Summary: The Process in getting to the place to handle the pressure of ministry.
Scripture: Jeremiah 18:1 – 6
Title: “FROM THE SHELF TO THE OVEN!”
Introduction: It hasn’t been long ago I preached from Jeremiah 18 concerning the “Potter’s House” and the Vessel.
· To become the person God’s intends us to be there is a process we have to go through to get there.
Basically the process is: (1) The Clay (That’s you and I) is delivered into the Hands of the Potter (That’s God!) (2) God begins to work on us (That’s the Wheel) (3) The Potter’s Hands (That’s God Applying the right amount of Pressure to Mold us into the vessel He wants us to be!)
· God’s PROCESS isn’t always easy!
· God has a PLAN for your life.
· If you are ever going to become the person God wants you to be – You have be taken through a Certain Process.
· This Means there are going to be times when God will ALLOW us to go through DIFFICULT SITUATIONS that will stretch us beyond ourselves.
· God does this because He Loves us! / “He didn’t throw the Clay away!”
Note: Observe what Jesus endured to become the Savior.
· Be GLAD that God has selected you to be His vessel!
BEING ABLE TO STAND
· The Bible very clearly states that all of us are going to be TRIED! 1 Cor. 10:13 – Temptations are common to mankind.
· Many are FORMED, but are not FINISHED! (On the wheel so to speak!)
· How many lions and how many bears did David have to deal with before facing Goliath?
· Think about Abraham having to offer up his son Isaac!
· Greatest of all Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to the Cross!
· My Dad use to say, “You got to CRAWL before you can WALK!
LEFT ON THE SHELF (The Waiting Game!)
· This is one of the Hardest things for most everyone to go through.
· Jesus lived in His hometown for thirty years before beginning His ministry.
· Paul living thirteen years in the wilderness.
· Moses living forty years in the wilderness and asking, “God, where have You been?”
· Isa. 40:31 “But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” NLT
· FAILURE to wait can be the Reason you wind up in an OVEN of TRIAL and CRACK under the HEAT!
· Running Ahead of God / Not using Godly Discernment! / Not being Led by The Holy Spirit!
ONLY THE POTTER KNOWS! (The Patience Test!)
· The Potter is the EXPERT in knowing when the Vessel is READY to be taken down from the Shelf and Placed into the OVEN!
· Jeremiah 18:6 “Can I (God) not do with you as I please?”
· NEVER forget, we are in HIS hands!
· God knows what we are made out of and He knows what we can endure!
· Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”
TOTAL DEPENDENCY! (We are in HIS Hands!)
· The Vessel was placed on the Shelf by the Potter for a Reason!
· The Potter was the ONE who would, at the Right Time, take the Vessel from the Shelf and Place it in the OVEN!
· The MORE you complain about God letting you sit the LONGER He will leave you where you are!
· We must stay on the shelf until God comes and takes us down!
PREPARATION FOR DISPLAY (The Glaze Process!)
· Now the Potter covers the pot with a Shiny Coat of glaze to make the pot look SPECIAL! (The beginning of “Letting your light shine!”)
· You don’t know what’s going on, you just feel as if something is happening with you. / “I guess God is still preparing me.”
THE LAST STEP (The Furnace)
· When the Potter grabs you and puts you in the furnace, you sit down next to the rest of the Pots.
· We look at each other as if to say, “You’ve been through it too, huh? Well, let the Healing Begin!”
· While we’re in the furnace, God says, “These are My children; I made them. They can take it HOTTER than that. TURN UP THE HEAT!”
AT THIS FINAL STAGE
· If you haven’t gone through every single step, you will do one of two things:
1. You will either Crack!
2. Or, you will Explode!
· But if you went through every step of the process that the Potter wanted you to endure, you will eventually come out of the furnace, shinning brightly with the “glaze” of spiritual maturity, and you will make it through to the end.
· Don’t Crack / Don’t Explode / Be Strong! / Go Through Every Step in God’s Process!
Remember, The Potter Is In Control!