Jeremiah 18, God Claims Full Rights Over Your Life
1. God Has The Right To Shape Your Life
2. God Has The Right To Reshape Your Life
3. God Has The Right To Direct One Step At A Time
4. God Has The Right To Not Explain Anything In Advance
Jeremiah 18, God Claims Full Rights Over Your Life
Jeremiah 18, God Claims Full Rights Over Your Life
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Here in Jeremiah chapter 18.
The Lord calls Jeremiah to go visit the House of the Potter and it causes me to wonder and consider.
I wonder if you have ever heard the story of Kutol.
Anybody familiar with the story of?
Kutol. It's a company that exists back east in Ohio. It was founded in the early 1900s, right around 1912, I believe.
And it was a company that manufactured cleaning products.
But it had its share of struggles over the next few decades after it began, and so in the 1930s it was really struggling, and it came up with a a cleaning material for wallpaper.
And I guess in those days, this was before my time.
Harvey, you might be able to tell us about it.
They used coal for heating inside of homes, and so there would be all of this soot and things that would be kind of stuck to the wall as a result.
And so they figured out a way and they produce material so that.
People could clean their walls at home and clean off all that gunk and soot and stuff that had been going on.
Different kinds of heating options were available to homes.
And I'm not going to try to pretend like I know what those different kinds are, but different kinds became available, and so people moved away from coal and the product that really kind of was the lifeblood of this company could toll they were.
Seeing it decline and decline in decline, and they were in a serious predicament and on the verge of going out of business.
And there's it was a family business.
There was all kinds of, you know, family things that were happening at the time.
Time. And so as they saw it decline, it was in the early 1950s, late 1940s that they were on the verge of bankruptcy and they were scrambling to find something else, some way to save the company.
And what they found was a school teacher.
And the school teacher was using their product in a way that they had not anticipated.
Again, the company name is Kutol and in the 40s and 50s as they were about to go under, they found this school teacher who is using their product to inside the school teach kids how to.
Kind of work with clay, but it was in a softer form and it became what you and I know today.
I'm sure you can name it quite clearly.
This was originally invented by this company to clean the walls, but that was declining.
The demand for that was declining.
And so they pivoted and it's a a common case to study as a as you look at businesses and the idea of pivoting it was a.
Strategic move for the company to change direction as a result of changing demands and a pivot is a a dramatic shift in the direction of a company to you know work on and focus on something else and and so it actually became the manufacturer.
Year of play DoH now it still exists today this company and they still make cleaning products and so this division was split off and later on sold to Hasbro and you don't need all those details but.
I find the history interesting here.
The change and and how it started out one way, but was used in a completely different way and became popular in a completely different way and saved the company.
It's amazing to think about all of the intricacies of those things and it really relates to what we consider tonight.
Here in Jeremiah Chapter 18 as we look at the illustration of the Potter.
And here God says to Jeremiah, I want you to go watch something.
I want you to go visualize something and have a clear picture of something in your head.
So go to the Potter house and just sit there for a little bit and see what's going on.
Take in and visualize and understand what it is that you're seeing so that then I can give you.
And in this message, God is essentially saying, summarizing a bit.
I am the Potter, I'm the Play-doh master.
I'm the one who's in control and forming things and shaping things.
And looking at his people, he says you are the clay.
I'm the Potter, you are the clay.
I've titled the message this evening as we.
Consider this idea.
God claims full rights over your life.
Statement and declaration that he is the Potter and that his people are the clay.
He is making a claim and declaring here in this chapter that he has full right to do what he thinks is best.
In verse 6 here of Jeremiah 18, he addresses the House of Israel, he says.
Oh, House of Israel, can I not do with you as this Potter says the Lord. Look, as the clay is in the Potter's hand, so are you in my hand or House of Israel? The Potter gets to sit down at the Potter's wheel.
And form and fashion what he wants to form in fashion and the Potter has full rights.
To form and fashion a lump of clay into whatever form that he desires, a cup, a bowl of vase, some other utensil, or some other vessel.
He he's able to develop something according to whatever he wants, and God here is asserting those kinds of rights.
Over his people, over his creation as well, and so we're going to consider this in four points this evening to help us.
Recognize the rights that God has in our lives and really to help us, hopefully.
Surrender to those rights.
Point #1 this evening, we're not going to really tie all of these two verses. So point number one is God has the right to shape your life.
God has the right to shape your life, verse 3 again says.
Then I went down to the Potters House and there he was making something at the wheel.
Jeremiah goes down to the Potter house, and there is the Potter.
There's clay on the wheel, the water is being added and the wheel is spinning and there is some kind of shape.
Being formed and fashioned and that lump of clay is taking shape and becoming something specific as the Potter.
Applies his will to that lump of clay.
I went down to the Potters House, he said.
And there he was making something.
At the wheel.
What was he making?
He was making something.
