Growing In Faith
As Christians, we are lumps of clay ready for molding, but the question is: By whom? We have a choice: we either let the world shape us or trust ourselves to God. If the world shapes us we usually end up as broken vessels without true purpose and meaning. We live life to gratify ourselves and everything we gain and achieve will be taken from us and quickly forgotten. There is nothing of true value. So what does God offer if we place ourselves in His hands? There will be times of blessing but also suffering; of happiness but also heartbreak; of gain and also loss. God’s way is not an easy way; however, the primary difference is that everything we experience has eternal purpose. God desires is to shape us into Christ-like vessels of grace with inner peace and a right attitude that overcomes all circumstances in life.
God is a perfect potter. He starts His miraculous work the moment we choose to put ourselves in his capable hands. God usually gives new christians a grace period where He gently molds them – a time where they can learn his word and test His promises. Where they can learn the touch of His hand on their lump of clay. God uses our personal circumstances to slowly mold us into a unique Christ-like vessel. Sometimes God has to stop spinning us on the potter's wheel, take us off, smash us around and start again.
When we are in the shape He intends, it’s only a matter of time before we are placed into a "kiln of testing". This can be in the form of trials, hardships and disappointments. To a newly formed lump of clay this is a most frightening time. If the vessel is not properly prepared the hot furnace will break it but we don't have to fear the "kiln of testing" because we are in the hands of a perfect potter. He knows the exact time to place us in the kiln and he molded us perfectly to withstand the heat (God has promised never to test us beyond what we are able to bear – 1 Corinthians 10:13). The heat in the kiln can be extreme but its purpose is to strengthen our form. Adversity is essential if we are to be a Christ-like, earthenware vessel into which God can pour many blessings and His divine purpose. When we are filled with grace and inner peace, we soon learn that one of the greatest blessings in being God’s vessel is we can pour his numerous blessings onto others. We want our vessel or "pottery" to overflow with the things of God so we can pour into others’ lives.
The analogy that God is the divine potter and humans are the clay is a way to express God's sovereignty over all people, a way to show our need to yield to His divine plan, and a way to encourage us to find the purpose for which we have been made.
Remember this, just as a potter uses pressure from his hands to shape the pot, God uses the pressures of life to drive us to a deeper dependence on him and a deeper understanding of who he is. These pressures are used by God to shape us into something beautiful that he can use for His purpose. Our lives rests in God's hands. He is crafting you into a vessel of honor fit for his use.
Ask yourself, "If you were a lump of clay, who would you want to shape you?"
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)