Monday, April 21, 2008

The Potter & the Clay

…We are the clay, and You our potter;
and all we are the work of Your hand.
~ Isaiah 64:8

Have you ever watched a potter work? He takes a dense mass of clay and first pounds and shapes it into a ball. He then places it firmly in the center of the potter’s wheel and begins the slow process of shaping. Initially, the clay is quite rigid and unyielding, so he continuously uses water to keep it workable. The potter’s job requires much patience. As the wheel spins, he continuously changes the position of his hands and fingers as he shapes the clay into what he wants it to be. More pressure here, a more delicate touch there, literally even squeezing in some places. He might even change the speed at which the wheel is turning. Once the clay takes on its initial shape, he begins using tools that trim away excess and further refine it into the desired form. By now, the piece looks finished, but must be placed in the kiln and subjected to intense heat before it is fully strengthened and usable to its fullest potential.

I’ve been thinking about our message yesterday which brought this question…
“How are you responding to God’s attempts to mold and shape your life?"

More specifically…
Have you first offered yourself to Him for use?
Are you allowing Him to pound, press, apply pressure and even squeeze where needed?
Are you soaking in the water of his Word in order that you might remain workable?
Have you given Him the ability to trim away those excess things in your life keeping you from a closer walk with Him?
Are you willing to be subjected to intense heat so that in the end you’ll be fully strengthened and more perfected?

Are you resisting being used at all?
Are you fighting his attempts to pound, press, apply pressure and even squeeze where needed?
Have you neglected soaking in the water from God’s Word and in doing so, become resistant, rigid and unyielding to change?
Are you trying to avoid (or asking God to take away) painful situations, rather than endure the work of His refining tools?
Do you give up in the midst of intense heat, before ever realizing the full strength you could gain in Him through the process?

In the end, I don't want to be a vessel whose shape bears no resemblance to the Potter's design; one that represents defiance and resistance to His workings. Instead, I want my final shape to be that which He lovingly intended and purposefully created because I surrendered to His hands. More than anything...I want to be a creation He can look upon with great joy.

Lord, I want to be used by you. Help me to allow you full access to every part of me. Do what is needed to shape me into who you want me to be. Help me stay saturated in your Word so that my heart is tender and workable. Take away those things that keep me from a closer walk with you. When I find myself in the midst of extreme discomfort, Lord remind me those trials are from you, specifically designed for me, that I may become fully strengthened and perfected in you. May it be so Lord Jesus…

I invite you to take a moment to listen to this beautiful prayer offered by Darlene Zschech & Hillsong.


Becky said...

Beautiful devotional thoughts. Sooo very true.

As a former potter (former only because I don't have a pottery wheel currently), I can testify that pottery is by nature very rough work. The clay is going to be kneaded, and pounded and cut away...but in the end it'll all be worth it, because of the beautiful work done by the Master's hands.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

And look at the mess that is left on the Potter's hands because of the shaping!

Our piece of treasured clay cost him some "mess" and yet he willingly and lovingly embraced us for the molding. I am forever marked by his hands. I choose to yield to his touch because the finished product promises to be a best seller!


Melanie said...

This is such a beautiful post and wonderful reminder to always be "moldable" for God to shape me into what He wants me to be. A good message for me to hear today!

Nancie said...

Tracy, thank you for sharing such an encouraging post. Thanks for visiting my blog too and your very kind and encouraging comment.

How true that God is our Potter and we are His clay. May He enable us to humbly and joyfully submit to His molding as He does a deeper work in us daily, that our lives may glorify Him. Thank you for sharing the lovely and encouraging song. May God bless and keep you near to Him always, and continue to make you a blessing to others as you share of His love and Truths. Take care.


LynnSC said...

Wow! What a thought provoking post. I too, want to be molded in the potters hands. I pray that He will find me yeilded and ready for His work.

Thanks so much for sharing! Lynn

Becoming Me said...

Such a wonderful devotion. I felt like it was written just for me. I so resisted the potter's hand in thepast, but lately and finding that if I just relax and melt into His palms, that He will mold me.