is he an example? What do you need to change in your own life?
- In light of the crazy times now, what creative ways can you encourage people?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.