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WE ARE THE CLAY

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand," ISA 64:8.

The Lord wants us to submit to His providence as the clay in the hand of the potter. Stop and picture the symbol the Lord gives us in Scripture. Picture a lump of clay being prepared for shaping; it is totally, unconditionally, passive in the hand of the potter. It gives no resistance. ISA 64:8 says, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." That happens when we come to peace with God; then we become as clay in the hand of the Potter, making no resistance to whatever the Lord will make of us. When we are unconditionally surrendered to whatever the Lord will make of us, we find peace.

As we progress in the schools of Christ, we will learn the lesson well that we must not only submit to the ways of the Lord, but also to His prescribed means. The Lord says He wants us to be as clay in His hands. Think how a potter will take the clay in his hands, work it, roll it, and shape it according to any design he wants. The Lord doesn't ask us how He should bring about the condition He desires. Each person has their own character, demeanor, and traits; the Lord deals with each person accordingly, as an individual.

Now I want you to see a dear child of God, and how our Saviour was molding him and all the while he was resisting. When we start to see through this, we begin to understand why the Lord continues working that clay until the resistance disappears. Remember the Apostle Peter. The Lord's dealings with Peter's character left a distinct trail to follow through the Scriptures. The Lord Jesus washed His disciples' feet to teach them, and us, a very important lesson. Watch what happens.

In JOH 13:6-8 we read, "Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. [But Peter would not submit to that statement] Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet [Peter was a man of overreaction]. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." Jesus is teaching Peter that if he would not allow Him to wash him, he would be outside of Him. Why was it important that our Saviour wash Peter's feet? What is the lesson? It is the walk of life. When the Lord washes our feet, it pertains to our walk of life. It speaks of our attitude, actions and sanctification.

There is also a lesson against over-reaction. Peter was a man of over-reaction. This is recorded for our learning and benefit. First, the Lord was rejected--"Thou shalt never wash my feet." Then Peter went to the other extreme in JOH 13:9-10. "Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. [He is still trying to tell the Lord what to do. Do you see how important it is for us to learn this lesson?] Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." The "not all" is a reference to Judas.

Peter resisted Jesus because he did not understand the lesson Jesus was teaching him; he wasn't able to be as clay in the Potter's hand and let the Lord do the molding. He wanted to prescribe, and the Lord said no. In this scenario Jesus is teaching us that He is the master Potter; we are only clay. He does the shaping and forming. He makes one vessel to honor and another to dishonor at His pleasure. It is the lesson we learn through Peter, and we need to learn it well. Those who are truly God's servants struggle with this lesson. We still want to prescribe to the Lord how to accomplish His will; we want to tell the Lord how to do it. We must analyze our prayers. Are we guilty of trying to tell the Lord what to do? Are we dictating and prescribing?

We need to come to realize what we read in ISA 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Now we come to understand; we come in holy reverent submission to the hand of the Potter, becoming clay in His hands. His ways and purposes will stand.

All the trials the Lord sends upon His people are meant to accomplish one single purpose which He revealed in the previous verse. The Lord said His ways are higher than our ways. His revealed purpose in ISA 55:7 says, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

That purpose is so simple and so pure. It is that our hearts return unto the Lord; we are to stop cleaving to the things of this dust. Truly, as clay in His hands, without any resistance or attempts to dictate or form the vessel, we are to let Him do the forming. He is the Potter. We are to return unconditionally, surrendering our will to His. Then we also have the reward: "he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Amen.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter; I am the clay.
Mould me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power all power surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Saviour divine.
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!
       ~ Author: Adelaide A. Pollard


Our sermons and devotions are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion and sermon notes on-line. We pray this devotion has been a blessing to those who read it. Thank you.

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