“And no one pours new wine into old wine skins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wine skins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wine skins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, “The old is better.” Luke 5:37-39
I found the perfect pair of jeans online. They were exactly what I wanted and they had my size. They were on sale to boot! They arrived in a few short days. I was so excited to try them on! I really like my old jeans though. They are so comfortable even though they are well-worn in places. What will happen if I put on the new pair and slip the old ones on top? Unless I bought two sizes up they aren’t going to fit. If I do get them buttoned, it will only be a matter of time before I pop off the button or open a seam on the side. Not only would they burst, the new would be concealed by the old. Why would I even buy something new if I were just going to cover it up with the old ones? It doesn’t work. I can’t put the new into the old. Doesn’t this sound like a lot of us? We are so comfortable in the familiar that we won’t embrace something new. Something new involves faith and risk. It will cost you something. But the result is beautiful.
I think God doing a new work in my life views me the same way. He can’t pour in the new beginning into my current state. He has taken me through a refinement period. Refining is defined as bringing to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities. He will remove those impurities to bring in the new. The refinement period is tough. God will pull the wool back from your eyes so you can see what God sees. The you that the enemy has convinced you that you are. But the great news is God won’t leave you there. With a new heart of flesh and not of stone he can pour the new work into the new heart. Oh what joy it is though to be exactly where God wants you to be even if it is temporarily uncomfortable. It is the safest place on earth.
If He allowed the new work into your life without the refinement period, it would overwhelm you. You wouldn’t be prepared for the task. Where God sends, He equips. He lovingly chips away at the impurities that will hinder your growth and success. He wants you to thrive and shine. It makes me think about a diamond and the refinement process that it endures. When the process is complete, there is no other stone like it on earth! It sparkles and brings joy to the owner. It is visible to all who encounter it. It has great significance to the owner. And friend you are incredibly important to God.
I recently passed on my favorite jeans to someone else. I am completely satisfied with the new pair. Since the old pair is gone now, I no longer can look to them and wish I was wearing them instead. But the jeans are still being used. They are now a treasure to someone else. What about you? Are you holding onto that ministry that you no longer feel led to be a part of simply because it is comfortable? Maybe God is calling someone new to step into your role so you can move onto His unique plan tailored just for you. Perhaps this isn’t for you but it was placed in front of you so you can minister to someone else who is struggling to move forward. God is with you and for you today and always! He won’t call you out and abandon you. He will lead you every step of the way.