Somewhere in this block of 1X1X3.5 inch wood there is a caricature rabbit. As a hobbyist woodcarver, I have to let it out. Both my son, Jeff, and I started carving last year. Quite a challenge. You have to think in 3D. It is a slow process for me but I love it. Jeff carves more quickly than me. He made several cool Christmas tree ornaments that he gave to clients at Christmas time and even carved two at the recent Men’s Retreat.
So when I begin a carving project I have a good idea of what I would like to look like when it is finished — whether that be a pirate, a hippo, or a hillbilly named Rufus. It is a process and it takes a while to get to the end result. Speaking to God’s people of his day Isaiah says that God is like a potter and His people are a lump of clay. God knows what we can become under His creative hand — after all He designed us and knows us from the inside out.
Isaiah 64:8 (NLT)
8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
A woodcarver has an advantage over God — our creations don’t argue with us. From the beginning He has molded people into the kind of folks He wants them to be.
Earlier in his book Isaiah said,
How foolish can you be?
He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!
Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”?
Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”? Isaiah 29:16 (NLT)
Wow, do we ever argue with God? Oh, I think we do. For some reason we think that we know how to live life better than the one who created us. I think that God has a good idea of what He wants modern Christians to be like, also. Look at what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “ So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
My little carved creations are silly representations of the real thing. God’s goal is to make us more like the real thing than we can even imagine. We will be in that process until He says we are ready to enter into His rest. He wants us to be changed into His glorious image. Life on this earth is where faithful followers of Jesus are prepared to spend eternity in with God.
We know that He uses His revealed word in the Bible to become what He wants us to be. You see God is upfront with us. He has spelled out in the Bible how to receive salvation and how to live a life that honors Him. James tell us in his little book to not just read or listen to God’s word but to do what it says. Check out James 1:22. The apostle John who was just full of practical wisdom wrote, “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.” 1 John 2:5 (NLT)
So why is that we read the Bible, look right at a very understandable verse, and then refuse to believe it or do what it says? I have seen people do that as long as I have been in ministry. It’s not a new problem. The early church scholar Augustine said, “If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe but yourself.”
Let’s spend time in God’s word, believe it and then do what it says. I don’t know about you but I really need to believe in the One who knows what’s best for me. Left on my own I fall short on knowing how to live.