Friday, February 7, 2014

Part 6: The Must (Luke. 5:37-38)

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. (Luke 5:37, 38 NASB)

The Latin term for young wine "vinum mustum" refers to what is commonly called "must" in winemaking. The must is the just-pressed juice and all the skin, pulp, and seeds. Since wine is a liquid and not a jumble of crushed fruit, the juice will eventually be separated from the must. After the crushing, wine yeast is added to begin the fermentation process. 
For the first few days, while fermentation begins (and those crushed grapes are beginning to be transformed into rich, full-bodied wine), the must remains. It adds flavor to the juice and makes the wine better. Those first few days, it is "must" but in a few days the usefulness of the must comes to an end and it is simply sediment that has to be separated from the juice to avoid spoilage. Must that is allowed to remain with the juice indefinitely will destroy any chance of transformation into quality wine. 

In that same way, the "crushing" that begins the process of transformation for believers will cause the "must" (the old sinful ways, ungodly lifestyle, thoughts, and habits) to separate from the essence that will be retained.  Because of God's great mercy, He does not separate every bit of that must away at once. Instead, He generally peels those layers of sin and hurt away gently and painstakingly. At just the right time, however, our old life will have to go for us to become all that God intends. Separation from our spiritual must is not only inevitable, it is essential and invaluable. If we choose to keep the old way, habits, addictions, hurts, it will only serve to bring destruction to the new creature in Christ we were meant to become. 

What remains of the must in our lives and the lives of our loved ones? How much longer will we cling to what can only bring destruction? Pray today that God will shine light in our darkness and reveal exactly what lingering must needs to be removed so that we can become what God intended. Pray too for hearts that are so tired of the destruction that letting go of the must becomes the highest priority.