Pondering the humble vessel

Today’s Word is very humble indeed. Shema. It is a Hebrew word for “hear and obey.” That means there are three actions. The first is someone speaking. The second is a hearer, someone to receive the message. But there is a sum total of these two things, which, when combined with a catalyst, a choice, causes an action to occur.

Understand that we are not isolated or alone. There is nothing that we can do for ourselves. We cannot cause our heart to beat. Someone creates and sustains us. Are you aware that we are purposed for the Almighty’s hands? As our God so divinely reminds us, not one of us can add one inch to our stature unless the Most High allows us to do something through the works of His hands in us or in others. The truth is that we must be His willing vessels.

Who do we think we are kidding when we tell ourselves this life we have is ours? Our spirit has taken captive an earthen vessel, and we don’t even know we have done so. When we can wrap our minds and hearts around the concept that nothing happens without the permission of the Most High God so that we can fill and be filled, and to grow and learn to love our Creator and one another, then we can begin to know that our journey on this planet that is His footstool has an absolute purpose, even if it is at times, purposed and/or painful.

We hear things. Sometimes we obey them more than other times. We make choices all the time, but in order to make right choices which allow us to freely serve our Creator, we have to first be given a choice. And in order to make that choice, we must learn how to use good judgment. Our choices are going to be either good or bad for us, depending upon whose judgment we follow — the flesh or the Father whose Spirit is holy.

When we are ready to accept that even our thoughts and “choices” are not truly and fully “ours” alone and that we require the Holy Spirit to transform us into the Father’s holy vessels, we’re one step closer to the kind of humility that our King is looking for. You see, we choose with whom we work by the voice that we choose to follow (Shema/obey). We either follow our flesh and the father of flesh (Satan), or we choose to follow the Holy Spirit and the life-giving Father of all. Naturally and supernaturally our Heavenly Father would prefer us to freely and willingly choose Him as our King.

The Most High God creates vessels through the works of His vessel, the heart of His mercy, His Son. He is the potter. We are just a lump of clay that isn’t yet fully formed. The Most High first creates the dust that will be given strength (iron), water (Word) and other ingredients to shape what is first a slurry and slime into a harder lump that will eventually become some kind of vessel. His loving hands throw the wet lump onto the pottery wheel. But that lump isn’t alone. There is a small amount of clay that is a remnant of the very first lump of a clay vessel that was ever made. That remnant is the holiest clay vessel that is ordained before the act of creation to be used as the One who joins the created vessels to the potter’s wheel. That first clay lump/vessel is ordained as our high priest Jesus Christ (Yahusha, Yeshua).

Our Creative Father first made himself a Son, a vessel that contains and reflects His full mind, heart and Spirit. But that vessel was ordained to be tried in the fires just as every man is. There is a piece of that vessel in every man that is held to the potter’s wheel by it. That first vessel doesn’t break. He remains perfect in the process of being formed from start to finish. And just as clay must dry and be kiln-dried to become perfected, Jesus remains perfect within, throughout and beyond the firing process. He remains perfect in the filling process too where He first receives and then later pours out His Father’s Spirit in full. And still He remains perfect as He pours out the new wine into all believers who remain willing to receive and to drink a cup of our Father’s Spirit.

The potter has to add water to a lump of clay that He fashions with His hands in order to make the lump pliable. His foot begins to pump the beam that turns the pottery wheel. The wheel causes the clay to spin in circles over and over again as He molds and guides the spinning lump into the basic form of His design. He imparts some of His creative and loving Spirit into each piece of clay in the process of creation along with fresh, clean water.

One hand leaves the clay for only a moment to obtain more water to continually wash the vessel, while His other hand sustains and continues the shaping process with a gentle, but firm touch. In the process of building the desired image, He may pick up a tool to ease the vessel or to cut portions of it down or off, including any parts that spin out of alignment with His design.

Next He removes the vessel from the wheel with a wire line. It’s a smooth line, but to the clay it may feel like barbed wire. It’s a rod of separation. The hands holding the wire scribe it from the wheel by dragging the wire “rod” across the field. This wire separates the untempered clay pot from the clay that remains attached to the potter’s wheel.

Next He removes the partially formed vessel  from the wheel to dry. Before firing, He may work the vessel further with His hands. He may add things like wire supports for strengthening or more clay for handles or other decorations or cut into the clay with instruments that fine tune. One vessel is ordained with imprints or patterns of spots, while another is fashioned with the pattern of rivers of living water. It is the potter’s choice as to how He fashions His vessels and for what purpose He ordains them.

For some vessels, He adds a handle as a helper, or a spout for pouring out. The design all depends upon what type of vessel He is creating. Some people, some clay will hold onto that potter’s wheel for dear life. They don’t want to separate from their old form as a lump to undergo the divine process that will make them into a new creation. They don’t realize they are destined to be separated from the wheel only for a period of time to be perfected for the next phase of their journey as a finished, ready vessel.

