Let Go and Let God

Let go and Let God, a phrase we hear often in our circle of Christian community, but what does it mean? Well today we'll more closely explore this phrase as we consider what it means for us to turn our lives over to God, and what freedom there actually is when we allow God to shape our lives.

Struggling with the idea of surrendering our lives totally to God is not a new struggle for humanity. It's a common struggle and reoccurring theme throughout the Bible. In our scripture reading this morning the nation of Israel, God's chosen people, struggled with the idea of control and priorities, so we're in good company.

To get the word out to God's followers, of what he expected, one of the greatest prophets of the ages, Jeremiah was sent by God to deliver a message to his people. And if you read on in the book of Jeremiah you come to realize very quickly that Jeremiah is not shy about telling it like it is either. He is a bold and convicting messenger.

So God sent Jeremiah down to the potter's house, and it was there that Jeremiah came to understand with clarity God's message, as he watched the potter molding his or her clay into a pot.

Have you ever seen a potter make a clay pot? The potter places wet clay on a potter's wheel, and as the wheel spins the potter takes his or her hands and masterfully shapes the clay into perhaps a clay pot like this one. But no matter how experienced the potter is, it's not uncommon for defects to appear in what he or she is molding. And because the potter has power over the clay, the potter can ether allow the defects to remain in the pot, or the potter can continue to work with the pot, reshaping it to its desired design.

Likewise, as our scripture reading indicates, God had the power to reshape the nation of Israel to conform to his purposes. And nothing has changed since the time of Jeremiah, God still has the power to shape or reshape the nations of this world, and of those people who live in the different nations.

Now lets consider the concept of molding and shaping a pot on a more personal level, because like a pot with defects we too have defects, each one of us, because of sin. But because we are children of God, the master potter, has the power to refashion us as well, to work out the defects, making us more perfect in his image.

As human vessels we are flawed. We contain many defects caused by our sin, sin that sometimes just sneaks up on us to the point of overtaking us when we are most vulnerable.

Consider for a moment the frog that's placed into a pot of water. If you place a frog in a pot of hot boiling water, the frog will jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and begin to slowly warm it up, eventually the frog will be cooked. The frog isn't fully aware of its changing environment until it's too late. Same is true with sin. You know it's so easy for Satan to give us small things to warm us up, things that appeal to our wants and influence us, until we're cooked, until God's destiny and purpose for us is so perverted life becomes hard like this pot. Our hearts become so hard we shut out God and his influence on us.

And then if we're not careful what happens? Our heart breaks and our life is shattered. Our lives become a shattered mess, we become lost in a dark world. We become so hardened that we turn away from God's purpose for us, we turn away from others, and we become lifeless or so focused on self, we can't help but eventually break, just like this pot did.

I know some folks who are so set in their ways, and have become so use to living apart from God, that they prefer to be miserable rather than to change. Or they feel it's too late to change.

But it's never too late to change. It's never too late because of God's grace. God can still reshape us, no matter the situation, if we just let go and let God. Our brokenness doesn't have to be the final word; rather it can serve as a new beginning.

Archeological digs have shown that back in the time of Jeremiah when someone broke a clay pot they just left it there. Soon the broken pieces became part of the foundation from which future generations built there homes and lives on. In the same way our brokenness serves as a foundation from which our lives can be rebuilt and our faith grown. Through these experiences we can become more stable and sure in our walk with the Lord.

To be effective kingdom vessels, we need to be reshaped, refashioned, and remolded into the image God intended for us. Not just once, but often, given our propensity to sin.

The key to reshaping a clay pot is that the pot is still soft, easily worked and formed. The potter can continue to work the clay, to reshape it without the defects, before the pot gets to hard to mold.

This analogy carries forward to each of us as well. If we have a hardened heart we can fail to see God's purposes for us, God's will, and we fail to receive the blessings from knowing and experiencing Christ in our lives.

And yet, even as bad as this sounds or as bad as this can be, God can still take this hardened situation and use it for good. This is God's grace at its very best, because sometimes, quit honestly, we need to be broken before we can see the life force of God. Sometimes we need to experience a hardened heart like Pharaoh did in the Exodus story, before we realize there is a much greater and creative force in the world than ones own self.

But know even if we become like a hardened pot, and we fall away from God, all is not lost. God is still there, all we have to do is reach out to him. Christ's brokenness on the cross means we don't have to remain broken.

But ultimately for us to be reshaped to the image God wants for us, we need to be soft hearted and open to God's molding and reshaping. We need to be receptive to God's leading, and be willing to let go of the grasp sin has in our life. We need to let the Master Potter work in our hearts to mold us into the vessel God wants us to be.

Now our strategy for becoming more receptive to God shouldn't be that we become mindless and passive - which is one aspect of clay - but rather be willing participants in God's shaping of us. This is accomplished by understanding how we are gifted and knowing God's purpose for us. Then as we yield to God, he begins reshaping us into valuable vessels, into kingdom vessels bearing much fruit to advance his kingdom.

And because of the constant power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, which comes by God's grace, we can be certain of God's faithfulness to us even when we fall or perhaps break. There's no life so shattered that God can't refashion it, and make one whole again. Like a potter molding a pot, God will mold and reshape us if we just let go and let God.


Read other messages by Pastor Wade