In The Potters Hands
He’s still working on me
Luke 8:15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Jer 18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand,
The imagery of the potter and the clay is familiar in scripture. It is a potent metaphor for our relationship with our creator.
“We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand” (Is 64:8).
“we have this treasure in earthen vessels [Jars of Clay], that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor 4:7).
God is the master potter and even now he is at work, shaping you into vessels of honor. Our job is incredibly simple. We must yield to the master’s hands.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
David’s inspired words paint a magnificent image of the master's initial work in us from within our mother's womb. He hasn’t just been working with you as of late, he’s been at work from the very beginning.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Not Only has he been at work... He is still at work and ... He said I have “plans” not a “plan”. As unbelievable as it is, God knew everyone of your days before you experienced your first one.
Even now the Lord has his hands in the clay of your life. He is moving through your dirt working to make you receptive to his purpose for your life.
Being receptive to everything God has for you requires four things; learning to yield, trust, listen and persevere through the fire
As I mentioned, the process of making a clay vessel begins before the clay ever finds itself upon the wheel. This is the preparation stage.
Think about the way Jesus called his first disciples to himself alongside the waters edge. He extracted him out of an earthly kingdom and brought him into a heavenly kingdom.
He told them, “you didn’t choose me, I chose you” (John 15:16).
The preparation was thorough and forceful. The clay had to be free of contaminates
and brought into uniformity. Until it surrenders, it cannot be placed upon the wheel.
These times can be painful and humiliating. Though the process cannot be omitted it can be accelerated if we would stop resisting and start submitting to the Lord.
We don’t realize how much we resist and inhibit the Lord’s work. We celebrate our own strength to manage whatever situation we face. My friend your strength is your weakness.
This is why the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
If you want to become receptive, it's imperative that you learn to yield!
It is in this place of yielding where the fallowed ground is plowed and the rocks and weeds are removed. The kneading on the table prepares the soil to become receptive.
Have you found this place?
Are there repetitive habits, thoughts, mentalities that you still wrestle with?
Is there something you constantly debate with yourself and others as to whether or not it is sin?
Why not just call it sin, remove it from your life and move on?
Where do you continue to rebel against the Lord?
Do you compare yourself to others?
Find it easy to judge another believer?
Do your ears turn to or away from gossip? When criticism comes your way do you get offended?
Are you quick to defend yourself, justify or rationalize a situation?
Do you find yourself repeating the same mistakes?
Do you seem to keep going through the same situations?
Where do you reserve things for yourself?
What would hurt the most to be taken away from you right now?
If God doesn’t come through for you in a situation where are you going to turn to next? What is your backup plan?
Trust me, God is at work right now in your life for your good and his glory. He knows the plans he has for you.
The next step in forming pottery is called 'throwing the pot'. This is where the prepared clay is placed upon the wheel, centered, and pulled up. The clay comes off the master's table, and lands with force upon the wheel. The reason it is done with such force is so that the clay adheres to the wheel. Things are about to begin to turn in the life of the clay and it has to hold fast to the wheel and not get spun off.
What a picture of true New Testament belief! Belief means to adhere to something like glue..
As the wheel begins to spin the potter starts to center the clay. Once again the clay has to learn to be submitted to the potter.
Watching the clay and potter work together as one, I think of Jesus as he says, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). He could only do and say what the father is doing and saying.
They were in harmony with one another.
Once the pot is centered, it is time to be opened up. The potter places his hand onto of the clay and pushes into it, suddenly the clay transforms and now begins to look like a vessel. It is shallow at first, but as the wheel spins, the sides begin to be pulled up. They climb higher and higher as pot takes shape. This is the most beautiful part of the process to watch.
No doubt you can remember those points in your life where you experienced spiritual growth spurts. Each day comes with a greater level of joy and anticipation.
There is nothing quite like being on the master's wheel and trusting the work of his hands!
Once the pot is fully formed, it is removed from the wheel and allowed to sit for a season. For weeks it is left alone to dry.
You could liken it to the wilderness.
There is a wilderness experience coming for you as well when you are allowed to sit. It may seem that much isn’t taking place on the outside, and its not. What is happening is taking place within. The previous work of the master's hands is setting itself up within you. During this process the clay is at its most fragile point and must be handled with the utmost care. Thankfully the master has the most caring hands.
You don’t plant a seed and see it immediately grow. It has to have a season of death, buried beneath the surface in waiting.
The wilderness is a necessary part of the process. Though it takes time to still ourselves and listen, it is worth it.
The wilderness takes time, but it will not last forever.
When the pot has sat long enough it is now ready for the fire. Here it is super heated and the structure of the pot changes. It will never be the same after the fire. A transformation will take place and the clay will never be able to return to the earth it came from.
The pot will go through two fires. The first firing will harden the pot and remove all impurities. The second firing is to seal it so that it may hold what is poured in.
Jesus is celebrating his last Passover meal with the disciples when he reveals to Peter that, “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31). This is not a prophetic word that most of us would get excited about. Perhaps Peter was hoping the next words out of Jesus’ mouth would be, "but I have stopped him from doing so". However that is not what Peter hears. Jesus says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (vs 22).
Peter was on his way to the fire. He was about to be placed into a test that would shake him to his core. Interesting that Jesus didn’t stop the fire, he allowed it. Why? Because it was necessary. Peter would return transformed and able to be a strength to his brothers in Jesus’ absence. This was Peter's first fire, the second came on the Day of Pentecost when he was baptized in Holy Spirit and fire. That fire forever set Peter apart. The man who days before cowered in fear and denied Jesus, stood with boldness before thousands and declared Jesus. What a difference the fire makes!
The master potter took the pot through two fires. The first to reveal it, the second to seal it. This is why James tells us to celebrate the trials and tests of our faith because they cause us our faith to mature through perseverance. Jesus said that the final soil, the receptive soil produces a multiplied harvest through perseverance. The fire hardens our faith.
Jesus comes to baptize us in Holy Spirit and in fire. The fire is necessary! The second fire, the fire of the Holy Ghost seals us and sets us a part. It empowers us to be a witness. It transforms us from an empty vessel to a vessel overflowing with the presence of the Lord.
If you have not yet experienced this fire. Call out to him, shut yourself up in a room and wait until you have been endured with power from on high.
Lord I set me ablaze with the fire of the Holy Ghost. Baptize me in your spirit. I yield me life to you and fully trust your activity in my life. My ears are open and I am finally listening. Speak to me.