The Workmanship of The Potter

Note, this article builds precept upon precept, and goes from personal application to an application that includes today’s society and a new perspective on these end times, so please read the article in its entirety, even though the beginning foundational truth shared may already be known.

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This past week, I was receiving God’s word to me… He said:

“Be you!”

“Do you believe in me?” (Yes)

“Then believe in you.”

“You are MY workmanship!”

It was brought to my recall the verse that speaks of this very thing, and it is inclusive of all believers.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

DECLARE ALOUD FOR YOURSELF:

I Am His Workmanship!”

Definition of workmanship: quality imparted to a thing that’s in the process of being made. Focuses on the artistry or skill of the workmen. Workmanship is the degree of skill with which a product is made or a job is done.

Imagine it, Believers… God has not only saved us from sin, he is continually working in us to fulfill his perfect will for us!

We are his workmanship, created unto good works…and He will work in us, to “want to” do those good works he has ordained for us to do. He will give the “enablement” to do them too.

Philippians 2:13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Friends, not only is he ever working in us, but he promises to do it until he comes!

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

I continued to receive His word to me:

“If you are my workmanship, then you must believe in My Ability to mold you as a potter creates a vessel for his own purpose. If you KNOW this, then no “regrets”, “what-ifs”, you “should do this” or “you should have done that” will remain to torment. Thoughts like this may come, but as you draw near to me, they will not remain. They can be confessed and put under the blood, but they need not paralyze you and keep you from moving forward in my will.”

His emphasis was for me to trust in His Ability to mold me, for he takes into account what needs to be done within my heart, my attitudes, my actions, and he will be faithful as my potter to mold me.

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Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

DECLARE WITH ME ALOUD:
“I am the work of His hand!”

 

He is the Potter, and we are the clay. Who deserves the glory? Well, the glory goes to the artistry and creativity of the Potter, of course. We may be looked upon and glory seen IN US, as a person would look at the vessel we’ve become, …but the clay vessel didn’t mold itself…the potter did. Right?

II Corinthians 4:6-7
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels (clay), that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The power is of God, and not of us. So we need not stress so much, and we can even glory in our weaknesses, not only in our strengths. Why?? Because God has the ability to work in us and work through us regardless….IF we will choose to remain in the potters hand. And we cease quarreling with our Maker.

I want us to look at Romans 9:20-21

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

When we look in the context of these verses, we realize God is saying the clay definitely includes believer and unbeliever alike. We are ALL clay in his hands.  He is the Potter and is in control of men, his creation, and the world, his creation.

In today’s society, verse 20 is very applicable and is being declared. Rebellious clay vessels saying, why did you make me like this? They are replying against God as their clay hardens and they quarrel with their maker, the Potter. We hear this a lot. Both in the camp of the unrighteousness ( the unbeliever)  and in the camp of the righteous (the believer).

Here is an example of the unbelievers camp: The LGBT community, for instance, says basically to God, “you made me the wrong way!” Transgenders declare, I should’ve been a girl, or I should’ve been a boy. Others rebel, declaring to the Potter, i don’t want to be considered male or female, but be genderless. But the Potter declares in his own word “male and female created he them”. Others do not want to follow the Creator’s design for marriage and sexual relationships to be between male and female in the confines of marriage. They want to be engaged sexually with both genders, or woman to woman, and man to man. The Clay does not have that right! This is them, as clay, quarreling with their maker, the Potter. Same is true for those who live together in fornication, not desiring God’s plan for marriage to be a covenant and the foundation for growing healthy families. So out of his hands they go…or rather, attempt to go…but clay cannot form itself. It will become a vessel of dishonor. The clay will become hardened and useless. It will become worthless to the potters purposes for it. It will be a vessel of dishonor. UNLESS it realizes it does have a Potter. And it surrenders itself to the Potters hands. After all, a Potter can start from scratch and remake any lump of clay. That clay can receive salvation and be remade, and be worked in by the Lord, to accomplish his or her divine purpose.

Now here is an example of a believer quarreling with their maker: I want to tell you a story of a friend of mine. This was from years ago, and she won’t mind me sharing it. Her name is Marsha. She was at a ladies meeting at my house. She was a Christian, and walked in her spiritual gifts, but basically was very depressed and oppressed, and into her self-pity deep, and declared aloud to us all, “I just don’t like who I am!!” As she continued venting, it was clear she was comparing herself to the ladies in the room in regard to physical appearance, social standing, and family circumstance, and she found herself wanting “in her own mind” ….she was having a pity party…not having a clue of her value to God, her Potter. But as she was yet speaking so negatively in regard to herself, the prophetic word of the Lord welled up inside me and loosed my tongue and I declared to her as God speaking to her. looking into her eyes, and pointing a finger at her! The Lord declared: “I do not make junk! You were created by me, and for me, and according to my purpose, and you are exactly as you are to be!” (he then elaborated on her red curly hair, her short stout stature, her handicapped child as his son, her home as sufficient, and her recent blessing of financial aid and help being from Him.) “How dare you quarrel with me your maker!You are my daughter, and you are my workmanship. I created you to be who you are and I believe in you and happen to love my handiwork. You are special and loved, and you are just as I have planned you to be.”

