Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm A Little Cracked Pot

                I am a little cracked pot. Most of you are going to read this statement and smile or perhaps agree that you too are just a cracked pot. The past couple of weeks, I have been struggling in my devotion time. I read, and I pray, and I read, but there seems to be something in my way. I have been trying to figure out what that could be, but I always hit a wall. I have been trying to write, but instead of writing, I find myself staring at a blank page. This morning, as I was praying and asking the Lord God to give me understanding, to show me why His glorious flow has stopped, I realized that I was the one who put a cork in the leak.
                Paul writes to us in 2 Corinthians that “For it is God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
                The God who said, “Let there be light,” and there was, the God who formed the earth with His word, the God who created something out of nothing, the God who breathed life into each one us, has given us a treasure. Not a treasure of gold and silver, but a treasure of Himself. He alone is the treasure that we have in these earthen vessels. The God who created all that we see, know, taste, hear, smell, feel; He has placed in us the most valuable treasure ever to be known. That treasure is Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of His glory.     
                When Paul was writing this letter to the Corinthians, there were millions of vessels that were made out of clay. Today we use safes to keep our valuables, back then; they kept them in simple, ordinary clay pots. The commentary in my bible states that “Pottery bought for one or two copper coins in the Corinthian marketplace, was often used as a receptacle for wick lamps. Though cheap and fragile they fulfilled their job as a holder for the lamp wicks. Paul used the imagery of these jars of clay to illustrate the sharp contrast between himself and the grandeur of the message he bore.”
                Paul understood that it was not about the clay pot, this earthen vessel, but it was about what was on the inside. God, who created all, lives on the inside of us, He chooses to live inside these broken and cracked clay pots. I am a cracked pot, but sometimes, my pot gets plugged, and that is what I am learning today. The reason why I am struggling in various areas is because I am not allowing the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ to flow out of me. John the Baptist said of Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) John knew that he was only a vessel, a cracked pot that carried around the message of the Messiah. He knew that for God to effectively work he had to decrease, he had to become smaller and smaller. The vessel, his body, had to become more broken.
                Think about it like this. You have a cup that has a hole in the bottom and a crack running down the side. What happens when you pour coffee into that cup? The coffee runs out through the hole and the crack. That is why it is important for us to be cracked pots, cracked vessels for God. If you pour coffee into a perfectly good cup, you will be able to enjoy what is inside, but the liquid stays bottled up. If God pours Himself into us, and we keep the blessings all to ourselves, what benefit do others receive? But, if we become the broken and cracked pots God wants us to be, then when He pours Himself into us, it will flow out of us and all around us. We are not meant to keep what the Lord has given us bottled up. We are meant to share it and to pour it out, just as Christ poured Himself out for us.              
             “When God, through me, pours forth His love to the world around me, and this glorious treasure that I have is shared with others. And that work of God's Spirit within my life flows out that others might benefit from that work of God in me. When the subjective work becomes objective. When it is no longer God's work in me, but now God's work through me. Then I've reached my highest capacity. This earthen vessel. There's no value in the vessel at all. The value is in the contents being held by the vessel. And as I pour forth the contents, I must be careful that the contents do not taste of me. That I don't get a lot of my personality into the teaching, into the contents that come forth. But that I bring forth the contents in as pure a form as I possibly can.” Pastor Chuck Smith
                We have to allow ourselves to become cracked, to become broken. When I read what Pastor Chuck had taught, I was convicted. I have been plugging the holes of my earthen vessel. I have been trying to do it all in my strength, in my understanding, in my own desire and will. But God, who desires to work in me and then through me, wants me to step out of the way so that He can pour into me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
                It is not about me, it is not about what I want- it is because of Him that I am here- He created me. It is because of Him that I am able to sit here at my desk and write. He has given me gifts, He has poured them into me- but they are not the treasure, He is the treasure. The knowledge that  I have the Living God, Almighty God, Jehovah living on the inside of me, brings me to my knees. If I do not choose to decrease, He will not be able to increase, and I will be the reason why the flow of His grace is stopped. We are all just a bunch of cracked pots. We are simple clay jars created to carry in us the True Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gospel of His love and grace. We are called to not cork our cracks, but to allow God to pour through them. He desires to work in you, but He also desires to work through you. The more we allow Him to pour into us, the more broken we will become, and we will be able to say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20)  
                My prayer for all of us today is that we would become cracked and broken clay pots. Vessels fit for the Master’s use. For in doing so we will decrease and He will increase.
Father God, forgive me for putting a cork in the cracks of this pot. I choose to decrease, so that You alone may increase within me, and that when You pour in, all that comes out is You. Let me not get in Your way. But let me be broken and cracked, fit for Your use. In Jesus Christ Name, Amen and Amen.