Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Spring Sale! Get 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SPRING

The Potter's Hands

  • David Jeremiah Turning Point
  • Published Apr 02, 2007
The Potter's Hands
We are, in a literal sense, pottery. We’ve been formed from clay. God physically shaped Adam from the clay of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. We are all humans, a word that is akin to the term humus, meaning earth or clay. The apostle Paul referred to our bodies as “jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV).

But the Bible also tells us that God wants to spiritually fashion us into vessels fit for His use, molded as images of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul says God wants to form us into “a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).

The patriarch Job concurred: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me . . .  You have made me like clay” (Job 10:8-9). This gives us a biblical warrant for thinking of the events and influences of our lives as His hands and fingers, shaping us like a potter shaping clay.

Romans 8:28 says that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but the next verse gives us His purpose: “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).

Our heavenly Father wants to use the events we encounter each day as tools with which to shape and sculpt us into the image of Christ. He wants to deepen our faith, to develop within us the quality of perseverance, and to make us watertight containers of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If you’re under some sort of pressure right now, visualize the skillful hands of the divine Potter using it for good in your life. Pray as Isaiah did: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). You can trust His dexterous and expert fingers not to harm, but to help you.

His Hands Are Re-Forming
Sometimes we think we’re unusable, unredeemable. We’ve done something for which we feel shame and guilt, and we think God can no longer do much with us. Our problems are occasionally of our own making, and our pain arises from our own stupidity. But when we bring our sin to the Lord, confess it earnestly, nail it to the cross of Christ, and surrender it to the power of His shed blood, God can take our sins and shame and spin them into a design that glorifies Him.

One night Adelaide Pollard went to church in a state of depression because she felt God wanted her in Africa as a missionary, but she couldn’t raise the support. During the prayer meeting, a woman prayed, “It doesn’t matter what You bring into our lives, Lord. Just have Your own way with us.”

Returning home, Adelaide read the story of the potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18. By bedtime she had written out a prayer of her own, which today is the hymn, “Have Thine Own Way.”

Today make it your prayer as you think of the forming and re-forming hands of the Master Potter who is crafting you and me into vessels of honor, fit for the Master’s use. Ask God to have His own way in your life as He forms — and re-forms — you into His wonderful image.

Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting yielded and still.

David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and chancellor of San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College). For more information on Turning Point, visit www.TurningPointOnline.org

This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.