Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, June 12, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: Jeremiah 18:1-6
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number seven of 12: “We submit to God and ask Him to remove our deficiencies.”
I am not going to lie; growth and change are difficult! Those of you that workout on a regular basis recognize the truth of my statement. You sweat. You become sore. You get exhausted. You sometimes don’t want to do another lap or rep, but you push through anyway. Your success requires a bit of pain, injury, repair, and growth. Then the process starts all over again.
If you are married or have any other meaningful relationships with people, you realize the same about my statement. If you pray for patience, your spouse or best friend might do something you say gets on your nerves. You pray to become more loving, and your child shouts at you in a fit of rage for no good reason. You yearn for acceptance, and your spouse leaves you for a one night stand.
I said that growth and change are difficult. It’s especially difficult when it comes to our characters. We all were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. Our father Adam was kind enough (not!) to write us into his will. Do you realize what He bequeathed to us? He gave us weaknesses, inadequacies, and character flaws. This is why you find it so hard to do the right thing even when you want to.
In light of the fact that we are naturally so far afield when it comes to righteous living, God introduces a painful process of transformation into our lives. We have been conformed to the ways and paradigms of this world so long, that when the Spirit introduces a new principle into our lives it retrains, breaks, and molds us in a way that facilitates growth, but is very difficult along the way. We are used to going in one direction, and God constantly redirects us, if we are willing, and we learn to be like Him.
The moral of the story in our theme text is that we do not have the right to tell our Sovereign Lord (Blessed be His name), that He cannot employ whatever process He deems necessary to transform our characters, any more than a piece of pottery can despise its potter. If we ever hope to experience lasting success in life, we must become malleable in the hands of our Master Potter as He molds us into the finest work of art worthy to be displayed for all to see His great work of transformation.