Jer 48:11 “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”
There’s been no battle and no stress. He’s bitter tasting and he’s stinking.
In Bible times, they made wine and put them into huge containers (vats). This was allowed to sit, unstirred, untouched for a period of time. As it sat, dregs sank to the bottom along with the sediment or the grounds. ‘Dregs’ are used to speak about the worst of society. If these dregs aren’t taken out, the whole wine will be ruined. It tastes bitter and smells bad. In order to get rid of the dregs, the wine must be poured from vessel to vessel.
How God is comparing Moab to wine is saying that they haven’t been challenged or stirred up in the Lord. Moab has been allowed to sit too long.
All anyone has to do is stay unchanged and unmoved to become a problem.
To avoid the problem, take the wine before it settles, and pour it into another vat, strain it. Do it over and over. Grape juice can’t just sit. It must be stirred up and poured out.
God might want to make you into wine (not a whiner) and the process He uses is stirring.
Grape juice is fairly easy to make, but in order to have something worth serving, there is a process. There is a wine press that must be used.
You move from one vat of comfort to another, learning and changing and growing. God wants you in a constant state of growth, a constant state of motion. Every moment of every day, God wants you to be in this state.
Freedom in the Spirit is not the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Freedom is the power and the liberty to do what God wants you to do. To be free is to be able to do what God wants you to do. To be bound is to serve a different kind of master, one that enslaves. Bondage is staying the same.
2 Cor 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
What do you see in the mirror? Only your face or the glory of the Lord?
When you get in the Spirit of the Lord, change is an automatic process.
Change is a process of the Spirit. God wants us to be the way He originally created us to be. Because we have fallen so far from that, we must be constantly changing.
The Lord loves you. He likes you too. He loves you just as you are, but He loves you too much to want you to stay as you are.
Stir yourself up!
We cannot stay the same. We must be in constant change mode, constant growth mode. If you don’t change you are not free. Every time you come into the presence of God, there is something He wants to change in you.
Jesus made you a certain way. The best you is more like Him.
It’s a journey. You better be different ten years from now. If you’re not a better Christian than you were last year, then there is something wrong.
Issues that Keep you from Changing:
—A Slave or Victim Mentality, you resist the freedom God has for you because you identify with this and that’s all you know. You stay there because you’ve never experienced anything different. You don’t trust that it’ll work. There is resistance. You don’t believe it’s for you. You refrain from the prodding of the Lord to change. The Israelites in the wilderness never let go of their slave mentality and hardened their hearts.
Ex 6:5-9 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord. 9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.”
It had been that way for 400 years, how could it possibly change? ‘Jesus doesn’t love me that way.’ Too much pain and suffering.
Don’t doubt. Receive it. Stir yourself up!
With pasta sauce, it must be stirred, because as it boils, it sprays all over the kitchen. The stuff on the bottom gets crusty and it must be stirred up.
You’ve got to get stirred up as you sit on the stove.
God is wanting to stir your life up. When God wants to stir up some stuff in your life, you need to stir it up yourself or God will allow stuff to draw you to Him.
How do you stir up something in you? You’ve got to learn that your mentality right now must be changed and renewed and be more like the image of God. Bad habits must go.
Why is it that sometimes, you don’t accept this stirring? You’re wallowing in your loss. Instead, think about all you’ve got. Realize that God is a God of suddenly, all of a sudden. This brings faith.
Nicodemus wanted to talk to Jesus at night. Instead of him leading the conversation, Jesus led. ‘Unless you get born again, you won’t see the kingdom of God.’
John 3:3-8 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
You’ve got to let that Wind blow in your life. If you’re willing to let that Wind blow, that’s when promotion comes. You’ve got to stir it up. Get that whole Word of God inside of you.
Sometimes, you’ve been too beat down, so you won’t allow change.
There was a man sick of the palsy. Sometimes, you’re either sick of (with) the palsy or you’re ‘sick of the palsy!’ God wants to do something all of a sudden. He will bring about the transformation and change you want if you allow it if you stir it up.
—Tradition, Legalism, and the Pharisee (Judgement) Mentality keeps you in bondage. It was the outcasts who wanted to talk to Jesus. Those who were stuck in their tradition didn’t want anything to do with Him. ‘You can’t put new wine into old wineskins.’
Jesus talked about what real change was all about. There is a difference between a public display of religion and a spiritual, authentic spiritual life. Change is part of the process.
‘No one puts new wine in old wineskins.’ When grape juice is new, there are still gasses that need to be released. Old skins can’t stretch and expand. New skins have elasticity.
You’ve got to be new. Your old mentality will keep you from allowing something new into your life. If you want God to lift you from depression, there must be mentality changing in your life.
Stir it up!
It’s good to have daily disciplines but get stirred up. You’ve got to know the purpose. You’ve got to get beyond ritual and truly challenge yourself and change.
When you stir up things yourself, prayer happens, worship happens, understanding happens, you’ll pour yourself out so He can pour Himself in.
If you will learn to take that stirring stick, you will never get stinky. Keep things moving in your life.
Paul told Timothy that he’d laid his hands on him and he received gifts. You receive stuff from God, but you’ve got to get stuff from God on your own. Learn to receive stuff from Him on your own. Jesus walked by and faith rose up. Get close to Him.
What you got yesterday fades away. The essence of God is to give you something new every day.
Take a step out of the boat once in a while. Even if you don’t feel it, stir it up. Don’t just sit, stir it up!
There is nothing that stirs you up more than having to be something for somebody else. You’ve got to give a fresh Word every day. You must GET a fresh Word every day first, but of course, God wants to give you that.
Don’t get settled in your vats. You can’t change by being the same every day. Some things must stay the same, discipline is good. But, vain repetition is not good.
You’ve got to change, be willing to become fresh and new.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- Have you ever had bad grape juice? Why did it go bad and why is it bad for you? Are there places in your heart that is like bad grape juice? What are you going to do about it?
- As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
- Read Romans 12:1-13. Looking at these verses, what insights do you see? What do you need to challenge and change in your mindset? What is Jesus teaching you? Are you being daily transformed? How? What is different from yesterday?
- What issues in your life are still tripping you up compared with what the Word of God actually says? What does Jesus want you to do today to change that?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!