And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 18:4-6 ESV
Once while I was in Colorado Springs I took the time to visit Van Briggle Pottery. I knew very little about making pottery, but that day I would learn a lesson that would have a profound impact on my life and ministry.
The clay they were using was being shipped in from Kentucky, which is hundreds of miles away. It seems as though the finer the pottery, the more special the clay has to be.
All clay has a purpose but all clay cannot be used for fine pottery. On the potterâ€™s wheel was written the scripture, Jer 18:4 â€śThe vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potterâ€™s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to himâ€ť.
After going through Van Briggle Pottery, I suddenly realized that the formation of a father is far more than just being born male and growing old.
Man starts off his Christian life as a shapeless glob of clay on the potterâ€™s wheel awaiting the touch of the masterâ€™s hand. The master then shapes the clay into what has the potential of being a useful vessel. However, for the vessel to reach its potential after it is shaped, it must go through a series of hot ovens. The ovens will soon test the legitimacy of the clay to see if itâ€™s real potterâ€™s clay or not.
Spoiled clay means there are still impurities and air in the clay which will explode under heat. In other words, the explosion is the evidence of refusing to stay on the wheel long enough for the potter to finish working the impurities and air out of your life. Impurities and air speak of the sin and pride that still remain.
If we make it past the potterâ€™s wheel and through the first oven, surely we would be a finished product and a true father. But that is not the case because there are other steps on our journey. The next step to fatherhood is the glazing process followed by a second oven.
The potterâ€™s wheel is for our shaping, or justification. The oven is for our sanctification. The glazing is the beauty, or the presence of the Holy Spirit shinning through our lives.
Being shaped and reshaped into the image of God is a lifetime of oven experiences.
In case you were wondering where the fathers have gone, maybe you should check the ovens.
My highest potential comes as a result of You shaping me with Your precious hands while Iâ€™m on the potterâ€™s wheel. I understand that life is full of ovens and itâ€™s for my ultimate benefit to go through each of those ovens. Shape alone only shows my potential, while the ovens experience reveals my kingdom purpose. Father help me to always walk in that kingdom purpose with thanksgiving.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries