New Wine? Aged Wine? What’s the Difference? We hear a lot about new wine and how important it is to have the new wine of Jesus poured into our beings, but we seldom hear of the aging process that new wine goes through to become mature, full bodied and complex. When you think about the wedding feast where Jesus turned water into wine, it specifically states it was the best wine. When the wine was served to the master of ceremonies he was amazed that the best,, aged wine was saved for the last. Normally once everyone has tasted of the good, the cheaper wine would then be served. Jesus “served” the best. Will He serve any less today than the absolute best?
Thinking of all the Lord has done in me this past year and a half, I realize that the new wine that He so graciously poured into me was intoxicating, effervescent and caused deep joy that drew me into His presence. As I drank of the new wine, people all around me noticed the effects of the drink spilling out of me like a person who was literally drunk! To some, it drew them in and for others – raised eyebrows at the bubbly, spilling over love that I could not contain. Thank you Lord for new wine! During this time I so wanted to share and spill over on others. I desired ministry and fellowship – things to do. After all, nobody likes to drink alone! We might do it, but we would rather be drinking at a party!
As my journey continued – I was still seeking a purpose, a plan, a ministry opportunity. Because, of course … if God is doing this incredible thing then He certainly wants to use me, right? Oh the ways of the world that we carry with us into the kingdom! They skew our view of God and His ways. Our need for recognition, value and acceptance of who we are in God are woven so very deeply into the fabric of our “old nature”.
On the other side of the process of “being constrained and contained” – in a sense, forced to sit, to drink, to grow, to mature … I see that we must start by receiving the new wine. This wine causes us to desire God’s presence and to be intoxicated as we are bathed in His love. It is also used to make others want to come to the party! We don’t often think that new wine is supposed to age and mature to become the perfect accompaniment to an amazing meal.
New wine needs maturing time in order to be able to fully express itself! Aged, fermented wine that sits in dark barrels for extended periods of time are the ones that develop beauty, complexity, fullness, richness and body. The smooth, subtle qualities are developed while under pressure, sitting in the barrel! New wine doesn’t yet have the impurities strained out. That is part of the reason it is sold so cheaply. It still contains the fragments of the grapes and the impurities that remain while undergoing the pressing process. Every wine starts as a “new wine”. Then when taken care of by a wine maker who desires quality and craft over quantity and profits, this wine can be purified and aged until it is able to be served to royalty. It becomes the finest of wine through the careful care and process known only by a Master craftsman!
This is the process the Lord has been taking me through. Keeping me quiet until the ways of the world could be sifted out. The desire to be noticed and utilized, to be mentored by man, to have a purpose – something meaningful in which to apply my skills and efforts. Ah – More processing needed on this one, says the wise, careful and meticulous Master Craftsman! Oh, to become a fine wine that can be served in ways and places that a new wine would not be acceptable to serve! Would that I will be a wine with richness and depth of character. That takes more time in the hands of the Artisan wine maker who is in no hurry to rush the process. He knows what it will become once it completes the necessary fermentation process.
Like wine, fermented foods also require the ancient ways of time, care and careful process. Today we are so used to mass produced, cheaply made foods. We think white bread is good for us — even whole wheat bread is sold to us a healthy food. Just because it is made from wheat does not mean it is good for us! Look at all the people who are gluten intolerant! It is due to consuming a diet of contaminated, assembly line, highly processed, profitable foods! Foods that are fermented take time – they cost more. The cost is not only in the time required, but also the ingredients and processes used to turn simple ingredients into life-giving, healthy foods. These are foods that nourish our inner eco system. This is in contrast to the mass produced foods that disturb, disrupt, create imbalance and become a breeding ground for parasites! Wow! Selah! Think on that!!! We live in a world where we are used to instant, sugar filled, chemically produced foods. We think we are hungry when in fact we are really nutritionally starved. We eat more, thinking it will satisfy. We become obese, overweight and unhealthy because we consume too many calories from non-nutritious foods, when all our bodies are truly craving is something that will satisfy and nourish us at the cellular level.
Sadly, this same principle applies to God’s people today. We consume spiritual food and drink that does not come from the process of the artisanal ways of our ancestors! Yes – our spiritual ancestors. The men and women who paid the price to really KNOW Him! Who took the time to allow the Holy Spirit to create an artisanal masterpiece that brings peace and harmony to the inner eco system of our beings. Once we are truly nourished and have learned His artisanal ways, letting the ingredients produce “good fruit” in us. Then and only then do we have something that we can offer to the world to satisfy their hunger and thirst! I believe God is asking us to slow down and allow the Holy Spirit to work within our eco systems to produce the finest of artisanal food and drink so that as we are made whole … we can then be used to share the ways of life-giving bread and wine!
Jesus is the fine bread and wine! He is not the mass produced Savior we have been partaking of – looking for life and only finding a need for more calories, more sugar, more carbs to keep us going! Perhaps you can think about this in terms like conferences, events, needing a prophetic word, seeking signs and wonders, believing only what pastors and leaders teach us instead of what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. I am not saying these things are bad, but they are not designed to be our life-line, our nourishment!
He is the bread of life! He is the fine wine! I believe He is calling us to push beyond our religious wine skins and allow Him to fill us, nourish us, heal us and prepare us for this new era we have crossed into. To allow our wine skins to be made new. Not just new wine, but new wine skins!
I hear the Holy Spirit whispering these words
“Eat of me! Drink of me! Come into the wine cellar and let me unveil myself in you! Let me reorganize your inner eco system so LIFE and life abundantly begin to fill you and flow out of you! So rivers of living water flow forth from your inner most being bringing life … everywhere the river flows. Arise my love! Come away with me into the chambers of your King! Let me show you my artisanal ways! The ways that produce good fruit, life and health to your soul. I am serving fermented bread and wine! Will you come? Will you partake? Will you eat and drink of Me? Will you lay aside the things that you think bring you pleasure and fulfillment? Lay them aside and come to me. I will fill you, heal you and introduce myself to you in ways that take time because only the best of ingredients are used in the ways that I desire. The ways that produce life! Lay aside all that you think you know! Let me show you my ways and watch what I will do as I produce the finest of wine and food within you! Just like when water was turned into wine at the wedding feast – so I am inviting you to the wedding feast with me. I will nourish you and create in you a banquet to be served to all the world. That they too will desire to come away with me to this place and partake of the feast I have for them. I will serve you to the world once you have been steeped in my artisanal ways, eating and drinking of only the best life producing ingredients – my bread and my wine. Arise my love and come away with me to the secret place where we will feast together until you are nourished and ready to go with me to the mountaintops!”