Psalm 26:7--That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Potter and the Clay

Isaiah 64:8--But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

The above verse gives a wonderful insight into how God views us. It contains a metaphor comparing humans to clay and God to a potter, and there are several key things about our relationship with God that we can learn from this simple analogy.

Firstly, God is our Creator. God is the One who gave us existence, who breathed life into us. Without Him, we would be nothing. We wouldn't even be alive. He is the reason anything exists at all. As such, He is worthy of all our praise, glory, honor, worship, adoration, love, etc. We should put our lives into His hands simply because of who He is: our Creator.

Secondly, God knows what He's doing. He is not some guy who picked up a handful of mud and started trying to form it into something. God is a master craftsman, a skilled potter--the best in fact. We can trust God with our lives and everything in them. He knows what's best, and He is the only One who can provide it for us. When we realize this, it should be easy for us to leave our lives in God's trustworthy, capable hands. Surrender all to Him.

Thirdly, God has a plan for us; He knows what He wants us to be. Nobody would start working on a piece of pottery without first having an idea of what they wanted it to be. It would end up a disaster. God has a will for your life, but the only way to achieve that is through complete surrender to Him. This starts with salvation, and if you are not saved, it is so easy. The One who created you also loves you, enough that He died for you, and all you have to do is ask God for forgiveness of your sins and believe in the sacrifice He made on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 10:9, 10). As stated above, God knows what's best for us, so whatever plan He has for your life is the absolute best--not what you or your parents or your friends or whoever has planned, but what God has planned.

Fourthly, God will keep working until we become what He wants us to be. Philippians 1:6 says "he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ". Some people begin work on a project and leave it half-finished. Not God. Once God starts something, He carries it through to completion. You can rely on Him to work on you until He takes you home to Heaven and you are complete and perfect. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). You will never be left alone to figure things out on your own.

Fifthly, God has an interest in us and what we will be. He is intensely focused on us. He knows every detail about you and your life and, as mentioned above, has every part of your future mapped out. When I think of the potter and the clay, it is an intimate example to me. It is not like someone chipping away at stone with a chisel. I see the potter's careful, caring hands caressing the supple clay that is obedient to his will. This is exactly how our relationship with God should be. We should lovingly and humbly submit to His will, be like soft clay in His hands. God will not harm us. He loves us and cares for us more than anyone or anything else. (However, if you desire to be hardheaded, God knows how to use a hammer and chisel as well.)

Sixthly, in order to become the product, we'll probably have to be broken down and remade, and we will definitely have to go through the fire. As a potter makes a pot, or bowl, or whatever he's trying to make, he often has to mash it back down and start over again. This will happen in our lives. When we fall to sin, it ruins God's process, and He has to rework us into a usable piece again. It's not that God has made a mistake, but that we have messed ourselves up. And we will definitely have to go through the fire. Clay always goes through kindling, where it is hardened by fire, in order to become the final product. We will have to also. God has placed trials and tests in our lives to strengthen us. Don't get mad at God for putting them in your life; thank Him for them. If you go through them the right way, you will always come out stronger, more beautiful in God's eyes, and closer to what He wants you to be. And don't worry about the fire being too hot. God knows what we can handle: He will never turn the flames up so high that we crack.

So, are you ready to surrender to God, your Creator? Are you ready to become the beautiful piece of pottery God has designed you to be? Then put your life in His care. Be like clay: soft and tender in God's loving hands, obedient to His will. And remember, God knows what He's doing, so don't worry if spinning around on that pottery wheel makes you a little dizzy. Just enjoy the ride.

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