Clay and the Potter

I am already interrupting my series because I have some things I want to share first! This past weekend I’ve been meditating on Isaiah 45. The chapter opens with an incredible promise:

I will go before you and will level the mountains. I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.

I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.

I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

The Lord continues by saying:

Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground.

Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?

Throughout this promise, it is clear that this is only because it is the Lord’s desire for this to happen. It is not by the choice of man, and it is even in spite of man’s choices that He makes it happen!

Here’s what this means for me.

I believe God wants to move us into His favor through the work of His son Jesus. God’s favor rests upon Jesus, and through faith we enter into that favor. As we let go of our own fleshly efforts, we are able to go forth in faith.

Through faith we enter in His favor, and this favor turns the tables.

In His favor, we no longer pursue God. Rather, God pursues us. In His favor, we find ourselves asking, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presences?” Why? It is because this brings much glory to God, because our relationship with God is no longer a work of man but of God! Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

Our generation has heard so much about pursuing our dreams, but we have rarely heard about our dreams pursuing us. It is true that many of us have lived selfish lives in our flesh, and we have run after those dreams. However, as we move into God’s realm and align ourselves with Him, we enter a new world with new rules. As we surrender ourselves to God, we discover God-breathed dreams that are on His heart and that He wants to release and fulfill. As we walk in that place of favor, we move from our self-effort of fulfilling our dreams into the place of surrender to God that allows His dreams to pursue us.

The past several months, God has been revealing things about myself that I have found difficult to accept, not because these things were so evil but because these things were so good. I found myself asking God, “Why me? I am only a clay pot! I don’t deserve to walk in the things you have called me to!”

As I was reading this morning, I was convicted by God’s reprimand. Who am I to argue with the Maker of the clay pot? Is He not God? Can He not do what He wills? Just as I am willing to embrace the fire, am I not willing to embrace the resulting gold, knowing that I am nothing of myself and that the Lord will do as He pleases?

I am reminded of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Is it not through jars of clay that God’s power is manifested most clearly?

My prayer for you is simple.

May God take you into that place of favor in His son Jesus. May His presence pursue you, may His love engulf you, and may His dreams chase after you. May you come to know your God not as a slave but as a friend, and may you be unable to escape His relentless lovingkindness on your life.

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