Wow, I surprised myself, as His words came out of me, spoken to her. It was a definite rebuke, made in front of witnesses, but she received it…for she knew it was not me, but God, speaking to her, and it penetrated deep within her soul. She took in the message and was totally transformed by the truth she heard. She repented on the spot! Tears flowed! She really heard His Truth.  Over the weeks and months following, her very countenance changed! She was lively, and she became peaceful and content, and no longer did that cloud of oppression reign over her life. She fixed herself up physically, fixing hair and applying light makeup, and she didn’t compare herself anymore to anyone else, she delighted in ministry to her son, and she was content in her circumstances. Which incidentally changed a couple years later, as her son went to heaven and she went back to school, and experienced a brighter life thereafter. Why the change in her? She realized that all along she was God’s Workmanship! He designed her. He chose her to have her circumstances…that they were within his sovereign will. He saw what he had made, and saw that it was good!

Friends, do we realize we are His Workmanship? Can we let that sink in, so we can enjoy our daily lives?

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Now, God did not stop here, in his speaking to me in this regard. He carried it further than a personal application. He revealed this potter and clay relationship is also important to our understanding what is transpiring in believers and unbelievers…the righteous and the unrighteous…in today’s society…and in these end times.

Let me explain: let’s look please at our same Romans 9, which referred to the potter and the clay, and read it in context, including verses before and after what we previously read.

Romans 9:17-23

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

Now here, in verses 22 and 23,  is a key scripture of hope for all believers:

I want you to see that the reason God did harden Pharoah’s heart was so that God’s wrath, which was being controlled, could become a display of his power and glory to his people! Those of his people who were oppressed…he saw them…those who felt as captives to the wicked, he saw them… those who prayed and cried out for mercy, he heard them.

God was aware, as the potter, of the clay vessels he created, in the camp of the righteousness, and the unrighteous. Those his people, and those not his people. He was in control.

So, this being written for our instruction. Can we not confidently know that this wicked world is hardening and shaking their fist at God as Pharoah did, but God has a plan, he knows it all, he is long suffering? Why is he allowing the hardness? The answer is, so he can wow us, His chosen ones, and show us HIS glory!

Look at verses 22 and 23 once again! Read them aloud.

22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23…and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

Believers we are prepared unto glory!! As in the days of Pharoah, God remains in control of his wrath…but it will come… and he will make known His Glory, to us, His Children! His Chosen Ones!

Go ahead, declare this over yourself: “I am prepared unto glory!”

We will not fret due to evil doers…God is long suffering, giving them opportunity to repent, but knows those who won’t.

And we, believers, there is no need for us to fret about anything, in regard to our own clay weakness, because God’s got this! He will continue his work in you and I to the very end!

Think of the end times here upon us. God will destroy the evil ones, just as he did in Pharoah’s time, as his judgments release his people from the hands of the wicked. Be encouraged and full of joy believers!

I want you to now take a look at this New testament passage, in light of what we just read in Romans…for it sums up what is coming forth in these end times. And is it not just as it was in Pharoahs time?

It is the NASB version of II Thessalonians 1:6-12

For after all, it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted, and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ

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I also want you to see this passage too, as you continue to think of the Potter in control of ALL clay, believers and unbelievers…and the fact that God is in control of the whole end time scenario that will play out in accordance with His Will.

Ephesians 1:3 -14 is a glorious passage. And note that verse 11 declares The Truth that he works all things after the counsel of his will.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

God has His Will. And he has indeed given us Our Will. Yet that will, all men’s, is also known to God. Those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus can find great peace and joy, knowing they are continually being molded in the potters hand.

And believers, we can also find comfort knowing that those who are not in the potters hand, by their own will, still remain his clay. His control and power remains over them, even though they will not acknowledge his right as their Potter. The unbeliever is clay in the potters hand. The potter has power over the clay.

We can experience a change in the paradigm of how we approach our intercession for the unsaved. Knowing they are his clay, and he is their potter. Yes, we can pray for the Potter to have his mercies made known to them, and to continually call for their repentance. We can ask God to have them come to their senses and turn to him. We can ask the Potter to remake them. We can ask him to soften them. If oppressed by evil men, we can ask God to stop a certain behavior they are exhibiting toward us, or to punish them to bring them to their senses. His power remains over them amidst their free will. We must recognize this and overcome our own fear of evil. Note the Lord’s Prayer declares “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me!”

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Now, as I close, here is God’s instruction to you and me:

This is what the Lord said (……you put your own name in the blank…and read it as if he is speaking directly to you):

____________, as you believe in me as the one in control…the workmanship of you and my people, and even those not my people, for believers and unbelievers both are clay, and I’m the potter…. then believe in my ability in you. You are my Workmanship. And I will work in you and through you to accomplish my will. I can handle your ups and downs, the victories and the failures, the struggles, obstacles, glories, achievements, and even your falls. I’ve known it. I can smooth it out. If you fall, I can even remake you. I, as the potter, remake vessels, all the time, that my purpose and will is done.

__________, your part is to believe in me, and in yourself, and purposely keep yourself in my hands, and in my mercies, so that I can easily use you and mold you for my purpose. Do not harden yourself against me or my purposes. Remain pliable in my hands.

 

And I __________________ say, YES LORD !

 

 

 

Written by Beth Ann Smith, October 1, 2017

Please check out the archived articles tab to read many other articles written to aid you in your walk as a Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ.

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