He was not negotiating with the clay saying, OK, clay, I think you would really make a great vessel of this.
Type, but I'd really love to hear your thoughts.
What do you think you should become and what what is it that you desire to?
What is it that you've always dreamed of becoming?
Lump of clay?
Like what is it that you desire that Jeremiah did not hear a negotiation, he did not hear any kind of petitioning of the clay?
To the Potter.
He went and there was the Potter making something.
Jeremiah doesn't even know what he's making.
It's just something.
Something at the wheel.
He's making it.
Only the Potter knows because he hasn't disclosed it, but it's in his mind, it's in his heart and it's what he desires and that's what he is working on and fashioning there.
On the will.
On the wheel, not the will.
Fashioning his will on the wheel with the clay.
Now again in verse 6, God says to the House of Israel.
Don't I have this right?
Can I not do this with you as this Potter?
I am the Potter, you are the clay, and I have the right.
God asserts the right.
To form and fashion, not petition and say, here's what I'm thinking.
Let's negotiate a little bit.
Let's try to, you know, understand and figure out, you know, maybe we can come to some kind of agreement together.
God is declaring I have the right.
To bring about life and circumstances to right, raise up nations and cast them down, I have the the right to arrange the world and creation.
In the way that I please, Pastor Warren Wiersbe says the interpretation of the image was national, relating to the House of Israel, but the application was individual, calling for a response from the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
It also calls for a personal response.
God is directly addressing the nation of Judah, the Nation of Israel.
And he's addressing the circumstances that the nation is in.
In this illustration of the Potter and the clay.
But as Warren Wisby says, the application was individual.
He calls the individuals to react and respond to this illustration that God is providing.
And so we can also take this illustration and understand there is a national interpretation of this even for us today.
And looking at our nation, that God is the Potter and the United States is the clay, and God has the rights to raise it up and to cast it down and to raise up other nations and to change circumstances and to bring heatwaves or storms.
Or, you know, whatever God has the right to bring about.
Whatever he desires.
Upon our nation but.
Even as God deals with a nation as a whole, he's always interested in the individuals, and so God would look to us and.
Say I'm the.
Potter, you individually are the clay.
And there is much to glean from this illustration for us.
If you think about pottery today, pottery is not so much the way that it was for Jeremiah and Jeremiah's day.
And I don't just mean the technology involved, but pottery was the way of life back then because that's how they got all their dishes.
And you know, any kind of vessel that they needed, they would go to the Potter and so every community.
Would have a Potter. We don't really have that around in our society today, that there is pottery more as an artistic thing, more as a hobby type thing, but not as a necessity of life as it was in Jeremiah's day, and pottery as an art.
Kind of lends to another interesting idea an understanding of what God is talking about here, and that is the idea of creative rights.
There is what is called creative rights that forms of art artistic expressions.
Cannot just be taken by others and used however they see fit that there is a an inherent ownership that we provide in our society for expressions of art.
So if I take a really fantastic sunset photo.
Harvey can't take that photo.
And now go and sell it without my permission and become a millionaire for his, you know, luxurious retirement life off of my photo without my permission.
The very fact that I took the photo, that I'm the operator who saw it, took the opportunity and took snapped the photo.
That gives me creative.
And if I take a lump of clay and I form something really amazing.
Out of it, which would never happen.
But if that were the case.
Rick could not take that and go sell it for a fortune and say this was, you know, hand formed by Jerry Simmons and everybody goes, whoa, that's worth $0.25.
And so Rick can't do that without my permission.
I have the rights over that.
That is illegal for him to take that and begin to.
Use it in a way that I have not given permission for.
In a similar way, picturing God as the Potter and us as the clay, we need to understand that God has creative rights over us.
That we are his creation from the very beginning.
We came into existence at his will and by his power.
And he has worked and formed and shaped.
I've been involved in our lives.
So that here we are today, the product of his creativity.
And we need to understand that God has the right to shape my life because I'm his creative work.
And I don't get to just do whatever I want to do or think whatever I want to think or go wherever I want to go, that I need to recognize the right that God has in my life to form and shape, to bring about circumstances, to change geography or or or situations God has.
Full creative rights.
In our lives.
In Ephesians, chapter 2.
Paul tells us by Grace you have been saved through faith.
And that not of yourselves.
It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Here, the apostle Paul is reminding us of how salvation works.
That we have spiritual life by the grace of God, and it's never been our efforts.
We've never earned or deserved the work that God has done in our lives.
But but he explains that at the end there in verse 10 he says for we are his workmanship, which is an artistic word.
It's a it's.
A work of art.
Many times people refer to it or translate it as masterpiece.
We are his masterpiece.
Poema where his poem another kind of artistic expression.
We are his pottery, where his poem were his painting.
Where were his artistic creation?
And created uniquely and distinctly in Christ Jesus.
For good works.
To have a life, to have the shape of our life prepared beforehand, that we should walk in the things that got us prepared for us.
