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How is God Shaping You?

June 25, 2019 Potted plants on a shelf

July newsletter imageby Dr. J. Vernon McGee

You may have heard the expression, “He is the potter; I am the clay.” That metaphor comes from the book of Jeremiah—and from our study on the broadcast this month. Let’s listen in to the comforting instruction from Dr. McGee as he explains this picture.

Why does the Potter put us on the wheel? Why does He bear down on us at times? Why does He keep working us, molding us, shaping us? What is He after?

Go back with Jeremiah to the potter’s house. You won’t discover the purpose for your life there, but you learn something even more important than that. You understand that the potter has a purpose. Watch him—he is serious. He does not play with the clay; this is his work. He is giving his time, his talents, his energy to working the clay.

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
–Jeremiah 18:3, 4

Look over his shoulder; you may not know what the finished piece will look like, but you are convinced the potter knows what he is doing.

My friend, God is not playing with us today. He is not experimenting. He has purpose in how He is shaping us, and that comforts me. He has a plan, and He knows what He is doing. When God puts us on the wheel of circumstance, He means to accomplish something. He has a purpose.

The onlooker can’t guess His purpose, neither can the clay under His hand. But someday we will know.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. -1 John 3:2

The psalmist says, “…I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (Psalm 17:15). One day we will be like Him. That’s what all His work is about.

That’s going to be a fair morning, a new day! God will be vindicated, because He is not being cruel when He causes you to suffer. Some glorious day, you’ll see the Potter had a purpose in your life.

Recall what Paul writes to the Ephesians. It starts off doleful with “and you…were dead in trespasses and sins.” But that’s not the end. There is more: “… that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1, 7). In the ages to come we’ll be on display, revealing what the Potter can do with lifeless clay. He gets the glory. It will be wonderful to be a vessel in the Master’s hand.

From Dr. McGee’s study in Jeremiah: You can discover more on this topic when you download this month’s booklet, "Masterpiece: Your Life in God's Hands."

My Turn

When God works us as a potter works the clay, He has a purpose.Which way do you see God shaping you?

  • He is making me want what He wants (James 1:3)
  • He is motivating me to follow Him (Hebrews 5:8)
  • He is showing me how to be a comfort to someone (2 Corinthians 1:6)
  • He keeps me from doing my own thing that could hurt me (2 Corinthians 12:7)
  • He helps me identify with Jesus a little more (Philippians 3:10)
  • He grows my faith a little stronger (1 Peter 5:10)
  • He helps me be an example to others who are compelled to follow me to Jesus (2 Timothy 2:10)