I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an actual wineskin. Wine bottles, yes. Skins, not so much! We know a bottle can last forever, but a skin lasts only as long as the wine is fresh. You think of an animal skin and, unless it becomes a purse or a pair of shoes, the lifespan is limited. I just know my own skin, so I’m kind of getting this concept of what happens to skin over time. It isn’t pretty!
In Matthew 9, Jesus says, “No one sews a new patch on an already shrunken cloth, because it will pull away from the garment. Nor do men pour new wine into an old wineskin as it will burst.” It makes me think of those hilarious, scrunchy, apple face dolls we are all becoming.
With age, wisdom should come. We should be ever changing and continually transforming our posture and mindset, therefore, the casing has to remain pliable and moldable to successfully contain the new wine of “God ideas”.
A new year must mean a new mindset! The old year no longer has a hold on you except what you choose to give it. Mistakes that were made, words said you cannot take back, difficulty in relationships…it all requires a new mindset. I can’t think the old way if I’m going to want new results! That’s a recipe for INSANITY. When I do the same thing, the same way and expect a different result!
A new mindset according to Romans 12 is clear. “Don’t be conformed to this world.” We are to pattern our thinking according to God-mindedness.
The world makes you pay dearly for your mistakes…it NEVER lets you forget…and then you’re stuck going in circles that take you nowhere. It’s the enemy’s plan to keep you down and keep you stuck. Then Romans says, “BUT BE TRANSFORMED by RENEWING your mind…” so that we prove the reality of God’s transforming power in our lives.
Paul was clear when he said, “One thing I do. I forget what lies behind, I press on toward the goal…” (Phil 3:13). I must let go of how I did it before! What I thought before! The conclusions and opinions I came to before! I must receive the new!
Now, back to the wineskin. The process of maturity in the grape juice is very violent. As the chemicals change and the enzymes break down it cannot help but affect the casing. That’s why it needs a new case for the job. Transformation requires a soft pliable casing. If the casing is hard, unyielding or old, it will not be able to withstand the pressure of change. As the juice transforms, so does the case. It shapes to the new and must be adaptable for the process to be complete. Pouring in new wine, a new mindset and new ways into a new fresh casing will free up the new wine to mature and transform into its intended purpose.
I want new wine! This means I must to be open to the new wineskin in my mind. Open to letting go of the old ways … so that I can be available for the new and it’s full effect. Let’s not live half way. If it’s time for a change in your life, your relationships, or whatever, choose to go the distance! “Skin and all!”