And so there is immense creativity that God has.
Demonstrated in our lives, in our physical lives and our very existence.
And our spiritual lives and the path set before us.
God has the right to shape your life.
He has the right to shape the way we seek him, the way we serve him, the way that we walk with him, the way that we share him.
The way that we know him.
He has the right.
Full rights over our lives asserted by the Lord.
And so there's such a thing as creative rights, but there's also another type of rights that God can assert over us, and that is ownership rights.
Something has been purchased.
If you get a motion alerts in the middle.
Of the night.
And you go out to your.
Driveway and you find me borrowing your car.
You will very quickly assert your ownership rights, right that that you have the right to say no, you can't use my car.
Now if I am trying to get into your vehicle and you come out and.
You say, no, that's not permissible, you can't do that.
And if I say, well, I just, I'm not trying to take your car, I'm just trying to upgrade your stereo.
You probably wouldn't believe me, but even if that was the truth, even if that was my intentions, you as the owner can say no, thank you.
You don't have the right to open my car and upgrade my stereo.
You need to move along.
You need to go away.
You have ownership rights.
If I come and I say, listen, I just want.
To wash your car every night.
You have ownership rights and you could say this is my property.
What you're standing on this is my vehicle.
No, you you don't get to wash my car every day.
You don't get to upgrade my stereo.
You don't get to borrow my car unless I give you permission.
Unless I want you to.
I own it.
And if I go and I take a bat to your headlights.
You assert your ownership and you say you can't do that.
Whether it's good or bad, you have rights over what I do towards your vehicle.
In a similar way, God has ownership rights.
Over us Peter tells us in first Peter, chapter one, if you call on the father who without without partiality judges each.
I'm sorry, judges.
According to each one work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.
Knowing that you are not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.
As of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
You were redeemed, Peter says.
And so that.
Should change the way that you think, and it should change the way that you behave.
It should impact your life because.
You were not redeemed.
You were not purchased with corruptible things, with worthless things.
You were purchased with the precious blood of Christ.
God has ownership rights as creator, but he also has ownership rights and that he has shed his blood.
To give us life.
And so we've been redeemed.
And Peter says that ought to impact the way that you live, so that you live in fear.
Not fear is in running from God.
Not fear is in cowering in a corner and never doing anything.
But fear in recognizing I belong to God and I don't have his permission to do whatever I want to do.
I don't have his permission to take any course that I want to take.
I need to make sure that I stay in the path.
That he has for me.
God has the right to shape your life, to say who you hang out with, to see what kind of vocabulary you have, to see how you spend your time, what movies you watch, what career you have, what school you go to, what church you go to, where in the world you live.
God has full rights.
To your life.
To direct, to sheep, to guide.
He has creative rights.
He has ownership rights.
Over each of us.
And that's important because well.
The illustration begins to break down as you think about the Potter and the clay.
The illustration begins to break down.
Every illustration does this, even the illustrations that God provides that that they're not exactly perfect and they're not meant to match up one to one exactly through every, you know, imaginable scene in scenario.
Where the Potter and the clay illustration breaks down is the clay has no will.
Is not autonomous.
And doesn't make decisions, it just sits there.
And is impacted by the Potter.
As we apply this to us, we need to recognize and understand God has given us will.
He's given us choice.
And a lot of freedom.
To choose and exercise our will, even if it's contrary to and against.
The will of God.
And So what this means for us, this picture for us, really demonstrates the amount of surrender that we need to have when it comes to the Lord, that we would be more and more like a lump of clay.
That is fully surrendered.
The lump of clay cannot.
Choose to just get off the wheel.
It just doesn't have that capacity.
But God has given us the capacity to get off the wheel to some degree, right, because God is God and he could still set us on and and shape our life, and he retains the rights to do that, but at the same time he has given us the opportunity to resist his will.
To ignore his will, to fight against his will, or to willingly follow his will.
And so we all exercise our will.
And to varying degrees.
We exercise our will.
In compliance with the will of God or in Defiance.
Of the will of God.
And that's why Peter says we need to conduct our time here in fear.
Surrendering to the will of God and and submitting to what he has, finding out, discovering Paul tells us in Romans chapter 12.
To to find out, learn to approve what is the perfect and acceptable will of God that there is to be this part that we have of seeking out and and discovering.
The shape that God wants our life to take so that we can.
Collaborate with him and be part of that willingly.
Have goals and desires in our lives.
We have things that we want to see happen.
Things that we would be so excited.
If they were to unfold in the way that we imagine and we desire.
Are not aligned with God's desires.
And doesn't mean that we don't plan.
That the scriptures.
Talk about the importance of planning and looking ahead, but.
It's always in submission.
To what God desires for us, James tells us in James Chapter 4.
He says come now you who say today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit, whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and.
Then vanishes away.
