In the book of Isaiah, we read both of God speaking to His people prophetically, and the prophet Isaiah, responding to His words and praying for His nation. At one point he reminds God of all the times when He did amazing things to rescue His people, and then he acknowledges the bad state that they have got themselves into. He says to God, ‘no one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you.’ and that’s why, he says, ‘you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins’ Isaiah 64:7.
While he is acknowledging God’s right to judge them at this time, he remembers just who God is for them. He writes ‘Yet O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.’ Isaiah 64:8. It’s a picture God also used with the prophet Jeremiah when He told him to go and watch the potter at work. When the potter found a problem in the clay, he started again with the clay and reshaped it into another pot. God’s word to Jeremiah was this, ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? Like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in my hand.’ Jeremiah 18:6.
So there it is, He is the potter and we are the clay, no argument there. We are God’s people and He has the right to mould and shape us as He pleases. There are however, for us, some important differences. Firstly, when these words were written, they were written to an apostate nation under judgment. We know that for us, all the judgment that we deserved has fallen onto Jesus, on the cross, and the old ‘us’ has been ‘crucified with Christ’. We can now say, like Paul, ‘the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20.
Secondly we are now ‘a new creation’. ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ 2 Corinthians 5:17. So, God is still the potter and we the clay, but now the moulding is not primarily to bring us back into line, or to prevent us from turning away, it is in order to grow the ‘new us’ into the image of Jesus. And the verse that tells us that this is what God is working towards in our lives, is this one. ‘Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers’. Romans 8:29.
It’s at this point that we can be so glad that we have a triune God, and this is why. Isaiah rightly pointed out as he prayed that God was ‘our Father’ as well as being ‘the Potter’. This is also true for us today, because we have been adopted into God’s family through Christ, and have His Spirit within crying ‘Abba Father’, Romans 8:15. Simply put, the ‘potter’, the one whose hands are moulding us, is our Abba, our Daddy. Our Father who loves us to bits.
Secondly, this is no longer a judgment thing as it was in the Old Testament. Jesus has taken all the judgment, and now it’s all about transformation, it’s about being ‘conformed to the likeness’ of that same Jesus. We can behold Jesus, and know and understand what the Lord is after in His ‘moulding’ of us. ‘We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is’. 1 John 3:2. And until then, while we are on earth in this life, we can rejoice that we are already on that journey of being ‘changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ 2 Corinthians 3:18. AV.
Thirdly, we know from that same verse, that the lovely Holy Spirit, (just look at His characteristics in Galatians 5:22,23.) is the One who is at work in us to change and mould us. I am just so glad that Father God doesn’t delegate this amazing work to any spiritual being other than the third member of the Trinity. We are changed ‘from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’. 2 Corinthians 3:18. So Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all working together for my good and God’s glory.
Over the last few months we have often written of the connection between thanksgiving and being transformed to look like Jesus. We have made countless reference to how thanksgiving enables us to stay connected to the Lord in so many different scenarios. Today let us express our gratitude that the potter’s hands that are moulding us, are the very hands of our loving heavenly Father, who is working to make us like Jesus, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let us be thankful that all three members of the trinity, in complete agreement, are working for our transformation.
I believe that if we do this, it will keep us ‘soft’ in His hands, and malleable, which will in turn make us easier to mould. Our thanksgiving denotes both to God, and indeed our own spirit, our willing cooperation in this process, and that will also make the moulding easier on us!!