IN THE POTTERS HANDS
DISCOVERING MALE LEADERSHIP today is difficult, especially in the House of our Father. When Abba Father speaks to a man desiring to be a man, His words are like the words He spoke to Yeshua when He went to the Jordan to be baptized, “This is my Son whom I love; with him, I am well pleased,’ (Mathew 3:16). Though these words are unique in that they are spoken exclusively to His Son, any man seeking to be a man will surely find pleasure from Abba. One will be filled with new confidence and find a set of larger shoes to step into, larger than you have ever considered or anticipated. Perhaps they will take you on the road well-traveled by those great spiritual men and women we read about.
The point is. Men must leave childhood to become able men. I should also note that if a man had no father or good role model, the Love of “THE” Father would supplant those dark memories to make one whole. Even David said to his son, “Be strong and show yourself a man” (I Kings 2:2). BUT WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE EFFORTS OF SOCIETY TO EMASCULATE MEN OVER THE LAST THREE DECADES. NOT ONLY IS THERE A SCOURGE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN SOCIETY. THERE IS ONE ON BIBLICAL CORRECTNESS WHEN IT COMES TO THE FAMILY.
As a result, men today seem more comfortable taking a back seat. Increasingly women are dominating in ministry roles, family leaderships. Women hold some of the most influential stations in life, and these advancements, I applaud. Surely, the Bible is replete with women that left powerful and influential legacies in the advancement of the kingdom. I myself believe in honoring and empowering women. Raising two daughters, it was important to know their value and identity and their dignity as God’s children. I have honored my wife's uniques gifting's that she flows in the gifts that God has given her. But at the same time, women are longing for men to take their rightful roles as leaders. For this to occur, men must return to intimacy with their Heavenly Father to begin with. Then, through the Spirit of Adoption, God can rebuild them and turn back the cultural damage that’s been done.
Let’s consider masculinity.
Masculinity is not measured in how much weight one can lift or how much control a man can exert over people. Real masculinity is connected to spiritual maturity because genuine strength is measured by how much control a man is willing to relinquish to God, not take from God. In other words, how much closer can I get to being clay in the Potter's hands, so God leads my environment? This is where things can become difficult, as you can imagine.
You see, seasons come when men must experience powerlessness.
In such times we have no ability to alter a particular circumstance or situation. But more purposely, they draw us closer to the heat for the metal of our life to become more pliable. For some, this can take a lifetime, but a lifetime is not required either. It all depends on the condition of one’s heart. Our reactions need to settle down. All too often, our minds need to be controlled, and we must learn to hand over the issues and worries of our life to our Father. As the sons of God, we must learn that our Father’s yoke is far easier than trying to carry it alone. Moses learned this lesson.
THE LIFE OF MOSES
The life of Moses represents a road well-traveled by great men like him. What we discover is a life of maturation that is rarely found today. He learned that we must all discover that God is not answerable to us, nor is He obligated to explain Himself. Of course, to the casual inquirer, this seems like tyranny and control. To the child of God, however, He is known as our Abba Father who loves us. Therefore, He disciplines us.
In Numbers 12:3, it states, “Now Moses was the humblest of all men, more so than any other man on earth.” Moses did not choose leadership. It chose him. He was assigned a role simply because he was God’s follower, so God gave him a monumental task that needed to be fulfilled. When Moses could not provide meat for his people, he asked God to take his life. In response to Moses’ request to share the burden, God provided 70 elders. Throughout, though, Moses’ view of leadership was that he was essentially a manager of operations. It seems he never overshadowed a critical balance between pushing ultimate responsibility and honor to God or himself. This form of leadership is rarely mirrored today.
We learn something from Moses' leadership: Repeatedly, maturity is measured by how much of our life we’re willing to yield to our heavenly Father. You see, God’s sons and daughters don’t tell Him what’s best or what to do. The prophet Jeremiah sheds similar light on this theme, “Can I not do with you Israel, as this potter does?” When applying this to our own lives, it reads as follows: Can I not do with you my bride as the potter desires declare the Lord!
