This morning when I woke up, I found myself singing, “Make me a vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing but all you have given me. Jesus make new wine out of me.” Over and over, those words were coming out of me like a prayer, but with no accompanying vision or dream. As I sat down to start my quiet time, I went searching for the full lyrics to the song “New Wine” by Hillsong, and here they are:
In the crushing, in the pressing, you are making new wine. In the soil I now surrender. You are breaking new ground. So I yield to you and to your careful hand. When I trust you I don’t need to understand. Make me a vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing but all you have given me. Jesus, bring new wine out of me. Jesus bring new wine out of me. Where there is new wine there is power, there is freedom. I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today. The song is here if you’d like to listen.
I heard the Lord say, ” Before I can give new wine, I make new wineskins.”
The scriptures say in 2 Timothy 2:20-26, “In a large house there are articles (vessels) not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy and prepared to do any good work.”
We are all vessels that carry something. Vessels of different status and purposes, but vessels nonetheless. As scripture points out, some of us are being used to bring honor and glory to God while others are carrying purposes that are ignoble or dishonorable. The Bible states that if a person will cleanse himself from the ignoble things, he will be made holy and ready to good works for the kingdom of God.
The reason I talk about vessels is that a wineskin is a vessel, or a container for wine. The Bible states in Mark 2:21-22 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he doesn’t the wine will burst the skins and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”
To provide a little context relating to wineskins, I am sharing this passage from The New Frontier Ministries which states, “The new wineskins were filled with unfermented juice and left to age for a period of time. Gasses formed within the wineskin as the flavor, color, balance, and boutique of the wine grew. Because the wineskin was new, it could expand and hold both the wine and the gasses. However, if someone poured unfermented juice into an old wineskin, the forming gasses caused the skin to burst. As a result, they lost both the new wine and old wineskin.”
As I was reading this passage I wrote this:
“God has new wine that he is preparing to pour into his vessels. But the old wineskin, or the old you, won’t support the new wine. He’s in the process of transforming you into a new wineskin and vessel of honor for His good work.” Then the Holy Spirit spoke, “Some are feeling crushed, pressed, but it is me, refining them. Drawing out the sweet, pure fragrance of my work in them. The fragrance will draw others to them so they will be drawn to me. The crushing is making new wine, new rooms, new ministries where my Spirit will not be suppressed. Allow my work in you to be completed so that those who I have ordained will come.”
His words inspired me to look into aroma, and more specifically the art of perfume making. The word perfume is Latin: “per” meaning through, and “fumum” meaning smoke. Ancient perfumes were made by extracting natural oils from plants through pressing and steaming them. The oils were then burned to scent the air. In Exodus, Moses speaks of perfumed anointing oil that was used to anoint the priests and sacred vessels of the tabernacle. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 states, “For we are the aroma of Christ for those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are the smell of death and to the other, the fragrance of life. Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity like men sent from God.
I just want to encourage you today. You have a treasure, a new wine that God is preparing for you to carry as His vessel. Allow him to continue His transforming work on and in you so that you are fully equipped to carry His glory into where He is sending you. I am praying that you continue to, as the song “New Wine” states, “yield to Him and to His careful hand. I pray that you continue to trust Him when you don’t understand the process. I want to leave you with this verse from 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, not from us.”