The Potters House
Jer 18:1 ¶ The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
I know, every time that someone hears the name ‘Potter’s House’ we think of the incredible bishop TD Jakes! As much as we love the bishop, we see here, that he received the name of his ministry, from the Word of God.
Today, as I read through these passages, I had an interesting thought occur to me:
Could it be that as God desires to promote, increase, and use us more, that there can be times, where the vessel that we once were, must be destroyed, in order that something greater can be formed, more beautiful, bigger, more exquisitely designed, for a more noble purpose?
Hear the prayer of king David in his distress:
Ps 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
Sure sounds like our verse out of Jeremiah doesn’t it?
The vessel was marred, so it was shattered, and remade into something greater….
Read through this psalm.
Could it be that this is exactly what God did here with David?
He was shattered in his sin and in his trial, yet after pouring out his heart to God, he ends by saying:
31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
He shall strengthen your heart….
Well, I am spiritual, but practical. I always look for purpose in any given process. Could it be, that when we find ourselves shattered at the feet of a Holy and loving God, that it was because the vessel, our heart, was marred, and God, who only wants good for our lives, and the lives of those we are called to serve, rebuilds us after each shattering, stronger, with larger capacity for Him, for service, for life….
As I go through life, I find there is often a process at work in my life.
Yes, from His love, joy, life, I get to serve my fellow man, and this is a privilege and honor.
Yet, I did not grow up in church, discipled under the Word of God, and the Bible is clear:
Ro 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
So, I do certain things, that seem good in my eyes.
Learned behaviors and actions learned in my family, in school, in the workplace, that seemed to work during the time I was in those circumstances, yet that have formed, in my soul, belief systems.
Where these belief systems are based upon the Word of God, they come in to the kingdom of God when I receive Jesus, and bear eternal fruit.
However, many, many of the things I have believed were not Scriptural, and therefore, have become ‘high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God’
I cry out, year after year, for revival, to be pure in heart, to be holy in word and deed before God, and He answers….
Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
How I walk with Him, and cry out for Him, will affect what kind of vessel I become.
1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
I must purge myself with the Word of God. He will change me, as I cry out for it, but He does not give what is holy to the dogs…
So, I go into this hurting world, with the love of Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, yet humbly…
As I get to know people, I learn to listen, learn, and see God at work in their world and culture and sometimes, I find myself shattered.
Usually, because I discover people so broken, that I have no way of helping them, other than the power of God, and this, is a good place to be in prayer…Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for to these, come the kingdom…
Yet, there is another kind of brokenness, the topic of this meditation. The one that God Himself brings, the one that comes, when He, in His infinite wisdom, love, and holiness, shatters us to recreate something more glorious, fit for the master’s use.
In construction we have basically three categories: commercial, residential, and remodel (which can be either commercial or residential).
Ps 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
There is a saying in construction: ‘You can’t build on broken bricks.’
To build anything right, the foundation must be solid, level, and able to bear the load of whatever we plan to build upon it.
In any case, the dirt work must be done first, before a foundation can be laid:
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 ¶ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
So, we cry out to God, and we are moving in His gifts, His anointing, seeking Him daily, and are being transformed, into the likeness of Jesus.
Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Then, for almost no apparent reason, we find ourselves shattered.
Construction has begun on our personal temple…
We thought we were in faith, and we were, but that very faith drove us into the heart of our holy God, and He, in His mercy, sees the very foundations of our belief system, our lies, our treacherous ways, our scheming, prideful, and fearful ways, and in His courts, we, the vessel, the temple of the Holy Spirit, is marred….
Yet, He loves us!
So, we are shattered.
In a remodel, the demolition comes first. The architect or builder has a plan for a greater structure that may include moving some load bearing walls, expansion requires greater foundation, and in comes the dirt crew again…
Dust, dirt, workmen, and noise, shatter our serenity, but God Himself is at work, making a temple that will survive the fire!
Smash! And we realize we were terrified of certain things, until His perfect love appears and destroys our deepest fear!
Crash! We realize that we have believed lies. That perhaps mom and dad were wrong on some things. That everything we learned in school was not all true.
Bam! Suddenly abortion is no longer a personal choice, but murder before God. Evolution, so carefully learned in our hearts and minds, meets the Creator of all life, and bam, this idol falls.
Situational ethics, meet the rock solid standards of the Word, and our lying, manipulative, sneaky ways, become purity of heart, a clear conscious, an eye that is single, a confidence and boldness that is unshakable. We can look anyone in the eye, for we have nothing to hide…
And gently, the master potter, places us again on the wheel, wet, pliable, formable, and a new vessel is formed….
His loving hands make again, a thing of beauty!
“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.” (Isaiah 64:8)
His hands are gentle….
2Sa 22:36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
This is my life these days.
I have been from rags to riches, to brokenness again, yet I know the potter, and embrace the wheel, for what comes off the wheel, will face the fire, and come forth unmarred, strong, and fit for the master’s use…
It’s all about harvest; God is making me, and many of you, into threshing instruments, vessels of honor that will contain His glory, power, and anointing necessary to reap this generation…
“Father, I know you. Each time and season you purge me, move from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory. Thank you for purging, breaking, and reforming me, more like Jesus, that you can entrust to me more responsibility, wisdom, strength, and grace to reach this generation. Please do not hold back! Make me all I need to be! In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.”