Summary: To mold means to “guide or influence the growth or development of somebody or something”. This is what God seeks to do with every believer. He wants to make and mold us into the image of his son Jesus. But this process is often a difficult one to endure.
INTRODUCTION: To mold means to “guide or influence the growth or development of somebody or something”. This is what God seeks to do with every believer. He wants to make and mold us into the image of his son Jesus. The question is-how well is that molding process going? Let’s take a look at why is it so hard to go through this process.
1) Because of our image of God. Exodus 32:1-4. We might call the Israelites foolish for making the golden calf but when you think about it we are capable of doing the same thing. We might not make an actual, tangible image of worship but we do make an image of God that suits us and that is what we worship. It’s still God per se but it’s a god of our own making. We try to mold God into our preferred image. We try to make God into an image that pleases us. We latch onto certain aspects of God like his mercy, forgiveness and grace and block out the more harsh aspects like anger, wrath and judgment. In doing this we actually perform idolatry. We set up a god made in an image to our liking. This false God is the one we worship. This is a god that fits into our back pocket. We’ve molded (fashioned) a god that is our buddy instead of our master. We fashion a god that is a jolly ol’ soul whose purpose is to grant our requests. We have a molded image of a god who is tolerant of our sinful behavior. We want God to act and be according to how we want him to be. We don’t want his truth; we want our own version of truth. We want a god who is completely okay with everything we’re okay with. We find a way to justify our actions or lack thereof, by creating a god that is on the same page as us. We want to accept a god of our own understanding without trying to understand who God really is. We don’t want a god who has commands. We don’t want a god that challenges us. It’s much easier to have a relationship with God on my terms instead of his. It’s much easier to make a god in our own image. When we lose sight of who the potter is and who the clay is we’re in trouble. Isaiah 29:16a, “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!” With this mindset God cannot mold us.
2) Because of sin. We were molded into the image of the world but now we are called to be molded into the image of Jesus. That’s not easy because it’s not natural. The natural man is of the world. Think about it-you’ll never be invited to attend a seminar on how to be a better liar, 101 ways to increase your anger, how to sin more effectively. We don’t need these because unfortunately, all this comes naturally for us. Therefore, the process of being molded by God is not an easy one. We struggle with sin. And sin works against the molding process. Fashioned, molded=process, shaping, handcrafted, painstaking, precision, decorated. This is so special because it shows the care and attention that God gives to us as individuals. He has a specific design picked out for each one of us. That should make us understand how loved and special we are to him. But when we dive back into sin, it’s like taking paint and throwing it on a masterpiece. It’s like breaking a chip off a one of a kind priceless sculpture. If anyone here has ever built or created something special you have a deep connection with it. You treat it with unique care and concern. You protect it. While you were making it you took the time to make sure it was just right. How would you feel if the person you made it for treated it like it was nothing? They didn’t take care of it, they didn’t protect it; they didn’t have the same love for it that you had. It would make you feel unappreciated, the time and effort you put into it meant nothing to them. It would cause you to wonder if you meant nothing to them also. You would wonder, ‘how could this person, whom I love so much that I gave them this one-of-a-kind special gift that I made with my own two hands, treat me this way?’ And we would be wondering the same thing about this person. So when we have these repetitive sins we are disrespecting God’s time and effort. He spent all that time working on us and we willingly deface his property. When we sin we are treating ourselves like trash. But, thankfully, there is hope. Jeremiah 18:1-6. The good news is that God can restore the damage. But guess what-that takes time. In some cases, depending on the damage caused, he may have to practically start over. In 1502 in Florence Italy there was a large block of marble given to a church in Santa Maria. The church hired who they thought was a professional to sculpt this enormously huge piece of rock. The man was not a professional and soon after commencing this great task the man drilled a whole at the bottom which ended up destroying this magnificent piece of marble. The church decided to just drape a huge sheet over it, not knowing what else to do since it had been damaged beyond recognition and repair. A certain man, Michelangelo caught word of this large stone and how it had been destroyed. So, out of curiosity, he went to check it out. When he saw it he thought, "I think I can do something with this". He began to work and sculpt; and what was once thought to be a lost cause became one of the greatest statues of David ever built. You might be here today, thinking that the damage you’ve caused yourself is beyond repair. But take heart-in the capable hands of the Master, you can be molded into all that Jesus has called you to be.