Volume 21, Issue 23 (June 9, 2019)
The Potter and His Vessels
By Richard Thetford
There is a song we sing from time to time entitled “Have Thine Own Way.” The first stanza of the song says, “Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me After Thy will, While I am waiting, Yielded and still.” What a beautiful song this is and when we as God’s creation fully realize and understand that we are simply God’s vessels and that He is the Potter (our maker), then we can humble ourselves to the point of doing whatever service we have been molded to do for the Lord!
The Vessels of God
God is truly our Potter. We can read this in the book of Jeremiah chapter 18, verses 1-12, and also in Romans 9:22 where Paul says, “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:” Here, Paul likens us to the vessels of God and that is truly what we are. Have you ever noticed a potter working with his clay, molding that clay into a fine vessel? There is a lot of time and patience that is involved in the potter’s work. Likewise, God has spent much time and effort in the creation of His vessels, you and I. In the verses pointed out above in Jeremiah and in Romans we can read where God is long-suffering with His vessels and does the very best He can with them. It is through us (His vessels) that we can see the riches of God glory. “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (Rom 9:23).
There are all kinds of vessels out there. There are some vessels of wrath (Rom 9:22), and there are even dishonorable vessels. Paul says, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Rom 9:21). He echoes those same words in 2 Timothy 2:20. But, we can see from Rom 9:21 that there are also vessels of honor and of mercy in Romans 9:23.
We Are Individual Vessels Made by God
God has molded each one of us into a vessel. But, He has given each of us a mind of our own to either respect our maker (The Potter), or reject Him. The choice is entirely left up to us. That is why it is so important for us to realize that had it not been for “The Potter,” we would not even be here today. Therefore, knowing this, why is it that so many still choose not to honor the very one who allowed us this opportunity to live and enjoy our short time on this beautiful earth that He also created. We can become honorable vessels unto the Lord by heeding the call. Paul says in Romans 9:23-24, “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” One heeds the call of God by simply obeying His commandments (John 14:15).
Characteristics of an Honorable Vessel
The characteristics of an honorable vessel is that one is sanctified, fit for use, and prepared for all good works. This is what the apostle Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” One must purge himself from evil and join himself with doing the things of honor, approved unto God Almighty! Then when one proves himself to be a vessel of honor unto the Lord, certain glory will result as Paul said in Romans 9:23. What is that glory? The same glory as Paul was sensing when he told Timothy, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). When we prove ourselves a worthy vessel, one that is serving the purpose that God designed for us to do, then we can enjoy a life eternal with God our Potter. But, when we decide to do our own thing and rebel against our maker then our end is certain destruction (Rom 9:22). Why not let “The Potter” (God) have His own way with His vessels (you and I)?