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The Breaking Point of Clay Pots


2 Corinthians 4:7-12 7 But we have this treasure in <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28867A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28867B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28868C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>afflicted in every way, but not <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28868D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>crushed; <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28868E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>perplexed, but not despairing; 9 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28869F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>persecuted, but not <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28869G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>forsaken; <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28869H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>struck down, but not destroyed; 10 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28870I" data-link="(I)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NASB-28870J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

Earthen vessels are clay pots.  We are compared to clay pots in this scripture and the ongoing pressure of living a believers life can be overwhelming at times, but not able to crush us.  Clay pots are made by taking “clay” and heating it to the point of turning rock hard and very resistant to outside forces.  When clay is heated the water is evaporated from it and the atmospheric pressure continues to remove the weakening part of the clay making it rock hard.  So the makeup of a clay pot has a process that makes it able to withstand the elements around it.  I have always taken this scripture to show we are weak and the clay can easily break without some assistance from another source, or God.  In reality this verse speaks to our condition as God has put his Spirit in us.  With God being in the atmosphere of our life he expels those impurities that can weaken our lives as represented by the clay.  As we go through life, the tough times do not weaken our lives, but in reality make us much more resilient and rock hard.  God’s presence in  our lives hardens our resolve and cause us to be rock hard in our commitment to the cause of Christ.  What might seem like it would break will actually become stronger the more pressure God allows in it.  Our life is like clay being molded into who God wants us to be and then he hardens that clay so that our life can take the pressure put on it by the toils and troubles we encounter.  The more troubles, the stronger we get.

I will be the first to say, “I don’t like the troubles”  but it is developing my faith and making me stronger, so it is the best for me for now and later.  There are certain areas of my faith that have been tested, and even though I didn’t like the testing, it has made me stronger and more able to handle the pressures of live.   Here is what we need to keep in focus.  All of this strength when God’s atmosphere is present and removing impurities from our life.  In the clay making process, when the atmospheric water is gone and impurities are expelled there is still about 14% of chemicals in the clay that needs to be removed.  In relation to our Christian life the removal of those strongholds that are from our past must be removed also to make our lives more like Jesus.  It causes us to totally surrender our lives in every area to the Lord.  The struggles of life become victories as we look at them through  a new lense that is God-focused.  Those who have gone before us realized a great strength in the struggles of life and God induced trials made them stronger in their faith.  It is the same for us.  In clay pot making, when the last of the chemicals are drained from the clay, the clay not only becomes stronger, but much lighter in weight.  This all makes the scripture in Matthew 11:29-30 really come to light where it says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  

Our lives are a living, growing testimony of God doing something to us and through us.  The sooner we realize that His plan is bedrock and strong, the pressures of this life will have more meaning and purpose.  When that realization comes into focus, our vantage point of looking at life will change from the bottom up to the top down.  That makes the scripture  about soaring on eagles wings have a beautiful meaning and purpose.

To end today’s blog I feel I must share this scripture from James 1:2-4  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  

You see it, don’t you?  Clay pots (our lives) are much stronger than we realize, because the presence of the Holy Spirit makes them that way.  There is no breaking point for believers who experience the atmosphere of the Lord.  NO BREAKING POINT!!  Clay -much stronger than we first thought!!

The Pilgrimage continues…

David Warren

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