“Like clay in the hands of a potter so are you in My hands.” Joel 18:6
Playing with Play-Do was a “Yay!” activity in our house when my kids were little. We had all kinds of tools, forms and presses to make things with the colorful putty. When we were done (yes, I mean we) the Picasso-esque artifacts were set on a shelf but it didn’t take long for them to harden, crack and eventually fall apart.
I imagine we are like that too. God’s hands are pressing and molding us, sometimes adding and other times taking away. All the while He is delighted in His creation and, as long as we remain pliable, He is able to shape us as He wills. However, if we withdraw from Him, become hard or bitter, or even apathetic, we will not be workable. No change can occur without first adding water.
In John 4:14 water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, “…the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” As a believer we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and cannot be unsealed. However, we can quench and grieve the Holy Spirit and have dry, powerless lives. Ephesians 4:30-31 says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
Therefore, God will continue molding us into the likeness of His Son. Our part is to remain pliable. Abiding in Christ, sitting at His feet, meditating on His love and forgiveness and prayerfully reading His Word are all ways to remain soft-hearted. Another is confession. When Jesus washed Peter’s feet He said, “Unless I do this you can have no part in Me.” John 13:8b. This intimate exchange is a picture of confession. We give Jesus the dirt that clings to our feet because we are living in this fallen world. He gladly takes our sin upon Himself and makes us clean. After Jesus finished washing the disciples feet He told them that they were (we are) to do this for one another. Hence, James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Here the “Confess your sins to one another” is born. This does not mean that we have to confess our sins to another person to be forgiven. We are already forgiven! Rather, that we reflect Christ in the lives of our brothers and sisters by showing unconditional love and forgiveness as we share our burdens and sin with each other by living out this command. This is humble submission. This is being pliable and soft, teachable and available for His Kingdom and for His glory.
Unfortunately, oftentimes we are hesitant to confess our sins to another believer. We are compelled to hide our defects and pretend to have it all together when we are actually dying inside. We were not meant to walk alone. We were meant to be shaped by God through relationship. His Holy Spirit is the press Who shapes us through relationships that chisel off the rough edges. We are being sanctified, made perfect for His Kingdom and I can’t wait to go home.
Finally, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” May we be pliable in the hands of a loving God and choose to be used by Him to comfort others with the Good News of forgiveness so they too can drink deeply of the Living Water and be forever changed.