Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Clay Does Not

The Clay Does Not 
by David Brenneman 

""Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands '?" Isaiah 45:9 NASB 

"On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use?" Romans 9:20-21 NASB 

In the life that we live, we would do well to acknowledge the truth of the will and plan of God versus our own will and plan for ourselves. 

So many people are bent on creating the life that they want and are not interested in the life that the Lord Jesus Christ is creating for them.  

They want success on their terms, want happiness that fits their desires, want a life that meets their immediate needs. 

Such stubbornness!  Although these words are easy to type, in many places in my own life, I can see just how damaging my own will being done was to my life in Christ.

When people read "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB, they often consider this in the spiritual sense only. 

His workmanship means the Spiritual and the physical world. 

Like another passage of "Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.” Mark 10:9 NASB. 

So many in the church as well as outside of it put their own wants, their own will, ahead of the Will of God. 

They essentially tell Jesus that His way isn't working for them so they're just going to do it themselves from now on.  

When we come to Christ, we must submit to His Will and purpose for our lives, to live it as He sees fit because we now have a true purpose to live for!

We would do well to remember some of the old hymns. 

"All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me. 

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all."
- Judson W. Van De Venter (1896)

We need daily reminders that our life isn't ours to mold into our image.  Regardless of how agonizing life can be on the physical, emotional level. Regardless of how painful it can be because of loss or even of gain, our life in Christ is to be remembered for what it is.  

We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. 

We aren't here to get what we want out of life, to insist that our will will be done.  So many Christians as well as those not saved yet, destroy their lives by insisting that God give them what they want!

Marriages are destroyed at an alarming rate in the church because two lives aren't living in Christ together.  

Careers are put ahead of the Will of God. 
Status among people is put ahead of the Will of God.
Health is put ahead of the Will of God. 
Wealth is put ahead of the Will of God. 

The story of the Prodigal Son is about one who put his own will ahead of that of his father.  Of one who mistook a life of whatever he wanted at its inception to a life of craving even the food of animals.  

We easily, and I know because I was there once, don't believe that our way is unreasonable.  We don't see how our life can't be how we want it to be.  We create a belief that someone else is to blame in order to justify our disobedience in Christ. 

The disobedience is our own. 

When life becomes our will being done on Earth as it isn't in Heaven we will fail. We will aid the destroyer of lives, of marriages, of families.  We will inevitably destroy our own lives and do serious harm to those around us.

I surrender all means all of us. Every part. Every choice. Every decision. Every thought.  We read in 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB "We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,"

We read in Matthew 16:24-25 NASB "Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it""

To deny yourself in the name of Jesus Christ means your will indeed may not be getting done. 

To take up your own cross is to nail your will to it so that it dies.

So many people don't realize just how much insisting that their life should be lived their way actually signal its demise. 

Isaiah had no regard for the implications to his own life when he shouted out "here am I, send me!".

Jesus said those who seek to save their lives will lose it.  You are going to lose what all you think you hold dear in life if you're putting your will ahead of God's in your life.  At first it will seem to be great and fantastic, but the loss will come.  Don't take my word for it.  Jesus said so. 

When we, the clay, are going to try to tell the Potter, Christ Jesus, how our life is going to be...we will lose.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.   All these things are those things that we need to grow in Christ Jesus.  

God's ultimate plan for you in Christ is your sanctification, not your satisfaction.  

In a very good book, "90 Minutes in Heaven" a pastor was put through what easily could be described as Hell on Earth in his recovery after a horrific car accident.  His will certainly was not going to be done.  He cried out to Jesus. He admitted at one point he cursed at God. He could never understand why he was put through so much pain and misery.  
It was, in his eyes, destroying everything. His personal life, his marriage was being impacted, he wanted to die. But living out the truth of the potter and the clay is what he was doing.  After he got to the other side of the misery and painful recovery, God showed him.  He needed to go through what he did to reach unreachable people.

When we insist on our way, our will being done, we miss out on reaching people for Christ.  We miss out on our sanctification in Christ Jesus. We miss out on wonders we will never see apart from a life in Christ. 

My Dear Reader, and I know there's someone in need of hearing this.  

Stop fussing with Jesus. 
Stop fighting His workmanship in your life. 
Stop with the excuses of why you think your way is better. 
Stop trying to tell God His way isn't working.  

In the short term you may be thinking you were granted the life you're insisting on. The truth will be oh so painful when you discover that your insisting rang hollow. 

That your insisting destroyed lives.
That your will wasn't the best after all. 

We are to submit to what the Spirit teaches us to be doing in Christ.  

We should surrender all.
Our all should be on the altar. 

Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. 

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