“I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand'” (Jeremiah 18:3-6, NLT).
To be molded by God means I am changed by the Holy Spirit into a vessel that is usable in His hands. He divides my desire from His as a diamond is perfectly cut; He chisels my purpose carefully and repeatedly as a stone is chiseled; He does all of this until my life is pliable as clay. This is not only His work in my life. It is also mine. I yield to what He wishes. I submit to His Word and His will. I let go of what is not right in my heart and in my life. I recognize any selfishness in my motives, actions, or thoughts, and seek God’s help to remove them. So I come to Him, and place myself on His wheel to be shaped into His perfect will.
His divine power has given me everything I need to grow spiritually and have a godly life. I gain this through knowledge of Him in His Word, and through surrender to His will. He has provided precious promises so that I might have more of Him, and less of my sinful self. For this very reason I shall make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. I shall strive to add these qualities, and allow Him to continually change my heart's attitude until it is perfected by His grace. I surrender to whatever He wishes to create in me. In my surrender to His power He is able to change how I think, feel, understand, decipher, trust, and love. If these qualities are increasing in my life, nothing will keep me from being effective and productive in living for Him (2 Peter 1:3-8).
This is a work in my heart and life that needs both His power and my surrender. It is a work that at first can be disheartening. As I surrender to His power and my eyes are open, I see so much more that needs to be done in me. But I determine to persevere and not let what still lies ahead bring discouragement. I will remember that it is His power that brings change. As I grow I learn courage by surrendering my fear; I learn patience by surrendering my control, and I learn perseverance by surrendering my struggle. He is with me, and as this cooperative work in my life is done–through my surrender and His power, His qualities increase. I am molded into a useful tool in His hands. I am formed into whatever He deems best.
Does it hurt to be just clay in His hands–to let go of who I am for who is? Yes it does! When I allow Him to mold me, the pressure He brings to bear hurts. There is no other way to say it. It hurts to give up selfishness and what I want. It hurts to let go of the control that I have selfishly determined was mine. But it is in letting go and letting Him mold me that I discover His joy and His purpose. I discover that what I thought was joy in my own life is nothing compared to the joy I find in His.