Instead, you ought to say, if the Lord Wills, we shall live and do this or that.
Now, James here is not suggesting.
Just insert these magic words to all of your plans and then everything is great.
What he's saying is you should find out if it's the Lord's will, and you should be genuinely seeking the Lord if this is your will, here's my plan.
I'm going to go here and I'm going to make this money and then I'm going to come back over here and I'm going to spend that money.
And then I'm going to go this way and enjoy that money and and here's my plans.
Not my will be done, but your will be done.
That's the idea that.
He is portraying here and.
So as we plan the next phase of our life.
We need to understand, God continues to say, I hold that right.
Also, when do you get to retire?
Pick on you for a moment.
In October, she retires and she has plans for that retirement phase of her life, right?
But make sure that you say if the Lord Wills and understand that God has the right to shape your life.
Remember our brother Rick here.
He had some goals and desires at his retirement also, and very quickly.
That phase of his life was not what he.
It was very different.
God holds the rights to shape our life and we might think the next season is the season that we're looking forward to and we want.
And it might be in a completely different season.
And we need to let God to not resist God, to to submit to God and surrender to God.
He is the Potter and we are the clay.
He has full rights.
To shape our life, to direct our lives, to move us, to shake us, to shape us however he sees fit.
Well, moving on to the second point to consider as we look at Jeremiah Chapter 18 in this illustration of the Potter and the clay.
Point #2 God has the right to reshape your life.
God has the right to reshape your life.
Check out verse 4.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand.
Of the Potter.
So he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the Potter to make.
As Jeremiah is watching the Potter work, he's forming his fashioning the clays, moving around and taking different shapes, and and coming together and.
At some point the Potter recognizes this clay.
Is not good for the vessel that I was making.
This clay maybe is not the right consistency.
Maybe there is some Pebble or something in the clay that causes it to be deformed and so the previous plan is shelved.
This lump of clay cannot be that vessel.
It needs to be something else.
And so he made it again.
He reshaped it.
Brought it back down to a lump from whatever form it had taken, and now.
Re started reshaped.
To a form that seemed good to the Potter again, as we consider this illustration.
And applying it to us as individuals, applying it to God, working in our lives.
He is the Potter and I am the clay.
We understand right off the bat that if anything is marred, it is not.
Because of God.
But God is perfect and holy in all of his ways.
He makes no mistakes.
So the mooring of the vessel is an issue, not?
With the Potter.
But of the Kleinow, here, again, is when the illustrations perhaps breakdown because, well, if we go look at a Potter.
The Potters that we visits are not going to be perfect and so they very well could make mistakes and then change course and shape something different because they couldn't pull off the original intention that they wanted, right?
But of course, God.
Is not like that.
He is perfect.
And so it's not a mistake.
Of the Potter.
Looking at the Lord.
That is the issue here in verse 4.
It is some.
Failure, some deficiency.
Some deficits in the clay.
That caused a reshaping to be necessary.
And of course, this accurately pictures us.
As clay, yes, we understand we are marred.
There is issues.
We have a sinful nature and we fall short and so.
It's not hard to imagine God having plans for us and purposes for us that we are just not able to fulfill because of our failures, because of our weaknesses.
Because we are marred.
But the encouraging thing to look at is we consider this illustration is that God doesn't give up.
When plan A doesn't work.
The Potter doesn't just say this lump of clay is worthless.
Just toss it out.
Bring in a better one, never working with that clay again.
God doesn't give up when plan A doesn't work, when his ideal for an individual isn't fulfilled because of the unwillingness of the individual.
He doesn't say, well, that's it.
I'm never working with that person again.
He says OK.
Got a little resistance here that that lump is not supposed to be there.
But all is not lost.
Take a new course and reshape this lump of clay still into something great.
Still into something useful and and I'm able to work with this in a way that will still ultimately be good.
And here the Lord is through this illustration, reminding us we do have a say.
We don't get to negotiate and call the shots and demand things of God.
But we do get the opportunity to work with him.
Or work against him.
Jump down for a moment 2 verses 7 through 10 in verse seven.
It says the instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a Kingdom to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it.
If that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster.
That I thought to bring upon it.
So here God gives an example.
Like I'm the Potter, you're.
The clay in verse 6.
And that means I retain the right?
To do something different.
So when I say concerning a nation that it is going to be destroyed.
When I announce judgment on a nation, if that nation repents and turns from its evil, God says, I reserve the right.
To show mercy and not bring the judgment that I had initially announced on it.
This is not God being wishy washy.
This is not God going back on his word.
This is God saying I.
Retain the right to show mercy when people repent.
I hold that right and I I maintain that right?
Will show mercy.
Even though I have announced judgment, and of course the classic example of that is the city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.
When Jonah is sent.
To preach 40 days and Nineveh will be destroyed.
And the people turn from their evil, and God relents.
From the disaster that he had said.
He would bring.
