LUKE 5:36-39: “Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one 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. 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. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: No one really likes “change”! There is something within our human nature that likes to find a comfortable place and stay there. We gravitate to our comfy chair, that pair of old jeans, the boots that are really broken in, and the diner that makes us feel like we are at grandmas for Sunday dinner. Even “change agents” find their comfortable rut in always moving from one thing to another. Saddle them down with the ordinary – and they buck this change. No one really likes “change”!
Someone has wisely said – “change happens”. We may not like it, but we can never avoid it. I have always fashioned to think of myself as more of a “change agent” than a “rut dweller”. It is easy to convince oneself that you are open to change, until the one thing that we really like – changes! I know this will sound silly, but I always had a go to store where I could find the type of clothes I liked. This major chain did a complete make-over and geared its’ marketing to the younger generation. Gone were my stand by brands. Gone were the sizes that fit me. Gone were the familiar isles. Suddenly, I was standing in the midst of change – and it made me mad! What right did they have to take away my store!
Now take this type of attitude and translate it over to our life in the spirit. What happens to the growth of a believer when they find their comfort zone, but the Lord wants to take them deeper into the things of the spirit? Many remember the days when they first came to Jesus Christ and revel in their minds living in the past. Oh, there is no music like the music from those days. Oh, there is no preaching like the preaching from those days. The church is going to hell in a handbasket because – “We never did things like that back in my day!” And the funny thing is, “back in my day” is relative. It can be a 20-30 something saying that, as well as a forerunner in their golden years. You see, the penchant for the familiar, and the dislike of change knocks at the door of every heart.
So why is change so important? God desires us to grow into the image of Jesus Christ. In order to do that we must continually be moving from glory to glory, from degree to degree. Our sanctification (inward and outward transformation in Christ) is an ongoing and progressive experience. It is like a snake that has to shed its’ own skin in order to grow. We have to continually shed our old nature in order to walk in the new. If we become content with the “old”, we will never reach out and enter into the “new”. There is really nothing sacred about the “good old days”. In fact, the “good old days” become more mythical than real the farther we move from them. I will never forget that at the age of 6 my neighborhood buddy and I sat on the front porch of my house and together we reminisced about the “good old days” (one year prior when we both moved into the neighborhood). Everything had changed, and we weren’t happy!
Jesus said, “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” Lord, this morning I want to remember the “good old days”, but I don’t want to live in them. I confess that I really don’t like change – BUT I NEED IT! I don’t want to stay where I am today, I want to continue to grow in grace and truth. Grant me the grace to rise up out of my rut, to let go of the old, and to move forward into the new things that You have before me. May I rejoice in the new wine of Your Spirit, and receive it with praise and gratitude – in the renewed wineskin of my heart!
In Jesus Name!