“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:21
There is such a strong prompting in my spirit today to write this for those of us that are prone to self-condemnation. I say “us” because I know my own weaknesses and if the revelation that God has brought into my soul helps someone else, then whatever God whispers to me in secret, I should shout from the roof tops.
God has been freeing me in this area over the last few years. He has been teaching me to hear the gentle whisper of His voice instead of the deafening screams of my own flesh and the enemy. Like a master composer, we have to allow the Lord to train our ears to hear the subtle nuances of His symphony that is His Kingdom language. But the more sensitive we become to His voice, the more aware we can be of our own short-comings. How we interpret the convicting work of the Spirit is vital to walking in wholeness with the Lord.
What I have learned is that I still reside in this body of death, even if my spirit is alive in Christ. And until I go home to be with the Lord, I will battle internally with that which is fallen and contrary to the deep desire I have of living in holiness. However, what has been truly freeing to me is this: When God brings conviction upon my life, His hands are gentle. Instead of immediately berating myself for my lack of perfection, I understand now that what God is after is simple adjustments. If we look at the image of the potter, He is not taking a hammer and smashing the pot. He is gently smoothing off the rough edges. And, we will be on the potters wheel until the day that God says we are ready to be placed in His heavenly temple, serving our ultimate purpose of worshipping our Lord Jesus in all of His glory.
As you look at the image above, please notice something, dear one…what has been removed from the vessel is not clinging to what is being shaped. The dirt and grime are on the potter’s hands. If you are truly in Christ, abiding in Him in saving faith, He has already taken upon Himself all that stands condemned because of the precious sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
When the Lord works at smoothing our rough spots, although there may be pain, there is no harm. This is true perfection that Jesus, through the presence of the Holy Spirit wants to beautify our lives by removing the dross of the effects of sin and working in us a capacity to let go of our lives so that He can enter into the vessel in a deeper way. The confidence is this that God is faithful and just to complete the work. When we truly give ourselves over this way, to the work of the Holy Spirit, we can ask anything in His name and it will be granted. Why? Because asking in His name means that we are asking in the character of Jesus which is being worked into our beings by the Potter Himself.