God retains the right to show mercy.
And so the Potter says I'm going to destroy you.
But Clay, you have a choice.
You have a say, and if you submit to the Potters will.
The partner retains the right to say, oh, actually, you know what?
This clay is actually more moldable than I was initially saying, and so I can shape it into what I wanted to shape it into.
You ever say you get to choose, you get to be part of the work of God, even if God has announced judgment.
Well, looking at verse 9 and 10, it says and the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a Kingdom to build and to plant it.
If it does evil in my sight, so that it does not obey my voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I.
Said I would benefit it.
So God says it works both ways.
If I said nation, I'm going to build you and you're going to be established and you are going to be prominent in all the earth, but then that nation does evil.
True to his.
Word, but he's never trapped by his word.
So that people could say, alright, you promise, so we can go and live however we want to live and we can do whatever evil we want to do.
And you're stuck, Lord, because you promised foolishly.
Now the clay is never going to be able.
To say that to the Potter.
Even at a national scale, God says look.
I retain the right.
If you change, I can change.
And if you are no longer a nation that's worthy to build and to plan to to be prominent, then I'm going to relent concerning that good.
That I declared.
And there will be judgment instead.
So God retains that, right?
Can reshape your life.
We were headed on this path.
We were headed, not on that course.
Depending on your participation with him.
You get to have a say in the course that it takes.
And you're never in a position where you can kind of force God against his will.
He retains the right.
And so it's important for us to understand the picture here.
The masters hands.
And God can take this Play-doh and he can form and fashion something amazing out of it, like a green dinosaur.
And if we're willing and if we work with him and are submitted to him, he can build this.
But if we're resisting and finds that the green clay is just not working so well, the, you know, green Play-doh.
I can't really fashion it the way that I want.
It's it's rebelling against me.
Well, maybe I'll just make a pig then, and so.
Let's take a different shape.
But if that's not really working out and there's some resistance there, well, maybe I'll just kind of make a crude figure, you know, nothing real fancy or just, you know, just kind of very basic shape because that's all this lump of clay is willing to surrender and willing to allow.
And if that still fails, well, maybe I'll just make a big slug.
And that you know that'll.
Just be a simple way to use this clay in a way that is still something, but it's not what I originally designed.
It's not what I intended.
I wanted stuff that really cool this big green dinosaur.
But you know, OK, all the clay is willing to allow is.
The form of a slug, and so God says.
I retain the.
Right, you resist.
You don't want to be the dinosaur you don't want.
To allow me.
To shape you the way that I want and and have you know all of these intricacies and details and be part of this plan in this way.
Well, there's a plan.
You get to have a say plan A or Plan B depends on my submission to God.
And some of us are on plan Q because we have just refused and God is taking us down another course.
And then we resist and refuse, and got us taking us down another course, and we resist and refuse.
God has the right to.
Reshape all along the way.
To take us on a new course.
Based on our response to him and our responsiveness to his word and his work in our Lives, Pastor David Guzik says the main lesson is that God is free to respond to his people according to their own moral conduct and choices, and previous promises do not restrict the exercise of his.
Correction or justice?
Again, God is true to his word, but he's never trapped by his word.
And so we get the opportunity to participate with God or to resist God, and he will reshape our lives accordingly as he sees fit.
A really good example.
Of this is King Saul in the book of First Samuel.
King Saul was with his army.
The Philistines were coming against them.
There was a set time that God had established where Samuel would meet him and they would offer a sacrifice to the Lord.
And then they would go to battle.
But Saul couldn't wait that time.
He saw the situation unfolding.
The Philistines were getting closer, his army was getting scared and scattering, and so he just thought, I have to take matters into my own hands.
And he offered to sacrifice himself without waiting for the time and without waiting for Samuel.
And Samuel tells him in first Samuel, chapter 13, verse 13.
Samuel says to Saul, you have done foolishly.
You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which he commanded you.
For now the Lord would have established your Kingdom over Israel forever.
But now your Kingdom shall not.
The Lord has sought for himself a man after his own heart.
And the Lord has commanded him to be Commander.
Over his people.
Because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
There's an alternative timeline here.
God would have established your Kingdom, King Saul, and instead of talking about the throne of David thousands of years later like we do, we would have been talking about the Messiah, you know, on the throne of King Saul.
The Lord would have established your Kingdom over all Israel forever.
But you were a hard lump of clay, and you resisted, and you refused.
You allowed the stress and pressure of the situation to move you out of the plan of God, out of the will of God.
And so you resisted what he said, and so you've changed the course, moving from plan A to Plan B can't go.
Down that path any longer?
And so God has chosen David, a man after his own heart.
To be the king after you.
Now this really isn't a surprise.
Saul really resisted God plan at the beginning and first Samuel chapter 10 when the coronation was supposed to happen, Saul was hiding amongst the stuff.
