I wonder whether you might take ten minutes to consider the answers to these questions, to read the passage below and then to reflect on your answers to the questions based on the passage… You may find it helpful to write your answers for some parts.
Who are you?
What do you do?
Where do you live?
What’s your daily routine?
Who are your friends?
What are you involved in at church?
What are your roles in life?
How do you serve and help people?
What is your purpose?
How much of this is up for grabs? How much of this would we be willing to sacrifice, to see changed?
Jeremiah 18:1-6 says:
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?”declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
Like Israel in the time of Jeremiah – we are in the midst of new things, change, unsettling times… God gave them a chance to repent of what they had done wrong – and he gave them this picture – of them as the clay, and him as the potter…
As it happened – they didn’t listen, and things went from bad to worse, and they ended up in exile and their homes and temple were destroyed. I wonder why they didn’t listen…
Did they see themselves as more than clay?
Did they see themselves as the designers of their own purpose and future? Did they see themselves as the potter?
Were they open to being remoulded? Are we willing to let go of what we were?
Were they open to change? How do we feel about new things, the unknown?
If we are not the potter… if we don’t know what we are being moulded into… do we trust the potter?
Or do we resist the potter? Try and mould ourselves?
Are we pliable? If not how can we become mouldable?
How can we open ourselves to be moulded by him?
Or maybe we would rather that a different potter mould us?
Who or what is moulding us? Perhaps it would be helpful to write down everything and everyone that may be moulding us – what or who do we spend time with, watch, listen to. What is entering our brains? What is conquering our hearts? What do we love?
When we look at what is moulding us – how involved is God? Do we need to adjust our exposure to different influences? Do we need to remove ourselves from the hands of some influences, or ask him to free us from those potters who, when push comes to shove don’t actually have our best interests at heart? They mould us for purposes that don’t satisfy…
Do we need to actively place ourselves in his hands to be moulded? Moulded into whatever he sees as necessary for the building of his kingdom, which does satisfy – for our part in that, however humbling, unsettling, or new that may be…
And as we reflect on these more personal questions, perhaps sometime this week we want to talk this over with others… Because God was speaking to Israel when he spoke of the potter and the clay…
My prayer is that we would move forward into this next season moulded by God, ready to join him in the work he is doing – individually but also corporately, as the church.