Do You Trust Him?

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (AMP) The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and saw that he was working at the wheel. But the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand; so he made it over, reworking it and making it into another pot that seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” says the Lord. “Look carefully, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 

As I was reading my Bible last week, I came across this text. The potter was working with clay that had already been made into something. He decided to make it into another pot, because he saw fit to make it over. God asked Israel, if He could do the same thing with them. This was a passage of hope for me. We can never be too far gone to give it back to Him. I have to keep reminding myself that I am still in the Potter’s Hands. There are two illustrations using this passage that I would like to share. I did not write them, but I thought you would enjoy reading them.

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design. Using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient. (Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-japanese-art-technique-kintsugi-can-help-you-be-more-ncna866471)

When life is unfolding in hard ways, it can feel impossible to understand why God would allow hurt upon hurt. How could His mercy not fix all of this? How could He possibly use any of this for good? We see more and more unnecessary heartbreak. But God sees the exact pieces and parts that must be added right now to protect us, provide for us and prepare us with more and more of His strength working through us. I learned about these very necessary “pieces and parts” one day with a friend whose mother is a professional potter. I was sharing with her about how, when we place the dust of our shattered places into God’s hands and He mixes it with His living water, the clay that’s formed can then be made into anything. She smiled so big. She’d seen clay being formed into many beautiful things when placed into her mother’s hands. And she shared something with me that made my jaw drop. She told me that wise potters not only know how to form beautiful things from clay, but they also know how important it is to add some of the dust from previously broken pieces of pottery to the new clay. This type of dust is called “grog.” When shattered just right, the grog dust added to the new clay will enable the potter to form the clay into a larger and stronger vessel than ever before. And it can go through fires much hotter as well. Plus, when glazed, these pieces end up having a much more beautiful, artistic look to them than they would have otherwise. (Source: Lysa TerKeurst, It Is Not Supposed to Be This Way)

I love both of these illustrations. There is so much hope in knowing that I can never be so broken that I would no longer have any value. I am preparing my message for Mother’s Day. I have been doing so since God placed the topic in my heart at the first of the year. It is a message of putting our lives back into the Potter’s Hands. When God asks us, “Can I do with you as the potter does?” He is asking us, “Do you trust me?” When calamity and folly comes our way? When we do not get the house we wanted? When we did not get that job? When the bills keep piling up or the car breaks down again? Do you trust Him?

I have been the woman sobbing into my pillow at night because I was worried about where we would live. Or, I was so exhausted from everything that I could not hold it together any longer. I have to remember to be still (rest in His peace). Do you trust Him? When we have done all, stand on the promise of His Word. He will take you the rest of the way through. He will fill in the cracks. He will make it over if He has to. Trust!

A willing offering

Philippians 2:14-17 (AMP) Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness],  holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith [for preaching the message of salvation], still I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Colossians 3:17 (AMP) Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (AMP) Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

Providence is the protective nature of God, trusting that I have a future. Can we just do everything He tells us in His Word without questioning if He has our best interest in mind? It gets more challenging, we are not promised that it will not be hard. We are anointed for the hard stuff. Paul is telling us to do EVEN IF your life is the offering. The race I run, the labor it brings forth, is not in vain. The sacrifice and service of my faith is for the salvation of others (the real prize)!

When God speaks to you to do something, do not be concerned with why not someone else. I have learned that when He calls you to it, He will equip you for it. When I started speaking, I was not great at it. It was actually very painful to watch. I had to trust that the words He gave me were impactful. My heart motive was not to make a name for myself, but to make Him famous.

I am not waiting on the situation to be right so that I can shine. I have never been into that “it’s my time to shine” when it comes to serving. Why do we need to feel like if we are not elevated then we really are not doing anything. Paul said even if I am being poured out as a drink offering. Pour all of me out Lord. Use everything that you have placed within me.

In the first part of 2 Kings 4, Elisha comes across a widow and her sons. She had a great debt and man she owed the debt to was coming to take her sons and make them bond servants. Elisha asked what she had. She replied only one jar of oil. He instructed her to get all her jars and even borrow from friends and neighbors. As she began to pour out of the single jar into the other, per his instruction, every jar was filled. She poured until the last jar that had been gathered was filled. Then she was instructed to first pay off her debt and then live off of the rest.

What if we applied that same principle to Matthew 6:33? But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. This is exactly what Paul was telling us in pouring out our lives as a drink offering. The anointing you have needs to be poured out. You are not called to this alone. Notice the widow needed the help of her friends and neighbors. Paul even refers to himself as a bond servant to Christ. Does not mean I have a debt to pay off? No, Christ paid that debt. My hearts desire should want to pour my life out because of His great love sacrifice. However, when I think of my needs first am I really trusting in the providence of God?

Colossians 3:14 (AMP) Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

I want the best for you. I hope you feel the same way about me. If it takes me pouring myself out to be a drink offering for Him, so be it! Now, do not take me to the extreme. I do believe in rest. If you do not allow Him to pour back into you, then you will be pouring out of self. We cannot grow glory to glory without taking time with the Holy Spirit and the body that He called me to (for equipping). Pouring out has to be healthy. There is a fullness to this Gospel. I pray you dig more into your Word today to find out just how full your life can really be!!

Where is your spot?

In our homes we have many rooms, but there is one room you spend most of your time in. For me it is my living room. We have a separate “Man Cave” that my husband likes to spend his time in, but I have a room right in the middle of the house that lets the sun it. You could say it is the brightest room in the house. I can sit and read for hours in that room. At night it is the room that I curl up and watch a movie with my thirteen year old (my seventeen year old has gotten into online gaming and spend his nights in his room now). I have a “spot” on the couch that I sit in. When I get up, my son or the dog likes to get into the “spot.”

This is the “spot” that I do my daily reading and prayer. Do you have a “spot” that you have separated for this very purpose? In my “spot” I have books and highlighters placed on a table in front of me. They remain there so that I do not have to gather them daily.

It was not always like that for me. I knew what Joshua 1:8 said, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful. (AMP)” How much effort do we actually put into the study of the Word? We may go and listen to the preacher, listen to sermons on a podcast and occasionally read the Bible, but have we actually made reading the Word a major part of our lives? I know personally I could do better. Let us face it, most of us are lazy (I even nap daily in my spot), and want things just handed to us; however, that is not the way things work in the Kingdom. Honestly, if we are not willing to put into it, we should not expect much out of it.

Psalm 1:1-2 (AMP) Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

How much time do we actually spend thinking about the Word of God? If we are having areas of problems in our life, the answer to this question might be a reason why. A lazy mindset is a true setup for failure. The lazy mindset that the Israelites had was one of the things that kept them in the wilderness for forty years making an eleven day trip. People who always have to have someone else pushing them will never really do anything great. Those who only do the right thing when someone is watching will not get very far either. We must be motivated from within, not from without. We must live our lives before God, knowing that He sees all and that our reward will come from Him if we persist in doing what He has asked us to do.

Take action today, take a step today and respond to the call to spend time in His Word. Learn and grow in the knowledge of God!

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP) “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].