He was resisting the plan of God from the beginning. That wasn't humility. That was disobedience. He resisted God plan for sacrifice before this battle, and then he spent the rest of his life resisting God's new plan.
To the end of his life he was resisting God plan to put David on the throne, and for the rest of his life he was fighting against it, fighting against it.
Listen, Saul could have recovered after Chapter 13 and his Kingdom would have been over, but he could have lived a long and good life and accomplished much for the Lord and found much satisfaction and joy.
In the work of God and in the plan of God, if he would have submitted to God after that.
But he continued to resist, and he was miserable, and so he was tormented by an evil spirit.
He was killed in battle.
He, to the end of his life, was a miserable man fighting against God.
God has the right to reshape your life.
And even if he reshapes it into something because of some resistance in us, if he reshapes us into something, it's going to be good, and it's going to be for our good.
God never just reshaping and changing course just out of spite or just to pay us back.
He's always wanting what's best for us and working out what is good for us and so it's always in our best interest, even if we failed previously.
Don't follow the example of King Saul change course.
And now, wherever you're at, Plainy might be off the table.
You know, sometimes we can be surprised, though.
God can even bring us back to plan A in his mercy and grace upon us.
But but even if that's not the case, even if planning will will never see the light of day again.
Plan B or C or Q, whatever plan we're on when we submit to the Lord right now and allow him to reshape our lives.
Well, all of the promises of God come with that.
Joy and peace.
God working for our good for all of eternity.
Is promised to us.
As we bring ourselves into submission, in compliance with and cooperation with the Lord.
And the shape and the form and the work that he wants to do in us.
Well, thirdly, I want to consider this evening that God has the right to direct one step at a time.
God has the right to direct you.
Little by little by little by little by little.
If that's what he chooses to do.
Look at verse one and two again the word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying arise and go down to the Potters house.
And there I will cause you to hear my words.
God doesn't just show up and say, alright, Jeremiah, picture of Potter, here's the whole story, here's the whole picture, here's how that applies, and here's all the things that I need you to say.
Tell us, Jeremiah.
Hey, Jeremiah, go here.
'cause, I want to tell you something.
Well, just tell me God.
Don't make me wait.
Don't make me go there.
Like now I'm in suspense.
Like just tell me.
God first gives a little bit of instruction and then we see Jeremiah obey in verse 3.
Then I went down.
To the Potter's house.
God didn't give Jeremiah the whole plan.
He didn't tell him what kind of.
Message he was going to give, right?
If we were in Jeremiah shoes, we might be negotiating with God.
Well, what kind of message are you going to tell me?
Like, is it a good message or is this going to be hard?
This is gonna be one of those messages where people are going to hate me 'cause I have to give this message like it's not worth it.
I'm not going to go to the Potters house to get a message that people are going to hate me for.
So tell me right now, is it a good message or it is a hard message and and then I'll decide if I want to go down to the potty?
Allison hear the message that.
You want to give me?
No, Jeremiah just went.
God gave the instruction the first step and then Jeremiah went to the Potters House.
Us and then verse five.
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying.
Oh, House of Israel, can I not do with you as this Potter?
Says the Lord.
The only way Jeremiah got to hear this message.
Was by first obeying the little bit of instruction that God.
Had given to him.
God having full rights over our lives.
Gives him the right.
To direct us one step at a time.
I don't know how you feel about directions given to you from your phone.
I couldn't live without them.
I drive from here to Costco and I turn on my directions.
I know how to get there mostly usually.
But also, I don't know what traffic is going to be like and I don't know, you know, what kind of accidents there might be, your construction on the road.
And so I usually will turn it on to find out, and I'll allow the turn by turn directions.
But sometimes I I don't like the turn by turn directions because like, I'm trying to figure out when I'm leaving my driveway.
Am I going to go the back way down Archibald or am I going to take the 15 to go to Costco?
And so I I don't want to just listen to.
The next step I want to look at the whole list of directions and figure out in advance and see in advance which route is this taking me on.
And there are so many times in our lives where we want that full picture.
I want the whole list of steps God give me the whole layout.
Which turn are we making and which street are we taking, and are we going to turn left at this one?
Are we going to turn left at that one and how are we going to go?
And and and maybe why even like why not take the Hamner?
Lord, I could just take Hamner, like why not just take him?
Why are you taking me down, Archibald?
Can you explain?
And I'm not going to leave the driveway to explain why I need to go down Hamner instead art?
But like we.
Find ourselves in a situation many times where we want the explanation, we want the whole picture.
And God is many times saying I just want to give you turn by turn directions.
You don't need to.
Worry about the rest.
Just turn right here.
Go down this road.
For a mile, and then what?
Well, sometimes it's good on that road for another mile.
And then and then what?
Well, then it's turned left.
Lord, why can't you tell me?
I could have got there faster if you would have just let me go and told me where we were trying to get to.
And we, we many times have a great difficulty with this.