When the preliminary work to shape the vessel is finished, there is yet more work to be done to prove that vessel. Now the potter dresses the pot with glaze and prepares it to enter into the firing kiln. Its temperature is exceedingly hot. It is a proving ground where all nonessential elements burn away. (That is our Earthly life.) There is a process of shrinking and drying that takes place as the vessel is healed and tempered. In the heat of the blaze, the vessels must endure excessively hot temperatures over a long period of time until they either crack and break or are proven perfect as they stand in the flames which try the potter’s design.

The potter watches through the window of the kiln to ensure the fire remains hot enough to do its job, but not too hot as to break the vessels being tried and dried. It is a delicate dance. When the pots are finished, they are removed one by one and carefully inspected to serve the way the potter desires.

Some pots can still crack in the process of being made. The pots which crack during firing will be removed, broken down, and reground into dust to be reshaped into new vessels in another season. There is no condemnation because the pot broke and has to be reformed. The potter is forgiving. There is only a bit of disappointment on the potter’s part that the pot didn’t make it through the firing process. Some pots are rebellious and take a lot of work to break. Some are happy being broken. The potter gives the pot the choice to become the vessel of His design. Each time a pot is broken, it must make the choice to be remade. But in allowing this change to occur, the potter’s skill is strengthened and magnified, which allows the new pot to become more refined and more beautiful that its former self.

Even the potter is affected by His own creation. We just think the Father is off somewhere in a Heavenly place without any idea of what we are going through as vessels. But in truth, He’s here with us in every step of our journey, through His Son. It is the Father in the Son who is making us to become the person, the holy vessel that He desires for us to be. The Father is the creator of the clay and the initial potter. The Son is the one who is a proven potter and vessel and the One who takes the misfired, damaged and broken vessels that still want to become righteous vessels. It is He who crushes them into fine powder to remake them into new vessels in the image and likeness of His Father. What the Son puts His hands to, the Father approves of and embraces, because it is all done by or through faith and by the Son’s proven, righteous judgment.

Our Creator Father isn’t unaffected by the things which He makes or by all that He asks us to endure. Nor is He unaffected by our limitations. He has no limitations that we know of, and yet our limitations are in our flesh. It is the Father who designed the pottery process. Even with our limitations, His grace encourages, but never forces us to choose Him or to walk in the path He ordains for our life; the path of the potter’s wheel. In order for us to make an independent choice, He knows that there must first be a right and a wrong choice to choose from, and He provides the means for this to occur.

He first speaks to man in a garden, with His voice. It was Adam’s choice (as in Adam and his wife), to Shema, to hear and obey the Father’s voice. They turned away and listened to a voice of flesh (a serpent). If we do turn away from Father’s voice, we can no longer clearly hear Him. And yet He provides a vehicle through which even those who listen to the voice of the flesh can still receive Him. Our Father knows all who are dust well because He first creates the dust and then He makes the vessels from that dust.

Father first took the “dust” of His Body, His Word, which He ordained as His Son in the Spirit and in the flesh. But even His own Spirit of His Word had to be tried and proven righteous within an earthen vessel so that Satan, the accuser of the brethren couldn’t claim victory in the great spiritual battle for men’s souls.

The vessels that successfully remain after creation and the battle ground of the firing are carefully removed from the kiln and are air-cooled over time until they are ready for the next step of the journey. A few select vessels may receive an additional “cold” fire painting as a final decoration. This strengthens them in their design plan. Now all they need is time to dry and to harden. In order for the pot to dry quickly, the potter picks up the pot and examines it closely. Then He blows on the paint where it is still wet and helps the pattern to dry. His countenance, His face lights up as He smiles at the works of his hands. Even before he sends a vessel out for use, He shines His love upon it and fills it with the oil of His anointing.

Every created vessel is unique in its design and function. Some vessels are used for an express purpose. Others are more diverse. Some are shiny and colorfully painted, while others are more humble. The same potter has made every vessel with great care. Just because one vessel is a different color or shape than another, the differences don’t diminish their purpose no matter the age, shape, decorations or size.

The greatest vessels can sing about how they are large in size and shape and can hold tremendous amounts of wine to serve the largest wedding parties. That’s great and they are useful. But if one is looking to be anointed with holy oil, they are going to seek and find the smallest and humblest of vessels, because precious ointment is costly.

The humble vessels are the ones used quietly and who are at times overshadowed by the greatest vessels which tower loudly over them. The greatest vessels in size are the ones who are more frequently seen and passed around between fleshly folks who feast and indulge in wine. Meanwhile the humble vessels work diligently and more peacefully in the background practically unseen. Yet the humble anointing jars are the ones used for the greatest purposes. They are the ones ordained to prepare and to preserve the body for burial and resurrection unto eternal life. Their precious contents sanctify all who are touched by same.

The good potter loves the humble vessels just as He does the stately. He is no respecter of persons. Yet one kind of favor (blessings) is upon the precious vessels. Another kind of favor (curses) lies upon vessels that don’t want to be used. They are destined to be discarded, because all flesh dies. We must become spiritual vessels for the Most High God unto eternal life.

Regardless of the type of vessel, believe it or not, each can magnify the potter in a different way, and be used for His glory. The good vessels to His glory, and the evil vessels again, to His glory through deliverance.

Romans 9:21 – Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor?

