June 8, 2009 
The Potter and the Clay 
Mary Southerland

Today’s truth 
Isaiah 64:8 “But LORD, you are our father.  We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all” (NCV).

Friend to Friend 
When our daughter, Danna, was in preschool, one of her favorite activities was playing with clay.  She often pulled her little step stool over to the closet where the clay was stored and pulled out the boxes of brightly colored clay.  With great concentration and effort, her little fingers would then pry each box open and then she went to work. 

For hours at a time, Danna would pound, mold, stretch, pinch and ultimately create her own clay world. Animals, people, flowers and aliens would emerge from the small lumps of clay.  When she finished, Danna called me and asked me to “put them up.”  That meant it was time to exhibit her clay creations for her brother and father to see when they came home. 

Danna’s creations would remain on display until they grew hard and brittle.  We would then break them apart, sprinkle them with water and put them back into their containers, allowing the clay to grow soft again. 

When it comes to spiritual matters – God is the Potter, the Creator, and we are the clay.  The world says we should never give up our rights because if we do, we will lose everything.  God says, “Give up your rights and you will gain everything.”  When we surrender, we gain everything that is important and eternal – including God’s perfect plan and purpose for our life.

In order for God to make us into what He wants us to be, we have to become pliable and willing - like clay.  We must come to Him, placing ourselves in His hands, the Potter’s hands.  Total surrender demands that we come with no agenda, no pre-set conditions – giving Him permission to bend us, break us and change us.

We sometimes come to God, with a hardened heart and brittle spirit.  Life has broken and damaged us and the wrong hands have molded us.  Remember, how we come to Him is not nearly as important as the fact that we come.  As we give up control to Him, like a Master Craftsman, He begins to work patiently and lovingly, with a specific plan and one-of-a-kind design in mind.  He works through circumstances as well as people, through joy and pain, victory and defeat.  He filters every part of life through His plan for us and uses it to create a life of worth and meaning. 

Oh, we have tried to live life with our own agenda and plan and have experienced discontentment and frustration. Our soul longs for more and our heart cries out, “Is this all there is?”  The truth is that nothing and no one but God can bring us the peace and joy for which we searching.  Are you ready to become the clay, surrendering your broken life to the Potter’s loving and purpose-filled hands?  Today is the day!

Let’s pray 
Lord, I am tired of trying to live life in my own power.  Right now, I give up and surrender my life completely to You.  I choose Your plan over mine.  I give You permission to mold me and make me what You want me to be.  I will wait before You and seek Your direction.

In Jesus’ name, 
Amen.

Now it’s your turn 
What has been the plan – according to you – for your life up to this point?

What kind of results has that plan produced? 

Write a prayer of surrender to God and record it in your journal.  Be sure to include the following steps:

Recognize that you have been trying to live life according to your plan – your agenda.

Admit that your refusal to surrender your life to God has brought only frustration and emptiness.

Right now – surrender to God.

What action do you need to take in order to obey God:

_____Join a local church

_____Get involved in a small group bible study

_____Read the Bible daily

_____Pray constantly

_____Seek God in everything I do

More from the Girls 
I have to admit I am not very good at giving up.  I was taught never to give up; to be strong and to depend on no one but myself.  In fact, the very thought of surrender seems like a weakness to me and is completely opposite to my human strength and will.  Exactly!  Did you know that my name, Mary, literally means bitter, but when broken, sweet? Unless I am in a constant state of surrender to God, I will surely become bitter, brittle and broken. Today, I choose to surrender my heart and life to Him.

Need help in your walk with Christ?  Beginning June 22, Mary’s online bible study, Light for the Journey, begins a new topic, “How to Get Past Your Past.”  Check it out at www.marysoutherland.com and be sure to visit Mary’s online store for MP3s, CDs, books and bible studies that will help you grow in God.

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