But this is often the way that God works now.
Sometimes God chooses to give a whole blueprint and plan and lay things out for us.
I would suggest it's kind of rare for God to work with his children that way.
Starting with Abraham in Genesis chapter 12.
The Lord said to Abraham, get out of your country, from your family and from your father house to a land that I will show you.
Abraham, I'm going to give you turn by turn directions.
I'm not going to give you the.
Whole list and show you where your destination is.
Just turn right here.
Go straight there, turn left there.
And when you get there, I'll tell you that you're there.
You gotta trust me that much.
You gotta surrender to me that much.
You gotta walk with me that closely.
That step by step by step, turn by turn, you're letting me direct and speak and influence your life.
We see another good example in the New Testament in acts Chapter 8 with.
Phillip, an Angel of the Lord, spoke to Phillip, saying arise, go down toward the South along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.
This is desert.
Phillip was in the midst of a great ministry and a revival breaking out and the Lord says go to the desert.
No explanation, no details until he's there.
Then he sees the Ethiopian eunuch.
Then the Lord tells him, here's the next step.
Go run up and catch the chariot.
God has the right to direct one step.
At a time.
It keeps us close, keeps us trusting him, keeps us walking with him.
Keeps us listening.
For his voice.
The example of Abraham again in Genesis Chapter 22, the Lord says I want you to go sacrifice Isaac, your son, your only son.
On Mount Moriah.
He took that step, he took that instruction, and we know the Lord intervened and stopped him before he executed it.
Before he put Isaac to death.
God intervened. But.
Had to keep himself in a place of willingness to hear from God, to be directed by God.
So that he could experience.
Even though he knew what God said, he already.
Had a word from the Lord.
He knew what he had to do.
And where he had to do it.
But he still needed to be receptive to God, saying, you know what?
I retain the right to redirect you at any point.
Along the way.
And Isaac was grateful that Abraham allowed the Lord to redirect him along the way.
Right that this is the way that God works many times in our lives, Pastor Warren Wisby says there's mystery involved in the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility, but we don't have to explain the will of God.
Before we can obey it, we live by divine promises and precepts, not theological explanations.
And God isn't obligated to explain anything to us.
He's not obligated to tell us the whole story, all of the reasons why, and the whole list in advance.
He has the right to direct one step at a time, and you know what this means.
This means not.
Every day, in every moment.
But from time to time, there ought to be some things that you do.
That you have no explanation for other than.
God told me to do this.
There ought to be in your life those occasions.
Long time ago, in past history.
Not just things that you don't know why you're doing them.
Because you just are doing them.
But things that I know God told me to do this.
And it doesn't make sense to me why I don't understand what the Lord is doing in this there.
There should be times in our lives where we are guessing.
I think this might be what God is doing.
I think this might be why God wants me to go this way or talk to that person or engage in that conversation.
I I think that God has this in mind.
Perhaps, you know, this is something I continue to.
Wrestle with and.
My workplace why am I here?
Why does God have me in this role?
It doesn't make any sense.
There is nothing I would volunteer for or desire.
It's something I continue to.
Ponder and consider here at the church.
Why does God have me here as this is not, this does?
Not rationally make sense.
I don't know but.
I keep showing up because God has continued to tell me to keep showing up.
Pursue the role.
And I'm faithful to the best of my ability, 'cause.
That's the instruction that God has given me.
But aside from the work of the Lord, nobody would choose me for pretty much anything that I'm doing in.
This life like.
I'm not a natural fit for any of it.
It doesn't make sense in any degree.
But one step at a time.
God puts me.
Where he wants me to be.
And there should be those things in our lives, those occasions where.
I don't know.
I mean, I can come up with some guesses why God has me in this role at this flooring company.
I can I can make some guesses.
And maybe you could call them educated guesses.
But the reality is, I don't know.
God hasn't told me all that he's planning to do with that.
And and maybe it's not even, you know, for some greatness.
Maybe it's because I need some crushing and so he's giving me this role because I need to be squeezed a bit more and crushed in order to be shaped in the way that he wants to.
Not up to him.
It's not up to me to demand an explanation.
It's it's up to him if he chooses to provide it, and I would suggest, likely I won't know until eternity.
The reasons and the purposes and the whys.
That there ought to be and so the the reason why I'm sharing.
All this is like if we can explain everything in our lives.
Then maybe we need to kind of double check if we're where we're supposed to be on the Potters wheel that that.
Maybe there's some elements of us holding onto things or resisting things, or forcing things.
Missing out on God.
Real plans for us because we demand explanation, understanding.
Before we will engage or involve ourselves in anything.
Well, the 4th point kind of goes along with that.
The counter side to that God has the right to not explain anything in advance.
God is the right to not even give us that first initial step of instruction.
Think about the example of Joseph.
Life just happened to Joseph.
God gave him dreams but didn't tell him what to do with them or what they were going to accomplish or anything like.
