Friday, May 27, 2011

Lesson of the Potter’s Way…The Mystery of Double Freedom – to be blessed or cursed

"Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.  (Jeremiah 18:6-10)

The existence of other vessels in the kiln demonstrates the varied potential for the clay.  Some in the kiln are made to sit on the tables of kings while others will decorate the rooms of slaves.  Romans 9:21  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

God does not demand equal attainments from unequal potential.  We see this in Jesus’ parable of the servants as he gave each in regard to his potential.  Different forms of clay make different kinds of pottery.  Here arises once again the question of Divine sovereignty in relation to free will.  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? (Romans 9:20)   An example of this is King David.   He could not build his heart’s desire, the temple, but God said, "I know it was in your heart.  But you are made for war.”  We are designed with His purpose in mind. 

In our freedom of will, we have the capacity to resist the hand of the Potter and His design.  God's unchangeable purpose is to work with us allowing us this freedom.  If then He did not take into account the free will in His people, He would not be acting according to His own unchanging principle.  The mystery of how God maintains His sovereignty and allows our freedom is one only He can clarify in eternity. 

Jeremiah’s observation in the Potter’s House turns to vessels that continue being marred and remade.  Make it and break it, make it and break it, etc., until it becomes what the Potter wants. In what seems a picture of futility, we find a message of hope.  God is both power and persistence.  If He were only power we would all be crushed.  If He were only indulging persistence we would never find power for change.

When the time is right, God places us in the heat of the fire for the necessary hardening and empowering.  What is made on the wheel is worth nothing until it is fixed in the fire.  The testing of fire brings out the brilliance of the colors and beauty of His creation.  

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

Scripture to Claim:
"Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure';  (Isaiah 46:9-10)

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