Jeremiah 18-22, Psalm 18
In chapter 18, Jeremiah is instructed to spend some time in the potter’s house. After observing him for some time we read in Jer.18:5-6, “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!”. Isaiah said something similar in Isaiah 64:8, “…We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Paul uses this visual to illustrate how ridiculous it is to question the sovereignty of God. In Romans 9:20-21, he says, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay,…”. In these verses, we are the clay. Like it or not, clay is common and relatively worthless in and by itself. God is the potter. When submitted into the skillful, loving hands of God, our potter, he can transform our lives into something beautiful and priceless. The wheel that the potter uses represents the circumstances in our daily life which the potter uses to shape our character.
We gain strength and significance only to the extent that we are willing to submit our whole lives to him. Before knowing Christ as my Lord and Savior, if you were to look at my life as a pie, I used myself to fill all of it. After coming to Christ, I slowly yielded slivers of this pie, both in time and various areas of my life. But the desire of all of our hearts is to not give God pieces, but to make Him the filling which permeates every area of our lives. Though none of us ever complete this on this side of heaven, the extent that we yield and allow the Master Potter to mold us, is the extent that we can be used by Him. I always enjoyed being a physician, but when I finally released the reins of my career to Him, my profession became a ministry. I always enjoyed being a father to my children, but as I release the reins of this, this also becomes a ministry. This can hold true for every part of our lives, whether at the gym, on the road, at church, with our families,etc. Paul realized this in 2 Corinthians 12:10, after pleading with God to remove the thorn in his flesh that was given him, he realized, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” So too, as we yield our lives over to Him, He will turn us from weak into strong.
As we increasingly yield to Him, doing anything outside the will of God will be difficult. Jeremiah is being mocked, he was humiliatingly placed in the public stocks and ridiculed because of his willingness to publicly declare the Word of God. Understandingly in Jer.20:9, he responded, “Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But this couldn’t last, since his life was yielded to the Master Potter, so he went on to say in verse 9,”But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.” Imagine how effective our lives would be and the revival that would take place if we allowed our entire lives to be molded by Him, and then in loving submission to His hands found it impossible to hold back from the path He is placing each and every one of us on.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: