Are you a helpless lump of clay?

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. (Isaiah 64v8)

What does it mean to be formed by God’s hand? One example that comes to mind is that of a clay pot being fashioned on a potter’s wheel – but is this a correct understanding for christians who live in a 21st century context ?

Many years ago, while leading a series of studies for new believers, I dug out Larry Christenson’s book ‘The Renewed Christian Mind’ for a story about a man who polished his red sports car every day but never sat in the driver’s seat. Then, one day, the man meets a stranger (Jesus)  who encourages him to stop pushing his car around the block and let him occupy the driver’s seat and drive. Reluctantly, the man agrees. Jesus sits behind the wheel, starts the engine and away they fly. The moral of this story being that life is much easier with Jesus in the driver’s seat.

However, when I brought Larry’s sports car story to the group, I was drowned under their protests because none of them thought that Jesus was driving the car.  At best, Jesus was reduced to a small invisible person in the car – a SATNAV if you like – who suggest a route but had no control over the car, the driver or even the route it will take.

The more I thought about it, the more I was in agreement with group consensus because the God of freewill doesn’t manipulate or force people to change. Yes, God wants us to change but lets dispel the idea that we are a helpless lump of clay being fashioned into something we hold to be against our will. God loves us and the words he utters to us are invitations to respond to his quiet whisper. To take hold of His hand and dance with Him. wherever He goes, now and into the future.


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