LUKE 5:39: “But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Am I stuck in a rut? A rut is defined as the following…
- “A long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels on a vehicle; A habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.” (Oxford Dictionary)
Jesus, when speaking to some of John the Baptist’s disciples, answered their question regarding the reason Jesus’ disciples did not fast the way they fasted. Jesus framed His answer around two examples. The first was a new piece of cloth sewn onto old garments. The second was new wine poured into old wineskins.
Both examples were to illustrate the reality that you cannot embrace something new while you are holding onto something old. Jesus then closed with these words.
- “But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.”
The human tendency is to become satisfied with the status quo. We tend to navigate toward what is familiar. We feel comfortable when the wheels of our life are traveling in a familiar path. There are times when this is fine and there are times when this is destructive. That which is familiar can lead us to a place of rest or a place of destruction. It is when we find ourselves in a rut that keeps us from a positive change that we need to take note of.
Over the years that I have been a pastor, I have witnessed the brokenness in people’s lives leading them time and time again to the same pattern of thought and behavior that they were desperate to leave. I have experienced this struggle in my own life as well. Why is this? It is always easier to travel in a familiar path than it is to carve out a completely new one. When we are comfortable it is easy to settle. And, it is the tendency to settle that can keep us from our breakthrough!
The Jewish nation of Jesus’ day was comfortable in their Temple worship and their traditions. The original intent of God’s instructions had been clouded by countless man-made rules and traditions. These led people away from their faith. Yet, they became a predictable and comfortable way of life. When Jesus came and began to challenge this conventional thinking and behavior He caused an uproar in the status quo. They were so content drinking the old wine of their tradition that they were not even open to considering the new wine of God’s Spirit.
How easy it is for us to live in this rut in every area of our life. We can become content in our brokenness, in our worship, and our service. God always wants to do a new and deeper work in our lives. Yet, if we become so attached to what is familiar, we will miss what the Holy Spirit is saying at the moment.
- “So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:6-7 NLT
This new and deeper work is not some new revelation. This is the trap where many cults have found their beginning. Jesus did not come to bring a new revelation. Jesus came to call people from their ruts in life and restore them to God’s original revelation. It is easy to fall into habits or patterns that dull us to the voice of God’s Spirit. It is the written word of God, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that calls us back to God’s original intent!
- “So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:11-12 NLT
This morning Lord, I need you to search my heart and life. I need Your Word to divide between my soul and my spirit, to expose my innermost thoughts and desires. I need You to lift me from the ruts of thoughts, perceptions, and actions that are limiting my growth in You. Give me a hunger for Your Word, Your presence, and Your will. Do a new work in my life. Give me ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying and to walk in the full revelation of Your written Word!
In Jesus Name!