That and so.
He just told him to his brothers.
His brothers hated him.
His brother sold him into slavery.
He was falsely accused and put into prison 20 years later.
There is a understanding of what God was doing, but there was no explanation, no preparation, just boom.
Happened to him.
And God has the right to do that.
To any one of us.
Because he's got.
He is the creator he is.
He has creative rights.
He has ownership rights.
He wants what's best for us so we don't have to fear that kind of power in our lives.
But we do need to submit to and understand that we can't demand that God explain everything and that we have an answer for everything.
I mean, it might be 20 years later that Joseph understood.
It might be 20 years later that you understand.
Or as I said, it might not be till eternity.
You want to make it worse?
Think about job.
Job had no explanation, even when.
Showed up at the end.
There was no explanation, right?
No answer to all the questions.
Job didn't need the answers to all the questions once God showed up at the end, but but at the beginning when all of this unfolds.
No advance notice.
No, you know, 4 warnings or preparation.
Calls or anything like that.
It was just boom.
Here is this situation that job is.
In the midst of.
God has the right to not explain anything.
You don't have to tell us one thing.
And the life of job can come upon us.
He has that right.
And again, we don't need to fear it 'cause God is good.
And we also can't demand something different because he is the creator.
He's the Potter.
We are the clay, Paul.
Tells us in Romans Chapter 9.
Who are you to reply against God?
Will the thing formed say to him?
Who formed it?
Why have you made me like this?
And we could stop here for a moment and say, well, yeah, actually we do see that quite a bit, don't we, we.
Don't have the right to say it.
We have the right to challenge God and.
To disagree with him, but we do.
Will the thing formed say to him who formed it?
Why have you made me like this?
Does the Potter does not the Potter?
Have power over the clay.
From the same lump, to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor.
Pride can take one of us and fashion us and shape us into something amazing and take another one of us and form us and shape us and something that's not so amazing from our perspective.
It's all going to be good.
If we allow God to do his work.
And it's all going to be worth it if we will surrender to God.
He owes us no explanation.
Sometimes he gives it, sometimes he hints at it.
We were blessed by that, but but we can't be in a position of demanding it.
Remember when the Lord reinstated Peter?
In John chapter 21.
And then later on told Peter.
Gave him some hints.
About how he would die and Peter looks behind.
Him and sees.
The apostle John and says what about this man?
And Jesus says, if I tell you that he's going to remain till I come, what is that to you?
You follow me.
Jesus didn't tell Peter.
About John, he's made-up a hypothetical.
I could tell you anything I want to about John, but that doesn't matter.
Jesus says you follow me.
You don't live by the explanations you don't determine.
You know whether or not you want to follow depending on what God is going to do in this other person life.
That doesn't matter, Peter.
Like why are you worried about that?
Don't be negotiating with me about that.
You just follow me.
It doesn't matter if other people are going to suffer as much as you are.
It doesn't matter if other people are going to be blessed more than you are.
You follow me.
God has the right.
To not explain anything in advance, in eternity we will know.
As we are fully known, and eternity will have a different perspective.
And in eternity we will thank God for every move that he ever made in our lives.
But he does not have to explain any of that right now.
He has that right.
So God claims full rights over your life.
He has the right to shape your life.
The right to reshape your life when you resist his will.
When you deviate from the path, he has the right to direct one step at a time.
And he has the right to withhold explanations.
Until he turned any.
I want to finish up with this quote from.
Pastor Warren wiersbe.
Like the patient Potter.
God is willing to mold us again when we resist him.
And damage our own lives.
No failure in our lives need be fatal or final.
God gave new beginnings to Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, and Peter when they failed, and he can do the same for us today.
No matter what history we have.
On the Potters wheel.
What lays before us?
Is a whole new batch of opportunities.
No previous failure needs to be fatal or final.
We can agree.
With God about his rights over our lives.
And allow him to shape us, to reshape us, to direct us.
And to give us as much or as little explanation as he wants.
We could submit to God and surrender to God no matter what.
Let's pray, Lord.
I pray that you would help us to recognize the rights that you have.
You assert your creative rights, your ownership rights, and you call us.
To surrender to you, to trust you that.
You love us.
And that you want what's best for us, what you demonstrated, your love at the cross so we can trust that we know once and for all.
You've demonstrated even while we were sinners and opposed to you and hating you, you died for us.
And so, Lord, you're worthy of our trust.
You're worthy of our obedience.
Help us, Lord.
To be soft and moldable, clay in your hands.
To be responsive as you speak.
To be repentant.
What, as you call us out of sin?
Load that we would be excited.
And motivated as you call us forward.
And a service and a ministry into.
The work that you have for us.
Help us to participate with you.
That we might experience.
The fullness of what you have for us.
And Lord, that we might bring glory and honor to you in the lives that we live, we pray this in Jesus name.