When God Has His Way

"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make." (Jeremiah 18:4)

Our God is a great Master Potter! Ever since He created man, God made everything good for him and formed man toward being an expression of His grace and glory. He does not make mistakes. He never makes two of the exact same of anything. He only makes masterpieces. He knows what He is doing...and what He does is based on who He is.

As the psalmist once said, “You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance” (Psalm 65:11). May we know what God does…what God is…what God has in store for all those who put their trust in Him.

Since God is good, the works that He does are always good, even when we as the clay lose our way. As clay, it would seem that we are insignificant and that we have no will of our own. But God breathes His life into and shows us through the molding of clay that this is what things look like from His perspective. He sees when we have made a mess of things and knows how to take the marred clay and to do a new work with us.

This was a powerful picture for Jeremiah to see as the clay marred in the hands of the Potter represented the people of Israel and their rebellion against God. They had turned aside to serve various idols and they were no longer representing the calling that God had given to them. But instead of discarding them, God remained true to His covenant promise and revived them into a new work "as it seemed good to the potter to make."

We see three great lessons from this powerful visual at the potter's house...

LESSON #1 - God must first INFORM us. Our life should be a response of obedience to what God alone says and shows us. God calls out to us and the entrance of His Word gives light so that we might know the way in which we should walk. God gave the word to Jeremiah to go to the potter's house and then told him that He would cause him to hear His words there.

Therefore, we need to have humble hearts and teachable spirits so that we might "receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save [our] souls" (James 1:21). We need to learn to approach God's word with a certain reverence and stillness to hear what God has to say to us. We must choose to let God choose for us.

LESSON #2 - After God informs us, He PERFORMS for us what needs to be done. We must learn to trust God and allow Him to do His work in and through us. So often, we receive an instruction from the Lord but we rely on our own strength and lean on our own understanding to get the job done. We think that we are the Potter when we are only the clay. We must know our rightful place in the hands of our Maker. Thus, our ROLE is to let God have His RULE!

Here is how we can LET GOD RULE:
R – Remember God’s past faithfulness.
U – Understand what you have learned.
L – Listen to what He is saying at this time.
E – Embrace His will and adjust to His plan.

Even as we learn to participate and cooperate with the Lord, we must remember that God initiated every good work in our lives, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). As Isaiah 64:8 says, "But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

As clay, we want to stay soft and pliable in His loving and gracious hands. Our Father always knows what is best for us and knows just the right kind of pressure to apply to each of our lives in every season and in every situation.

LESSON #3 - As God performs all things, He TRANSFORMS us into His whatever He desires us to be. We must allow God to do a new work in us every time we discover we acted in our own will and became hardened clay. God could completely get rid of us if He wanted to but instead of dealing harshly with us He completes us since His "mercy triumphs over judgment".

God gives beauty for our ashes and often makes something precious out of that which was broken, deserted, and perverted. He transforms our failures into opportunities to display His glorious attributes and to reveal that He is "ever merciful and lends" and that He patiently transforms us into what He desires us to be as new creations in Christ.

How wonderful is it see the mighty works of the Lord! "For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation" (Psalm 149:4). No matter how many times we may fall into a pit, He has proven that He is there to rescue us and reshape us since He is both the Author and Finisher of our faith.

May we be able to say as the psalmist does, "He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD" (Psalm 40:2-3).

May God put a new song in your heart each day this year and may the world look on and see and hear how the Lord has redeemed your life from the pit and gave you a new opportunity to showcase His glory!

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