From the Pastor’s heart                                   Pots, Pans & Vessels

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2Co 4:7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The Bible speaks of pots, pans and vessels at great lengths. The analogy (comparison) here refers to us, as vessels created by God. The purpose is for showing His glory and light out of earthen vessels (us), who are made in the image of Christ, through a supernatural act of God. The power that these vessels exude is quite incredible because in themselves they are nothing without God in it. Whatever form of God comes out from an earthen vessel, be it His power, miracles love or word, the Excellency and life of that vessel to bring life is not of itself. It is because it is a carrier of deity. A transporter and imparter of God’s presence and power.

When vessels are used wisely, they produce miracles. 2Ki 4:2  And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 2Ki 4:3Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 2Ki 4:4And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 2Ki 4:5So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 2Ki 4:6  And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 2Ki 4:7Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. In the above verses, Elisha the prophet does a miracle by using pots and vessels to get a woman out of debt. Likewise he does another miracle in a pot when the food in it gets poisoned. 2Ki 4:39And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 2Ki 4:40  So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. 2Ki 4:41But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot. 2Ki 4:42And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.

The parallel cannot be denied. Something spiritual for something natural. When, vessels (us) get contaminated with bitterness or some other thing, we need healing. The discarding of a vessel is not the option but healing is the solution.  In these days of disposable items, one tends to have a tendency to discard people as well in a similar fashion. We who are the salt of the earth are able to heal and deliver people from various situations through doing something supernatural because we carry in ourselves the Excellency of God Himself. Jesus said; “out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water”. By this, He meant that we were vessels or carriers of the Holy Spirit and power of God. This means, we can change situations, create an atmosphere of God, do miracles, preach the word and bring hope and joy to the people of this world in love and power.

In order to be a vessel of honour in God’s house, one must seek God to cleanse them from all evil and sin so that they can be used by God honorably. There are several reasons a vessel must be re-worked. The reasons are:

1.     They have sin in their lives and need purging

2.     They become tired with use and need restoration of their spirits

3.     They become damaged through hurt with use in ministry and have to be healed

4.     They are attacked by the devil and have to become stronger so more shoring up is needed

5.     They become old physically and must be used for other reasons as they have now become delicate and need more physical care

6.     They have to be renewed in their minds and spirits completely to be able to put new wine in them.

It is all good when the vessel is first new. It is full of vigour and wants to take on the world and gets to boasting to other vessels in God’s house as to how great it is. Only to discover further down the track that it is not as great as it thought of itself. 2Ti 2:20  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. 2Ti 2:21If 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. 2Ti 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Youthful lusts can even be considered as boasting that makes oneself greater than they really are. In God’s house, there are many vessels and He uses them as He has designed and purposed them for His own good pleasure. That is why He is so particular about our respect for one another and submission to authority and not to put each other down because we think we know better than the other. God places different vessels in order in the Church (His house) according to how He sees that His house should run. This is why leadership has been given as gifts to the Church and likewise eldership in relationships. When we honour God’s vessels, He honours us. There is no escaping that. That is why He says; “honour your father and mother that your days may be well and long on earth”. Husbands & wives too have their own conditions of behaviour given by God toward one another and their children.

Many question the wisdom of God’s choice as to how He uses a vessel. This has been a long standing problem in the human race in both the secular and in the Church. That is why, when Jesus came to the earth His own creation questioned Him and said; ‘you are just a carpenter’s son’. How can you be the great Messiah? Apostle Paul was challenged by his own people, people whom he had brought to the Lord. God warns us about His choices. Rom 9:20  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? Rom 9:21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? Rom 9:22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: Rom 9:23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Rom 9:24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? It is wise to honour God’s choice rather than question His choice. This is wisdom. In it, is promotion and blessings that otherwise are not available. When we do not understand this concept of God’s ways with earthen vessels (us) we find ourselves in great difficulty concerning honouring vessels chosen by God and in turn we suffer dishonour. There is no reason to honour a vessel of God other than the fact that they have been chosen by God. If we have patience, we will see the wisdom of God. Moses never argued with Pharaoh other than to intercede on his behalf each time a plague came on the Egyptians. It was all God’s doing. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened for a reason, to show God’s wrath on the vessels of wickedness. In the same way, the wheat and tares will be separated in the Church. The wheat and the tares look the same till the very end. Then at the end, the tares are seen and dealt with for who they really are.

One thing we must realise above all else; earthen vessels are fragile. It does not matter at what stage of relationship one is with God, the importance of understanding that an earthen vessel is created and worked by God is what we must always keep in mind till the day we die. Otherwise, one may get carried away with how God is using them and lose sight of the Creator of the vessel. This is what happened to the devil. How much more should we be humble in all our dealings with God, man and our circumstances in life?

Vessels of God are for the use of God. Always remember that. God uses each one of us differently and for different uses. God calls, chooses and empowers accordingly. Let the Excellency of what God has put in us shine out for this dark and evil generation to see. Going from being dust to clay to a vessel is something incredible in the sight of all creation. How can God use such earthen vessels who have been broken and destroyed, cast aside and not up to standard? This is what the world and many others struggle with. Yet, God in His wisdom has chosen us to show the principalities and powers the wisdom of God. This is honour. Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Eph 3:10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Eph 3:11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Never discount eternal purposes. If you only live for this lifetime, you are above all a miserable person because you have no hope of glory. You must take your eyes of your state of being and the “woe is me” mentality and begin to see yourself as created for eternal purposes in glory. I pray that God gives you much wisdom and knowledge in this glorious inheritance He has in the saints. Pray according to Eph 1.17:23 and you will begin to see like never before.                 

Lots of love                             

Pastor Noble