RETURNING TO CLAY
Clay is this earthen material that has no power to resist or hinder the potter. The Potter, the One True God, has the ultimate power to arrange our lives according to His will. Hence, things come to us in life that seems good unto Him. Like when God drove Israel from one place to the other and then scattered them to the earth's four corners. Always, we remain at the mercy of our Father. Yet, God knows our God-given-ability and what potential resides within us. In other words, our Father knows our spiritual, physical, emotional constitutions, as any parent knows their child. Could Moses have known in advance that he would be carrying a staff of power following 40 years of wondering before his call? Could he have known that he would be used to bring down the most powerful nation of his day with that same staff? Or part the Red Sea, and turn the Nile into blood? The answer is a resounding no!
You see, God-given abilities remain undiscovered until we arrive on the divine path of calling coupled with surrender. At each higher step comes a greater calling, followed by new skills never learned before. Jeremiah 18:4 conveys this principle. “The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. The songwriter expressed this attitude, “have Thine own way, Lord. Have Thine own way. Thou art the Potter. I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will. While I am waiting, yielded, and still.”
FIVE INGREDIENTS TO CLAY
THROUGHOUT THE COMING months or years, you will either cooperate or contend with the potter for His plans and purposes for your life. This is an absolute fact. You will be on the potter's wheel in the midst of circumstances at any given moment, and an opportunity will arrive to either cooperate or contend. To contend or cooperate, these two choices will determine your positioning for your future, no less than the purposes for you in the Kingdom of God. That's how strategic are our critical responses to our Father at such times. Meditate upon the following four ingredients that our Father uses in our lives. Though each stage and purpose is never bypassed, the process is greatly accelerated today due to the hour that we're in.
1. TIME Give way to process. Make time, your friend, not your enemy. In other words, give the time it's due. We don't know when a shooter will strike or what tomorrow will bring, let alone what any given day will hold for us. Nothing is more predictable than the unpredictability of our current times, let alone that God’s ways are not our ways. It’s a process!
The process allows faith to set things in order and reveals situations as they are. Let me say that time and process refine the metal of our lives. For this refining process to work, it must undergo precise steps precisely "timed." For instance, the Bible states, "let a novice not teach, because time has not prepared them. Proverbs 16:9 ESV; "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Psalm 90:12 ESV, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."
2. DRINK: We Need to Drink. The Holy Spirit and His Word work with us, walking by the Spirit and the living Word for every issue. Our drinking, however, is in proportion to our spiritual thirst. As we need water daily, we need His Word daily. Hence, take the opportunities while you have them to dig your own spiritual cisterns. If not, even the simple storms may crack the cistern of your life and weaken one's spiritual life.
Time and water then go together like a farmer sowing his fields. This principle is at the heart of this verse, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalms, 42:1-2). Then these familiar words come to us from the Lord in Matthew 5: 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
3. FIRE: BE BENDABLE. Sometimes the Lord makes sudden demands of us when He asks for full control of our lives, our businesses, or the schemes we are presently engaged in. This does not mean when situations feel bad, and it is automatically bad. When a situation feels good, is it automatically a good thing? In other words, don't allow circumstances, positive or negative, to determine what God is doing with us and how he is molding our lives. Can we ever really know for sure? Only until our Father reveals it to us. So, rest in the hands of time that your Father holds in His hands.
You see heat tests for sustainability as well as pliability. Trials and tribulations come, heat. The heat can come through people and situations, as they often make up the crucible environment that, in turn, makes us pliable in the potter's hands. God's order of business is to burn off the dross, so He can purify those impurities that find their way back into our hearts: God wants good desires, right attitudes, right-thinking, righteous actions, and conduct.
4. SKILLFUL HANDS: Be more Acceptable in Your Fathers Hands. "The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay (Jeremiah 18:2-6).
We are in our Father's hands at all times, aren't we? Even though we were created with the freedom to make our own moral choices, God does whatever He wills with His creation (Psalm 135:6; 155:3; Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 46:9–11). Time reveals that a loving Father's gentile hands are always forming us. "O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter." This is the conclusion that all of God's people must come to in life. (Isaiah, 64:8).
To conclude, learn to accept things gracefully, always work to be lenient in your conclusions. Recall that our earliest principles of the Shemittah are a cessation of personal control. Ecclesiastes 7:8 states, "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."