Have you ever been in a broken relationship? Chances are you have experienced the feeling of emotional drain a time or two in your life. When we are in the midst of a broken relationship it is hard to be our best. Often times the brokenness can consume us. Not only can the brokenness consume us but broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God.
If we have a problem or grievance with a friend or loved one we should resolve the problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God.
Matthew 5:23-24 - So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the alter in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the alter. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come offer your sacrifice to God.
Have you ever found your self traveling down a path that was harmful but made the decision to do it anyway? Perhaps, you had feelings of guilt and knew that what you were doing was wrong but the because you already made the decision to sin you continued on the path you were on.
A few years back in a time when I was working hard to make better decisions in my life and walk with the Lord I remember being invited to a cookout with some friends. I didn't see any harm in that so I made the decision to go. The problem began after I began to drink. I didn't have just one, before I knew it I found myself in a situation I didn't want to be in. I not only drank all night I continued my escapade clear into the next week. Yes, you heard right. What started as one innocent drink turned into 4 days of drinking and partying. By the time reality set in on my drive home, I felt an enormous amount of guilt and shame. I knew that what I had just done was wrong.
It was later the same day, while feeling complete shame and guilt. I decided to listen to a podcast to try to find some peace in my poor decision. I was reminded of the potter and the clay. Something I had heard several times in my life but never really understood. It was the first time that I actually realized how much our lives resemble a potter and the clay. We are the clay! Jesus is our potter! He is molding us and making us into a masterpiece.
When I think of clay and how it takes form it reminds me of the process it must go through before the final piece is made. During the forming process there are bumps and rough spots. Just as there are in our own lives. The potter does not stop his work when he comes across a bump. He keeps working through the rough spots. We can't give up when we come across a bump in the road. Just as the potter keeps working we must also work along side him and know he is with us, shaping and molding us.
There have been times in my life when I decided to get of the wheel for awhile and go my own way. Even in those moments the potter was waiting. Such as the time, I decided to go on my drinking escapade.
When clay is not being used it can dry up and get hard. However, when it becomes wet, it is once again able to be molded.
When I fell away from the Lord and made the decision to go my own way, my heart became hard and falling into sin was easy. But even during this time the potter "Jesus" was there waiting for me to get back on the wheel. He has a plan for each one of us.
Jeremiah 18:6 O Iseral, can I not do to you as this potter had done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand.
As the potter molded or shaped a clay pot on the potter's wheel, defects often appeared. The potter had the power over the clay, to permit the defects to remain or reshape the pit. Like-wise, God has power to reshape the nation to conform to his purposes. Our strategy should not be to become mindless and passive- one aspect of clay-but to be willing and receptive to God's impact on us. As we yield to God, he begins reshaping us into valuable vessels.