Philippians 1:6 states:
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Ahh, this verse helps me to breath. God is at work.
Thank heavens that we are works in progress, still on the potter’s wheel being shaped continually into His image. The thing is that we constantly need to stay malleable. I took a pottery class year ago. I was actually terrible at it but I did learn that the clay needed to stay wet to be able to use it. I always had a bowl of water on the table to moisten the clay. I also remember that as I applied pressure as the table turned the clay could change its form over and over.
When I read this verse in Philippians I thought of the potter and the clay. In scripture we are likened to the clay and God the potter. It is so appropriate. It is God who started a good work in us when He designed us in our mother’ womb. If we stay in the word, “watered” by it daily so that we don’t “dry” out and He exerts pressure and we allow it, then we get “shaped” into the women He as predestined us to be.
We are works in progress. We must constantly realize the work God is doing in us in an ongoing, evolving process of growth toward maturity. We may have frustrations with ourselves when we don’t live up to our own expectations or those of scripture. Our act may not be fully together yet. We may think we should be further along. However, what matters to the heart of God is that you desire to grow. That you ask Him to keep that gentle pressure of His hand upon you to shape you and refine your life in the character of Jesus. The other thing is to recognize what He is doing. This requires taking our hurts, cares, injustices, failures and frustrations right to the throne room. Then to sit there with Him until He gives us a new direction or heals a broken heart or gives us courage where there was fear and trembling.
This last month I encountered a few things that caused a bit of heartache and some confusion. Unfortunately when the onslaught hit my first reaction was not to seek the Father for understanding it was simply to react to circumstances. I became discouraged. I finally called my prayer partner. What a gift she is to me. She reminded me that I had a choice and led me right to the throne room with her. There was a choice to me made. I could react or I could respond. I needed to choose what would please the Father and give me peace. I had to run to prayer and then leave a few things on the floor there, at His feet. I had to “yield” my will to His, my thoughts or His thoughts. As I continued my camping trip in Phillipians the Lord continued to “shape” my thinking.
2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
And then Jesus said:
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Rest from my crazy thoughts. Rest from worry.
This week I had to make a choice, to yield just as clay does, to the pressure of His hand in my life. He gave me a choice, to lay it down. I had to yield to the process of personal transformation. I had a few wonderful opportunities to repent, to realign my thinking and then to receive a fresh download of the Father’s power to rise above my circumstances and my concerns. It was my choice. I had to choose life. I had to speak life. I needed to exercise my partnership with Him in prayer and stand in faith.
That is what we all have to do. Lay our lives and our thoughts down and choose His. We are then free from internal agitations. We have an advocate and his hand is gentle upon us as we keep the water of the word close by and stay malleable to his touch.