The lesson for us is to love one another as He loves us. All that is created is His. He creates evil and good. He is the one controlling all things. Rest in His very capable hands. Wait on Him to reveal your purpose to you. Then walk in it according to His Word that He has spoken and that His Spirit continues to speak to you.

Be humble. Be the vessel of the anointing oil. The wine vessels are reserved for the wedding feast, but mankind has been partaking of the feasts of the Lord before the ordained time. Jesus doesn’t drink the wine again until He drinks it new in His Father’s Kingdom with us. Man has long been drinking from the wine vessels before it is time, like the little child who dips his fingers into the cake icing before the cake is served. It’s time to put down our wine vessels and pick up the vessels of the anointing so we ourselves can be anointed as His holy vessels.

The holiest vessel of all that has been given to mankind is the Word, the Holy Bible. It contains the living, breathing Holy Spirit that manifests Christ Jesus in the flesh of all of the living who “eat” of that Word. Drink of His anointed Spirit and you will allow the potter to break your vessel and reshape it into a new creation that fully serves and glorifies our creator.

Those who make themselves great will be humbled.
Those who are humble will be exalted.
Before you worry about your neighbor’s vessel, be concerned about your own. That isn’t just in the flesh, because nothing we can do can ever make us righteous. We need the righteousness of the Lamb of God manifesting in our flesh to be holy. We receive Him by repentance and by being willing to allow His Spirit to transform us into His image and likeness.

What does the Lamb do? He forgives us even while we are yet in sin, and therefore, so must we forgive others even when they aren’t repentant!

Luke 23:34 – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

We are all broken vessels. Some of us are allowing Jesus to reform us, but some of us aren’t. But get this.

Deuteronomy 32:9 – For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Jesus the Son takes all of the sinners, just the way they are. He knows they are broken vessels, and forgives them for their ignorance. After He dies, His Father’s mercy and forgiveness are imputed onto the repentant by the One we receive as our high priest in the flesh and Spirit: Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Spirit of the Most High, the Son who receives all who will believe in Him. They are His sheep. Those who follow the Spirit of the Good Shepherd, the potter’s Son, are His. Jesus is the lump of clay that holds the renewed lump to the potter’s wheel where they can be reshaped into the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father.

Those who are following another Spirit, the spirit of the flesh, reject the Messiah the Father sends. They are following the father of sin, Satan, upon whom the wrath of God will fall. All who are fleshly will die both in the flesh and eternally in the spirit. We are all like Nicodemus, and we must all make a righteous choice. Check this out:

John 19:39 – And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

That mixture that Nicodemus brought was both bitterness and healing. That hundred pound weight is important to ponder. It’s the currency of the bride, a bride price for a daughter, the future bride of Messiah. This image is a person who is religious and who is standing before the Messiah with two choices in their hands. They can choose their flesh, the path that leads to bitterness and death. Or they can choose to anoint themselves with the fruit of the vine or plant that heals. The choice is theirs alone to make. Nicodemus asks Jesus a question and He answers. Then Nicodemus must choose which preparation, which choice to make. One path leads to bitterness and death, and the other to healing and eternal life. Choose wisely! What did Jesus say to the religious Nicodemus when he came before him lacking understanding?

“You are a teacher of the Jews and you don’t know this?”

Yet Jesus patiently explains truth to all people, whether they are Nicodemus or they are people of today. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He will do His Father’s will so that we may be enlightened freely and thus bear righteous fruit to glorify the Father in Heaven.

Leave it to the Spirit of the Son of the Father to rebuke those from our flesh who we think or imagine need rebuking. Our job is to preserve the Messiah’s Kingdom and His people until he comes in a manner that is loving and patient like a humble vessel, not loud and overbearing like a supersized wine bottle. When we are preserving a precious vessel, we take care so as not to damage that vessel! We treat the vessel as precious and as we would like ourselves to be treated: with respect and dignity.

The pots, the vessels the potter is creating and making with the works of His hands are Spiritual. The hands of those who do the works of the Father by His Son’s guidance are those to whom we should be looking to lead us to His truth. Although they appear outwardly as flesh, they are driven by His Spirit and they are diligent in humbly pointing us to the way of the Father. That way, that truth, and that life are found in His Son, our Messiah Jesus.

Allow the Father’s Son, the Holy Spirit of the resurrected Messiah to move you and to move fully within you. It may hurt a little as your vessel breaks and is reshaped, but all that is unnecessary  will burn away. What is left may feel for a moment like ashes, but the potter of the New Testament of Peace is the One who takes ashes, and who takes a lump of clay and turns it into something really beautiful.

Be well and be loving. Fully understand and accept that you are truly and eternally well loved. Repent of your flesh and be filled with the Holy Spirit by the renewal of your mind in the Word. Open a bible and read every day. Immerse yourself in His Word. Seek Godly leaders to help you to align with the Word. But do the work required to learn the Word. In that process, you will come face to face with Jesus Christ, who will pray the Father to send His Spirit to fill you. But allow the potter to reshape you into a vessel of the anointing. When you do, you will hear Him speak to your spirit. Then it is your choice to Shema, to Hear and to Obey.

Choose the way of eternal life in Christ Jesus. Become His holy vessel.

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