We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.

 

Bible Reading:

Isaiah 45:9

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
    a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
    or ‘Your work has no handles’?

Word:

The word of God is filled with references to a potter and clay, used to demonstrate our relationship with God. In Isaiah 45:9, we are confronted with the completely unfounded arrogance of creation challenging God in this picture of a broken piece of pottery challenging its potter’s authority, ability, and plans. This is a simple analogy packed with so much life-giving truth! We are primarily being reminded of how we truly relate to God-as broken shards of clay in a potter’s hands.

There are also two major takeaways implicated in light of this potter-clay relationship: first, that we are to let our own agendas go in favor of God’s agenda, and second, that even a broken shard of pottery in God’s hands has great value and purpose possible only through His redemptive work. If you have given your life to Christ, then you are adopted into God’s kingdom and He has a purpose prepared to accomplish through you. Regardless of what your true or perceived inadequacies may be, through the work of Christ you are perfectly equipped for His purposes.

In Exodus 4:10-12, Moses tries to excuse himself from God’s purpose for him with his inability to speak eloquently and think on his feet. God responded by saying “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will teach you what to say.” Our usefulness to God does not depend on us! It is our job to stay humble and obedient when He leads. We can also tend to grow attached to the plans or values we’ve constructed for ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously. Reality is that God is the origin of life, and His ultimate plans will be accomplished whether or not we willingly cooperate.

Instead of challenging Him at every turn, why not humble ourselves and acknowledge His authority over the outcome of our lives. Does this mean we can’t ask Him for our desired outcomes, or for insight on things that He has allowed in our lives? We know that God loves us and He never withholds good from us; He gave His own son-so to think that He would withhold anything less than Christ Himself would be an insult to the value of Jesus (Romans 8:32).

Jesus reassures us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Balance this truth with the fact that God also uses the brokenness and trials of life to accomplish His work in you. Whatever it is that keeps you from full surrender to Christ, whether it be insecurity, or your own plans-God is asking you to lay it down now, and to let Him work in and through your life. The kingdom that waits for us in eternity is far more valuable than anything you could possibly strive for on earth. Believe Him, and align your actions with that belief today.

 

Prayer:

Father, forgive me for resisting your hand over my life. I’ve given you my life for your purposes, but sometimes I think and feel contrary to this when my own vision for my life doesn’t align with my circumstances. But I recognize the fact that my circumstances are exactly where you’ve placed me for your purposes. Every day that I have breath is another day I have the opportunity to surrender and be actively molded into your image in preparation for eternity. Thank you for taking your time and extending so much patience with the process of my life. When I am tempted to allow discontentment to take over, please remind me graciously of the potter and the clay. I believe your Word and I surrender to you! In Jesus’ name, amen!

Skillwork:

Identify the areas in your life where you are resisting God’s authority. You are being molded into the image of Christ in order to do good works that He has prepared in advance for you to do!

This is an amazing reality for God’s children, but it means letting go of any preconceived purpose or agenda that we may currently have. Don’t allow your own will get in the way of the purpose that God has for your life, or the process that He chooses to accomplish it.

Pray without ceasing that God will stir up a genuine desire for His will above all else! This is not something that we can manufacture for ourselves-it is a gift from the Holy Spirit of God, so if you are lacking it, genuinely ask and He will be faithful to give it to you, guaranteed.

 

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