Summary: A look at struggles we have with the idea that God gets to shape us rather than us being in charge of our lives ourselves. What does it mean to let Him shape us like a potter shapes the clay?

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WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO BRING THAT INTO MY LIFE? We want to be shaped in the way we choose.

- It can be painful to be shaped.

- Like a potter pressing his fingers into the clay to mold it into a different shape would probably not “feel good” to the clay if it were sentient, so the way that God shapes us something creates discomfort in our lives.

- Partly this is driven by our culture, which is big into the idea that we have the right to call the shots for ourselves.

- We resent the idea of someone else making claims over our lives.

- Who knows better for us than we do?

- Further, some of reject outright that God should be attempting to shape us at all.

- We believe that what we signed up for is being “saved,” which to our minds means being unchanged. We asked to be saved, not to be shaped.


1. Being reshaped is a good thing for something that was “spoiled.”

- Jeremiah 18:4 – “marred.”

- The NIV says that the pot the potter was working on was “marred.” Other versions share it as “spoiled.”

- That gets us to the idea that the pot was not as it should have been. It was not beautiful in its present condition. It needed some work.

- We need some work. We have sin hurting us. We have our natural habits pushing us off track. We are not where we need to be.

- We have to admit that we’re “spoiled.”

- This goes back to the idea that’s clear from Jesus’ ministry that it was those with the most messed-up lives who were the most open to Jesus’ message. When we know we’re spoiled, we’re far more willing to be eager to have someone re-work us.

- For many of us, the biggest thing standing in the way of God’s work in our lives is our effort to justify our own sins and try to be satisfied with where we are right now.

2. If you’re going to be reshaped, let a master do it.

- Jeremiah 18:4 – “as seemed best to him.”

- Don’t “do it yourself.” Call in a master workman.

- We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re flying by the seat of our pants. We’re making it up as we go along.

- “We are His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).

- We are the masterpiece that God is working on.

- Cf. the Christmas macaroni tree as the pinnacle of my very-limited artistic ability.

- Old song: “A Touch Of The Master’s Hand.”

- Or: play a little on the piano poorly and then compare it to someone who can play well.

LIVING WITH THOSE CONSIDERATIONS: Rather than just begrudgingly accepting shaping, we should eagerly embrace it.

- Jeremiah 18:5-6, 7-10.

- It’s like having Hawking offer to help you with your science project.

- It’s like have Michelson offer to help you with your wedge game.

- It’s like having Paula Deen offer to help you cook dinner.

- It’s like having Si help you brew your iced tea.

- Ways that God shapes:

a. Trials.

b. The Word.

c. Prayer.

d. Temptations.

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