In Isaiah 64:8, the LORD is referred to as the potter.
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
A potter designs a pot according to its use. He chooses its size, its shape, or its colour according to His plan. As a potter, God created man as His vessel according to His plan, and His desire. (cf. Rom. 9:21) God created us for His glory & honour.
In order for God to use us as His vessel, there are two essential conditions:
- We must be close to God
- We must be available for God
To be close to God, we must seek Him relentlessly. No excuses. When he was still one earth, Jesus showed us the perfect example of how to seek the Father, as written in Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went to a solitary place where He prayed.”
In this example, Jesus clearly showed a classic way of seeking God – daily. The first thing that Jesus did is to pray. The burden of this life is just too heavy for us to carry alone. We need to seek God and ask Him to carry the burdens for us. After all, it was Him who invited us to “come to Him all of us who are heavily-laden”. Set your personal devotional to God daily. Have a real talk with Him. Pour out your heart and lay out everything that before Him.
As we continually seek God, our faith increases. Our convictions become deeper, our godliness is formed, our ways reformed, and our hearts transformed. We find that we also become available for His purpose.
In order for God to use us, we must be empty – not groovy or pretty. God does not look at our appearance but on our heart’s readiness to serve Him. If a pot is full of other things, it cannot be used to store water for drinking. In our daily lives, we will not use a cup even if it is near us but is full of other things, or, dirty. We will either empty it first, or clean it first, or simply grab another empty cup.
In 2Kings 4:1-4, we find Elisha the prophet ministering unto a widow with two (2) sons. The widow’s husband died and the poor woman is left with nothing. Worse, her husband owed some money and the creditor is coming to take her two sons as servants if they cannot pay the debt.
The prophet asks her, “what do you have left in the house?” And the widow replied, “I have nothing, except a small jar of oil”.
Often times we find ourselves in a similar situation in our lives, where just like the widow, we too have “nothing but a small oil”. In this time of global crisis because of COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost many things. Some lost their family to the virus. Can you relate? You know, that feeling that everything you have worked so hard is crumbling and falling apart. Like you’re at your wits’ end, and you don’t know how to make ends meet because you’re completely empty. But these are precisely the vessels the Lord desires to use – empty ones – to show His glory and power.
At the prophet’s behest, the widow borrowed many empty vessels and containers from all their neighbours. And she did what the prophet Elisha told her. She pour out the small container of oil to the empty vessels they have borrowed and as each one is filled, they put on a new container and the oil miraculously flowed until the last empty vessel was filled. Had there been more available container, there would have been more oil. The poor widow was able to pay her husband’s creditor and she and her two children were able to live from the sale of the remaining oil.
God’s grace is always sufficient. The emptier we are, the more we can be filled.