A Vessel of God
Job 12:4 -
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.
When we come in the Lord and things are good then it is very easy to lift our hand up and praise God and give glory to Him. But when things do not go our way, first we start wondering 'what is happening, I am not such a bad person so why is this happening to me?' As things get tougher we start to doubt 'does God love me?' Then there are times when things get unbearable then we land to a point 'does God exist?'
Job in today's message went through one of the worst experiences but never came to a stage of losing hope in God.
To understand life as a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ we need to understand vessels. The word used for vessels in the Bible refers to home utensils. Home utensils (vessels) are used only for 2 purposes one is to cook and the other to serve. The good part (from man's point of view) is when a vessel is put out on grand display, decorated and put out to serve. When the food in it is garnished with good aromatic spices and decorated with colourful ingredients that make the vessel ever more important on the buffet table. Everyone like this position, what they do not like is when the vessel in put on the flame to cook the food, before it goes on the buffet table.
The Lord is telling us to understand vessels to understand the things He takes us through in life. The vessels we use for cooking are mainly metal vessels and the material they are made of are either aluminium or steel. These metals are chosen because they are inert metals which do not affect the cooking but at the same time are good conductors of heat.
We need to understand an expert cook knows best to handle the vessel and accordingly uses the right vessel for the right dish. He sets the flame to the vessel according to the amount held in it and the kind of dish that is getting prepared in it. If the dish resists the heat (does not conduct the heat well) then the cook needs to either set the flame on high or keep the vessel on the flam for a longer time. Time to time depending on the dish the cook will open the lid of the vessel to stir its contents thus releasing the heat build inside it. Each dish has its own place on the buffet table. The most sought after vessels on the table are those that hold the main dishes. Their sizes are usually larger than the others and they are the ones which were longest on the flame. They were also the ones to which the cook gave the maximum attention. A good cook never lets the vessel get blackened on the flame; he knows how much max to set the level of the flame for that vessel.
We are the vessels and the dish inside us is the testimony and the mission which the Lord has put into us. God has created us and He knows our limits. He did not create us for vanity. He will never take us to a breaking point and allow us to be broken. He puts on the flame not because He hates us or wants to punish us but to prepare something beautiful in us. The flame depends on the testimony which He is preparing in us and our capacity to handle heat. If we resist the flame, the longer we will be on the flame. So it is best to surrender to His plan and faster we come off the flame. But then that does not mean we fully surrendered so we should be off the flame immediately. If that is done then the dish in us will be half cooked and rejected at the buffet table.
Another factor very important is if the vessel is releasing its own metal into the cooking and that affects the cooking then the cook discards that vessel never to be used again for edible food. All vessels do affect the cooking in very minor quantities but when the effect increase to a stage that the taste of the dish changes greatly or the vessel makes the dish inedible or poisonous then the vessel is discarded. They are not thrown away but used for other purposes like washing, collecting garbage, hold burning coals, etc...
If we are vessels of the Lord then we should realize we will be put on the flame. We will experience difficulties in our lives and this happens not because god hates us but because of His love He us using us for greater things and not discarding us. From the day He made us He knows how much flame we will have to bear and thus made us fully capable to handle it.
So let us just surrender to Him Hands. As we are put on the flame let us rejoice and praise Him for He is working on us and preparing something great in us. Let us thank Him at all times not only when we are spread in grandness on the buffet table but also when we are put on the flame, for if we were not the flame we would not land on the buffet table.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You made us with great care in your limitless wisdom. You being all knowing also know everything of us. You put us into tests regularly not because You do not love us, but out of your love You want to prosper us. Lord we thank You for choosing us as your vessels and using us. Help us surrender to your plan and let nothing of our carnal self be added unto what You are preparing in us. Teach us to thank You and give You glory at all times...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 2:20-21
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
Psalms 34:19 - Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Revelation 6:9 - And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
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