At salvation we were laid into an eternal foundation. It is unshakable, immovable, steadfast, and secure. 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: The Lord knows those who are His, and Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Iniquity is acting independent of God.
Paul wrote about our foundation. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” Our foundation is established, but the Lord allows circumstances, adversities, as well as all our trials to mold us. Much like a potter who works with dry clay.
Jeremiah 18:1-6 is a little discourse about the potter’s house. Jeremiah was observing the potter at work. Verse 4 says, “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.” Romans 9:20-21 was written about Israel in light of a potter with his clay. We need to read the words for our own application.
It says, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, Why have you made me thus? Does not the potter have power over the clay…” Jeremiah 1:5 says that the Lord knew us before He formed us in our mothers’ womb. I like to think about this in light of my own life. Every event, circumstance, and trial in my life was set into my seed of conception. The Lord knew exactly what needed to take place for my future molding. So it is with you.
Our progressive sanctification pathway may bring marring. Yet it is a stamp of God’s image being worked out in our lives. Our Potter is always at work for our good. Romans 8:28 is a well known verse, but we have to be careful that we don’t use it as a cliche. It says, “And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Verse 29 is the capstone of the verse before. Parentheses are mine to connect us back to Jeremiah 1:5. It says, “For whom He foreknew (before He formed us), He also predestined to be conformed (progressive sanctification) to the image of His Son…” Hebrews 12:11 says that He uses our trials to train us in His righteousness. The Amplified says of righteousness, “…in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action…”
When we resist God’s working, our heart becomes hardened and not moldable. Confession of our sin, that leads to repentance, will soften our heart. Here is what David said after his confession of his sin with Bathsheba. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart–these, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” As we embrace each circumstance, adversity, and trial as coming from our Potter’s Hand, He will be able to mold us to be more Christlike. Our entire life was laid out in our seed of conception. The Lord has charted our course. Let us walk in humility before Him so that we can become all that He has called us to be.