Upon reflection of this familiar passage and review of Experiencing God (revised and expanded) I have come to one conclusion. God wants us to be putty in His hands.
The word given to the prophet (paraphrased)
Go and see the visual illustration of what I want you to say to my people. Then I will talk to you again. v 1-2
As Jeremiah watched the potter making a clay vessel on the wheel he saw that the potter had complete liberty to shape, mold, mash and re-shape, re-mold and re-make the vessel. To turn it into the desired vessel of his choice for what he alone knew to be its purpose and the manner it would be used. He made it, "as it seemed good to the potter to make." v 3-4
Verses 5 and 6 are the verses that arrest me. Even though it was delivered specially for the House of Israel at that time I do know that this is a timeless truth, a command that transcends culture and is for every disciple of Christ. Romans 9:20-21 says so.
In our efforts to always exert our self-sufficiency and independence, to make the best, most logical decisions, to chart our career paths and declare ourselves captains of our own ships and masters of our fate we have forsaken a foundational truth of our faith. God wants us to be putty in His hands. Does not the Creator, Ruler and Sustainer of ALL have the right to have the final say, last word, direct our paths, govern our behaviors, declare His will over ours, set the standard, order our steps and careers, place a demand on our time, talents and treasures, congregations, businesses...etc. etc.
What gives? We have reduced Him to cater to our wants, categorically supply our needs within our time frames and preferences? How is it that we want what He wants when it motivates and energizes us to act in a way that seems good to us, but we ignore the mandates that make us uncomfortable and challenge us to no longer conform to the pattern of what's acceptable or applauded?
Christ said those who have and obey His commands are those who love Him and He promises that those are the ones to whom He and the Father will come and make their home with (see John 14:19-21). Yep for all who are Bible believing we can only conclude that indeed God wants us to be putty in His hands. That means that we embrace all, the totality of who HE has revealed Himself to be in His word and not just the parts we like; such as love and tangibly manifested blessings.
He alone knows the way we take. He alone knows why and what the end result will be. What would happen if we submitted to God's desires instead of our own? What would happen if we did it God's way instead of resigning ourselves to the foolishness of the conflict, divisive practices and veiled agendas of the influential and powerful in political parties, congregations/ministries and civic organizations? I think the church would like the church in Acts. Not perfect but submitted to the perfecting work already begun in us. Much more influential and with greater positive impact. Is it easy to be/do? NOPE but I believe it is worth it.
"You cannot stay the way you are and go with God." Henry Blackaby