Since the first day, I read that scripture almost 20 years ago, I have wondered its meaning and significance. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that the light bulb went off. Let’s look at the scripture together:
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Mark 2:22 NLT
As new wine ferments, it releases gases which cause the wineskins to expand. New wineskins are more pliable and can accommodate the expansion but old wineskins will burst under the pressure.
This reminds me of an illustration made by Pastor Rob Reimer in comparing our souls to a suitcase. When we come from a vacation, the usual thing to do is to unpack the suitcase to get rid of all the dirty laundry. It is almost impossible and unnatural and somewhat disgusting to pack clean clothes into a suitcase without getting rid of the dirty ones from the previous trip. However, we do this a lot to our souls. When we do not walk blamelessly in the light of God or others it results in shame which we carry around in our souls and this is an example of dirty laundry. Until we get rid of the shame, the hurt, the anger, the doubts, and other things that weigh us down, our souls will have no room for God and His work in our lives.
Just as it is unwise to put new wine in old wineskins, it is unwise to put new ideas into old mindsets. This is why year after year people make New Year resolutions and year after year, continue to be disappointed in their inability to accomplish them. In 2019, we will not get new results with old behaviours. We need to permit the Holy Spirit to transform us by the renewal of our minds.
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23 NLT
This means we need to unpack the suitcases of our souls. We need to permit the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of the ignoble (and I say permit because a lot of times we hold on and don’t want to let go of the dirty laundry). We need to allow room for God’s presence in our lives. We need to be intentional about this.
God desires a relationship with each and every one of us above everything else. He wants to bring us to a place where we can experience His love and mercy anew with each new day; like fresh laundry for each new trip.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23 ESV
My prayer is that Lamentations 3:22-23 will become my experiential reality from this moment forward and especially in 2019. And I pray it will be yours too.
Many blessings in this season from my family to yours. Merry Christmas!