Thoughts of...God's Vessels
When it comes to making household repairs, I am not very handy. I have a poor understanding of how things work so I am able to make minor repairs only. Nonetheless, I have learned that having the right tool makes a huge difference in the time required to do a job as well as in the quality of the result. There is a tool for every job and a job for every tool.
Due to the corruption of sin in His perfect creation, the Creator of the universe also must make “household” repairs (1 Tim 3:15, 1 Peter 4:17-18, Col 1:25-29, 2 Cor 7:10). With His eye on the perfect result of the repair, the Lord always uses the right tool. He calls those tools “vessels.” We are His vessels (Is 6:8-10, 2 Cor 4:1-7).
With a work in mind, God first chooses the right vessel to accomplish His purpose. What is a useful vessel in the hands of God? When we come to the end of ourselves and fall broken at His feet, humble and empty of self-will, we are useful to our Creator (Matt 21:44, Matt 18:3-4, James 4:6-10). Only a surrendered vessel can be empowered (John 1:10-13, Acts 1:8,Rom 1:16, 1 Cor 1:18 - 2:5). Only a broken vessel can be made whole (Ps 51:17, Ps 31:9-14). Only an empty vessel can be filled with the Spirit of God (Matt 5:6). And only an available vessel can be used (Is 6:8, 1 Sam 14:6-13).
Before the Master uses a vessel for the work He has in mind, a time of preparation is required (2 Tim 2:21, Eccl 3:1). The process of preparation is usually uncomfortable and unpleasant, as the strong hands of the Potter conform the clay into the image of His Son (2 Cor 4:7-16, Rom 8:28-29, Col 3:10). Preparation can also be painful, as the Lord’s refining fire separates the dross from the pure (Prov 25:4, Mal 3:1-3, Heb 12:29, Acts 9:1-16). Additionally, the time of preparation is very difficult because it requires waiting patiently and faithfully for His purpose to be revealed; we do not know what we are being prepared for while we are being prepared.
It chosen and prepared, God finally uses the vessel. The end result is absolutely glorious as God works as only He can (2 Cor 4:17-18, Rom 8:30, Matt 19:26, Luke 1:37)! It is crucial to recognize Who is doing the work (Phil 2:13, Eph 1:3-12, John 15:5) and where the glory belongs (Rev 4:10-11).
God wants to work to make radical household repairs. He is looking for vessels that are in a useful condition and will submit to being prepared (2 Chron 16:9, 1 Sam 13:14). The past was a time of preparation for the present. It was uncomfortable and painful and difficult. We did not know then what God was doing, but now we do and are amazed! The past and the present are the time of preparation for the future. It is still uncomfortable and painful and difficult. Although we do not know what God is doing, we do know we will be amazed!
Since we do not yet know the work for which we are being prepared, we need to stop our “Why-ning” (Why is this happening to me? Why must I go through this trial? Why? Why? Why?) and complaining – as if our lives were ours (Ex 16:1-8, 1 Cor 10:9-11, 1 Cor 6:19-20)! Would you use your hammer, screwdriver, or spatula if it was “Why-ning” and complaining or, in its self-centeredness, seeking the glory of your work? Or would you toss it aside in favor of a more eager and agreeable tool?
Lastly, remember one thing – God’s purpose WILL be accomplished, regardless of how cooperative we are during the time of preparation. Does the name Jonah ring any bells?