Walk His Way
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Walk it Out
Have you ever had to give a biography? A detailed description of your life, basically? Most of us have written a resume for employment. This is more specific to personal background and skills that would grab the attention of a prospective employer, right?
But a “detailed description of my life,” really? Ugh. Truth be told there is not much here that would impress and much more that would highlight a mess. The greatest roles I have known are found wrapped in two responsibilities – full-time wife and mother of three. Beyond this great privilege, God has paved a way for me to pour into other women, another assignment with great culpability.
Back to that biography.
What are the acronyms behind a name and what do they mean?
What are the titles that hold the merit for the work we have been enlisted to do?
What are the educational themes that run through our lives to encourage and instruct another?
What profound experiences have touched our lives to beckon other ears to listen?
Truth be told, again, the more we walk together, the more you will learn. The greater the divide or not. The more likely my personal weaknesses will show. My failures. My faults. Found out. Perhaps you understand, I imagine you do.
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul, who by way of his own words, said, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” (1 Timothy 1:15) Throughout his entire ministry, Paul never got over his own personal sin towards his Savior. He was the “chief sinner,” he said. He found himself in conflict time and time again doing what he was not supposed to do and not doing what he was supposed to do. (Romans 7:15) Been there. Done that. This man of faith also carried the burdens of other believers and their propensity to fail. The spiritual condition of their hearts was foremost on his. I like this guy, Paul, “A Man of Grace and Grit.” (A great read by Charles R. Swindoll.)
So, should we take this time to answer those questions above? Does it matter, really?
Again, as I think of Paul, I am reminded that God connects the paths of people. When He does, we are to become all things so that some may be brought to Christ. Our personal mess may be the very message of hope delivered to the soul of another for His name sake. Our talents and titles hold nothing of eternal value if they are not tied to truth. Truth is found in a person. His name is Jesus, and His title Christ. He is not only our Savior but Lord of our lives. He has all rights to it!
When 1st Corinthians 4:7 was unwrapped for me, I wept.
“But we (believers in Jesus Christ) have this treasure (the Gospel, the Good News, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) in earthen vessels (jars of baked-clay, cracked pots, believers, you and me) so that the surpassing greatness of the power (the Holy Spirit) will be of God and not from ourselves.” (People will see, hear and know the presence of the LORD. Just an old cracked pot chosen to be used by her Creator.)
Earthen vessels or jars of clay were a dime a dozen. They were unimpressive, cheap and easily discarded. Unlike the beauty and brilliance of a treasure, “easy on the eyes,” not so with jars of clay. Dingy. Dirty. Downright ugly.
Don’t hit delete just yet! There is always good news that follows the dismal!
Our unimpressive credentials make way for His honor, His holiness, His glory.
Our flaws, frailties and failures are the very ingredients the Lord uses, stirring others forward – to Him.
Our weaknesses are essential so the mighty Hand of God can shine through our cracks!
God does not choose the way we choose superheroes today. He chooses based on who He is to reach down and raise up men and women.
Men and women with His credentials.
Men and women who wear His badge of honor.
Men and women who bear the fruit of His Spirit.
Men and women who love and show His kindness.
Men and women who stand firm in the faith and exercise restraint.
Men and women who are longsuffering for the sake of the Gospel and its advance.
Men and women, like the apostle Paul, who know who they really are and forge ahead in His strength.
Men and women who willingly work for a cause much greater than their own personal success stories.
Our current circumstances, our trials and tragedies, as well as our weaknesses, are intentional! God made it this way. This is exactly how it works out in our lives for an impact on the lives of others for His glory. (For further study, see Romans Chapter 8.)
Dear Heavenly Father, I am only an old clay pot, aware of my flaws, fears and frailty that mark so much of who I am. My thoughts and words are dingy most often. I am well aware of my mistakes and my limits. Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. Thank you for entrusting us to roam and explore and be a part of your wondrous work in all the world, choosing whichever means you deem fit for such unfit vessels. Disqualified by the outset. Qualified by the inset. The greatest treasure, the most exquisite jewel, the New Covenant Gospel of Jesus Christ choosing to dwell within us. A wondrous work. As our hearts are filled to overflowing with your glorious teaching in this one amazing verse, may you be glorified through our willingness to move as you move. Amen
Will you walk with me?
Maybe someday, you and I will exchange our biographies. Maybe not. However, as we journey this path together, may we come alongside one another like sweet Mary (Mother of Jesus) “perplexed and pondering.”
May we come today a blank canvas before God. May we give way in surrender for Him to write His plan, according to His will, upon our hearts and minds and stir our spirits, step by step, to action.
May His word go forth as He cleanses and fills His precious containers and sets us forth to be poured out for another. One by one.
May we hear our Shepherd’s voice and follow Him and answer as Mary did, “Behold, the bond-slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
I am ready to be used, this “earthen vessel – jar of clay – cracked pot.” On that canvas, I write “YES!” and sign my name for whatever God has in store.
How will you answer? I hope “yes” so we continue to walk together.