Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Soft and Pliable Clay In The Potter’s Hand

ISAIAH 64:8 – But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. . “


THEME OF THE DAY:  SOFT AND PLIABLE CLAY IN THE POTTER’S HAND.  The imagery in today’s picture reveals a special relationship we have with our God. To get a further grasp on it, align it with the Apostle Paul’s words in his opening of the Philippian letter – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Merging these verses together, we establish two things.


First, God is doing a work in us as the Divine Potter and we, His clay. In the second letter to the Corinthians, we are further identified as “jars of clay” – But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2 Corinthians 4:7). It is important we understand salvation is a work, predestinated from the foundation of the world, and worked out in this life with the primary worker being God, the Divine Potter, and we, His clay, the object of that work.


The second truth to recognize requires additional support from another portion of scripture.  We acknowledge God is doing a work in us as the Potter and we, the clay, but what is that work?  It is discovered in the majestic New Testament book of Romans – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).  God is moment-by-moment doing the work of conforming us into the image of His Son.  He does this mainly through the ordinary affairs in life; situations, circumstances, people.  He also does this work through extraordinary seasons of life; long periods of suffering, great loss, and other traumatic happenings that are “out of the norm.”    But there is something else we need to grasp as the Potter does this work in us, His clay.


What is necessary for clay to be useable to the Potter? It must be moldable or pliable.  Hard clay is worthless on the Potter’s wheel.  And our responsibility in the Hands of our Heavenly Father and Divine Potter is to be soft and respond to His work in our lives.  Let’s look at this in two directions; negative (what makes us hard and not pliable) and positive (what keeps us soft and pliable).


The negative – the “hard clay Christian” is a result of spiritual neglect.  Be lazy and inconsistent in God’s Word, prayer, fellowship with His people, corporate worship in church, and Gospel labor and the hardening begins.  And it won’t take very long until our spiritual lives are dull with no change occurring and we simply exist as Christians in name only.  No joy, peace, and influence – the fruits of “hard clay” Christians.


On the other hand we find the healthy “soft clay Christian.”  What makes and keeps us such on the “wheel of our Divine Potter” recognizing His work in our lives?  Two simple things, not easy, but simple; lives lived in submission to every twist and turn of His sovereignty and lives lived aggressively and affectionately obeying His commands.  The latter includes not neglecting what hardens Christians – God’s Word, prayer, fellowship with His people, corporate worship in church and Gospel labor.


Soft and pliable.  That is what we want to describe our hearts making us able to respond to the workings of our Divine Potter upon us; His jars of clay.


PRAYER: “Father, help me to maintain a ‘soft heart’ and be pliable in Your Hands as You work to make me like Jesus.”


QUOTE: “A hard heart is easy to get. Neglect spiritual disciplines and give more time to the world, and it happens. Fast.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim