Ever watched a potter at work? Their skill, touch, and creativity. They take a lump of clay, with all its imperfections. It has little shape to it, and it has no form and is not able to do anything in its own strength. I’ve never seen the clay suddenly decide that it wants to be. Intelligent clay, now there’s a thing!
The potter’s skill is what shapes the vessel; he has already got the design in his mind. He begins to work the clay, first a little water he shapes it into a round lump. Next a little pressure on the sides. Slowly the vessel begins to take shape, there is no sense of randomness in its design, and it takes shape for the purpose that the potter intended.
The potter applies pressure on both inside and outside, the harder the pressure the more the change. Gentle touches bring refinement to the clay. Finally the potter looks at the vessel and smiles in admiration of his work.
The bible, several times, talks about the Potter and the clay; God is the Potter and we are the clay.
Of course the analogy talks of God’s sovereignty over our lives, can we as the clay dictate what we are going to be?
How much do we resist what God wants to do in our lives? Do we trust the Potter? Do we relax and rest in God or do we fight Him? I wonder what the pot would look like if it resisted the potter!
Just like the potter works the clay to get out any imperfections, even before ever he starts to shape it, so God is working on us by His Holy Spirit.
Staying in the potter’s hands is the difficulty. Being willing to submit ourselves to his care and design. The thing is this, that he knows what needs to be removed for our good.
Isaiah 29:15-16 (NASB) says:
‘Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?” You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding “?’
God knows all things, but His heart is for our good he wants to form us and mould us into His masterpiece.
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) says:
‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’
The word workmanship could be translated masterpiece, isn’t it great to think that we are so special to God that He works on our lives and has an individual purpose and design for our lives. And it isn’t an afterthought, but He prepared it beforehand for us to do. Wow, now that is planning. Imagine someone taking eternity past to think about the design for your life. What an Amazing God we have.
As I have said, staying with the process is the hard thing; it’s only the pressure of the potter’s fingers that reveals the beauty of the vessel. Then God chooses to fill that vessel with himself,
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB) says:
‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.’
I read a quote the other week that may be useful:
‘It’s only in the pressure of life is our true character revealed.’
In the good times we can all look good, how do we respond under pressure? Yield ourselves to God the Holy Spirit and let the fruits of The Spirit continue to be developed in us. I know that I am glad that God is not finished working on me.
How about it then, let’s let go and allow God to work out His plan for our lives; to mould us and shape us into His likeness, the vessel that He as planned us to be. It is very freeing when we stop wanting to be someone else, and become the person that God wants us to be.
Can the clay say to the potter what it will be?
No is the answer.
Remember God knows what He is doing!