But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. ( Isaiah 64:8)
There is an old song that says “He’s got the whole world in His hands…”, but the real question is, does God have you in his hands and what is He shaping you into? Before we can become the person God envisions us to be, we must learn what it means to be clay. Only when we are clay will we understand life transformation and find the God-designed success that comes from Him to us.
My wife has a beautiful, excellent porcelain tea set from Russia. I know because I purchased it for her while on a mission trip to Russia. I paid a small sum for it compared to what it is worth today. This tea set is only used for very, very special occasions. It is not for everyday use. We have cups for that purpose. The tea cups are vessels for honor only used for special times and special people.
God does have this grand plan for our lives. He wants us to be a vessel of honor in His house (2 Timothy 2:20, 21). But just as Paul reminds Timothy, we cooperate with the potter so he can transform our lives into someone worthy to be used by the Master. We can either be for everyday use or honorable use depending on how much we yield to the process of life transformation. So how does that take place?
1. Being clay means we are yielded to the Potter.
To yield means to surrender, to give in, and to come under the influence of a someone or something. Christ’s earliest encounters with those he would name His apostles were marked by invitation to follow and come and see where He lived (Matthew 4:19; John 1:39). You can’t follow until you are willing to yield over the control of your life projection and turn it entirely in Christ’s authority.
2. Being clay means we let the potter go deep into our souls and free us from all that scares us.
When a potter begins to shape clay on the potter’s wheel, he drives his fingers deep into the clay so it can start taking the shape he envisions. We all are nothing more than clay. We are formed from the dust of the earth. But when God gets hold of dirt, He begins that amazing process of taking shapeless and formless people and transforming their lives into something significant. Sometimes the meaning will radically change the entire course of human affairs. But for that to take place, God must shape us, and we must allow that to happen. Jacob was one of the kind of people that would want life success without life transformation. He could have well lived out his life in pursuit of that, but he would never be the person God designed him to be without allowing God to get him alone in a tent and touch his life. Only in that place does his name change from Jacob the Schemer to Israel the Prince of God. We have to allow God to dig into our lives and shape us.
3. Being clay on the wheel is not forever, but it sure seems like it.
Nothing is exciting about being stuck on that wheel than only to find out the next step is being thrown into an oven. However, that process cannot be avoided. The potter wants our life as a useable of honor to be an enduring one. You and I cannot jump out of the fire too early, or we will not be of any use. Nor can we stay in too long. God knows how long we need to be in the furnace of transformation. But when it is over, we look amazing. God sees the end product, and it always pleases Him. We struggle to understand God’s path to transformation even more than our inability to see the end product of transformation. We must trust that God wants nothing more for us than to make us into a work of His craftsmanship. So stay on the wheel.
Join us for Preview Day!
We would love to meet you and hear about how God is shaping your life. Come hang out with our staff and students on February 4th and learn more about Bethany College. Click here for more information and registration!