This morning I woke up to Jason Nelson’s, ‘I’m nothing without You’, in my spirit. I couldn’t shake it so I decided to blog about it. I am nothing without You God!
Today is the 4th of July and the nation is celebrating independence and freedom. I remember us talking in bible study yesterday about how we love our independence. Most of us are taught to be self reliant and not to ask people for anything; get your own stuff. I would even say that as adults we celebrate our independence. But when God steps in and says “you’re NOTHING without Me”, we struggle. We have a hard time yielding our will to Him; to move from self-reliant to God-reliant.
Isaiah 64: 6 tells us that all of our righteousness is like filthy rags (nothing, it’s thrown away). Sometimes we want to be heralded for the good that we do, but even on our best day, we are still nothing, because this is what we are SUPPOSED to be doing. In Luke 17:7-10, Jesus tells us this…There is no need to celebrate our deeds, because at the end of it we are still slaves to the Master and only doing what we ought! This helps us put things in perspective. Some of us are selfish and only do things for what we can get out of it. We only do things when it will profit us and when we can look good and be recognized. Some of us love titles. These motives have to be checked because they are the roots of selfishness and pride.
There were so many people in the bible who had major roles and we don’t know their names. Look at most of the Minor prophets, we barely know anything about most of them. But they were on assignment and the assignment is always more important than you. It’s a privilege to be used by God. Some of us complain about what we have to do and the things we have to give up. But it is nothing compared to what Christ gave up for us.
Sometimes the magnitude of the assignment is intimidating, but instead of moving further under His wings, we run in another direction. My pastor, Brian Fite, said on Sunday, ” When we run from the impact of our calling, we run to the wilderness”. That was so good. Remember God will ALWAYS give PROvision for the vision He has given you!
Before I get off track this morning, I wanted to talk about the main thing that came to mind when I woke up with that song in my spirit: the story of the potter, the clay and the field of broken clay pots. In Jeremiah 18 The Lord told the prophet Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house so that he could hear His words. When Jeremiah got to the potter’s house the potter was at work, working at his wheel, the vessel he was working on was spoiled in his hands and he reworked it into what he wanted it to be; another vessel that seemed good to him.
Let me explain, God is the potter and we are the clay, when He decides that we are spoiled, unfit, or useless the way we are, He fashions us into something else that seems good to Him. He might have made us into a cup for a season, but He now wants us to be a plate. We might think that we should be doing this or doing that, working here or working there, but God is the potter and He fashions us into what is good and useful for Him. Vessels that will impact and enlarge the Kingdom of God.
So there is no need to be dissatisfied with where you are, as long as you are with the Potter, this is what seems good to Him. Flourish at it, do good with it, whenever He chooses, He will change your design and assignment. This story was for Jeremiah to have a visual understanding of what God was going to do with Israel. He was God and they were not in charge, the Potter is in charge! He might have designs to prosper them, but if they continued to be disobedient, those designs could change to destruction. Let’s not be disobedient, let’s stay on the potters wheel and be molded.
I would be doing a poor exegetical job if I leave the story there. The people chose not to listen to Jeremiah and did their own thing. Watch what God does. In Jeremiah 19, He sends Jeremiah to buy a potters earthen jug. Jeremiah was to gather the senior priests and senior leaders and take them to the valley at the entrance of the Potsherd Gate (where the broken pots are discarded). God told them because of their sin, their idol worship and their disobedience, He was displeased with them.
Jeremiah was to break the jug to pieces in front of them, because once God broke them and He was done with them, there was no putting them back together. Let me tell you how significant this is. In pottery, when the potter’s wheel is used, in a process called ‘throwing’, a ball of clay is placed on the center of the turntable and the potter goes to work. He kneads it, molds it and shapes it to his liking. Placing designs on it, putting a little glaze here or there; whatever comes to mind. However, the vessel isn’t finished, it goes through a process called ‘firing’.
Firing produces irreversible changes to the vessel, and it is only after the firing process is complete that it is considered pottery. All the excess moisture is taken out and it is now permanently hardened into the vessel it is to be. The fact that Jeremiah bought the vessel from the potter means that the potter was finished with it. The fact that God told him to go to this valley where there would have been other discarded pots shows that so many of us are not yielding to the process of being molded into that which seems good to the Potter, and as a result we get discarded.
Breaking it means, that even if we finished the process (because the jug was for sale), and we still don’t allow ourselves to be used as He sees fit, we will be broken to pieces, never to be put together again. That lets us know that surrender is daily, minute by minute. We can not be complacent because we stayed on the wheel and became the vessel He wanted; are we allowing Him to use us like He wants? If we are not, this too can cause our destruction. Some of us aren’t using our talents and gifts like we should. Be the vessel that God is using.
Last thing, I remember my good friend Yvonne telling me one day that sometimes our tears are what God uses as the moisture to mold us. That’s an interesting thought. As I was writing this, God showed me that when we are on the potter’s wheel, at the center of the turntable, we have His undivided attention; the Potter works on one piece at a time! How awesome is that! I love it! Even though molding and shaping might not feel good, we have the Potter’s undivided attention! Stay on the wheel.
Quick prayer: God help us to yield ourselves and be vessels fit for Your use, because we are nothing without You. In Jesus name, Amen.