Is there anyone you can think of, where you would be willing to literally place your life into their hands? Someone whom you trust so much, that you would let them do whatever they wanted with your life? Where you would no longer have a say~ and your ideas, plans and desires no longer determined your course? Where you would no longer be included in decision making for any part of your life?
If there were such a person, you would need to believe that they would always make the right choices on your behalf. You would also need to believe with all your heart that they were wholly committed to you and would unfailingly look out for your best interest.
No matter whom we may have a deep trust for in our human relationships, it is unlikely that we would give over this level of control to any person. Is it the trustworthiness of the other person that would make this virtually impossible, or is it our human determination to maintain control over our own lives? In all likelihood it would be both. The truth is that Jesus is the only One in whom we could or should fully place our trust. He is completely trust-worthy, and wholly committed to us. Our Heavenly Father will always know and do what is best for us in every way as we entrust our lives to Him.
Even so, most Christians have not placed their lives into the hands of the Lord our God. They may have accepted Christ as their Savior, but deep in their hearts they are still afraid to commit to Him, as He has to us. It is not Jesus, of course, who is the issue. It is something inside of us that makes it so difficult to allow Him to truly have control. But in order to walk with Him, to follow Him~ we must commit our lives wholly. Jesus wants a commitment that is not just in word~ but in deed. If we say we want to follow Him, then laying down our life for Him even to death is required. Jesus does not make us commit our lives to Him, but once we say we have, would we not desire that our word be found true and genuine? If our hearts are sincere, Jesus will hold us to our word, but provide everything we need to hold fast to Him and to His path.
It is when the going gets tough that our true level of commitment is revealed. If our hearts are not yet matching with the words we confess, our sweet Teacher Jesus will continue to deepen our faith and solidify our trust in Him. If we honestly desire to be His follower, He will lovingly grow us to the point where we really, truly mean what we say, no matter what forces may come against us.
Peter asked, ‘Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ Then Jesus answered, ‘Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!’ (John 13:37-38) Then Jesus said to His disciples:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me (John 14:1).
Peter is a great example of a person who sincerely desired to follow Jesus at any cost, but did not yet understand what this really meant. In his very first test, he became afraid and denied the One he felt so committed to and loved so much.
Many of us are much like Peter. We truly desire to follow the Lord, yet still do not understand the level of commitment Jesus is truly asking for. It is also very difficult for most to see what fully surrendering and submitting to God really looks like~ how it is actually lived out.
In God’s Word, He refers to us as lumps of clay, clay pots, jars of clay, and potsherds. A potsherd is a fragment or piece of broken pottery. Why would the Lord make so many references to us as these inanimate objects? Why does He refer to us as these things that do not have a breath of life in them?
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death (Psalm 22:14-15). This is what it was like for Jesus as He was dying on the cross. His strength was dried up like a fragment of broken pottery. God, His Father was laying His beloved Son in the dust of death.
Are you willing to die with Jesus? Are you willing to allow God to lay you in the dust of death with His Son? Are you willing to be poured out, and let all your human strength be dried up like a potsherd? It is only then that you can be used by the Lord for His mighty purposes. It is only then that you can truly say:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). The Lord says only a few will take this narrow path. But through His love and grace, God gives us chance after chance to choose it. If you have chosen the broad path as a believer, the Lord makes it clear that it leads only to destruction.
How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:5b-8).
Is this the state of the body of Christ today? Is this the condition of so many churches called Christian~ where the true gospel of Christ does not exist or has been changed~ where now we are the potter and God is the clay?
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me’? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing’? (Isaiah 29:16)
Do we need to be saved from a life where our hearts are not truly committed to Christ? Where human wisdom has determined to fit God into our mold? So instead of God molding us, we are molded by our society and a world view of how to live the Christian life?
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground (Isaiah 45:9a).
So is it that God thinks so little of us that He refers to us as these inanimate objects? Does He think of us as unimportant trivial creatures? No, it is just the opposite. God loves us with all of His heart. He made us with His own hands, and created us to be with Him in a loving intimate relationship. God gave us hearts to be able to love Him above all things. God had a plan for humanity from before the earth was formed to give us a life full of the wonderful fruit of His Spirit.
But from the beginning of creation, God’s beloved children have exerted their own will~ deciding that they now will be the God of their own lives. That God is just to come alongside of them while they go down a path that they created for themselves. God has been urging His people throughout history to listen to Him. He has told us clearly what life will be like when we submit to His will, and what it will be like when we do our own will. God provided a way through His son Jesus Christ to not only have eternal life, but to have a life here on earth where we have the privilege of seeing His miracles and His glory.
God wants us to be as if we are inanimate objects. To be so fully submitted and surrendered that we have no will of our own. Where we are willing to do whatever He asks, and are willing to be used by Him any way He chooses. God has graciously included us in His plan that all would know the saving grace of His son Jesus Christ. This does not happen our way, it happens His way. His ways are higher than our ways. It is only He that has the plan, and it is only through submitting to Him in an intimate relationship will you know His will day to day and moment by moment. And it is only His power in and through you that makes it possible to wholly commit to Jesus and to give over complete control to Him.
Be one of the few! If you will become the lump of clay placed in the hands of your Heavenly Father, He will mold you into a steadfast vessel that can be used to carry His Word to the lost, and to those who still do not truly know the love of Christ. He will make you His instrument.
But the Lord said to Ananias ‘Go! This man (Saul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel (Acts 9:15).
A second reason we are to be as if we are inanimate objects, is that it will be only God to whom all the glory goes. When He uses us for His wonderful and amazing purposes, it is the face and heart of Jesus that people will see.
For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).
What a joy it is to be a potsherd, a lump of clay, a jar of clay~ a marred clay pot that has been molded by God into a vessel that exists only to love Him and carry His love and His Word to others. And what a glorious thing that the beauty pouring out of our heart, is Jesus Himself shining in and through us. Let us be laid low so that we may experience what it truly means to be fully committed and submitted to our God and used mightily in His Kingdom.