One of the most powerful analogies in the Bible regarding our transformation and sanctification in the Lord has to be the analogy of the potter and the clay. The Bible says that God is the Potter and we are the clay.
It is up to God to mold, transform, and sanctify us as we journey through this earthly life.
Whenever God gives us a specific analogy in the Bible, this means that we have to seek into the revelation of that analogy in order to pick up what He is trying to tell us with the analogy. If we do, then we will see exactly what God is trying to tell us in reference to the actual analogy itself.
In other words, we have to find exactly how pottery is made if we want to fully understand what God is trying to tell us in this most incredible analogy.
Here is the key verse from Scripture that will give us this specific revelation that God is the Potter and we are His clay:
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
I have never made pottery myself, so I had no idea how it was actually made. But I always had a feeling that God would somehow bring someone along that would show and demonstrate how this process is actually done so we can see exactly how this analogy fits into what God wants to do with each one of us in our own personal growth in Him.
I recently received a DVD from a friend who had a pastor by the name of Pat Lazovich come to their church.
Pat used to make pottery before God called him into full time ministry work.
As a result of his previous experience in actually making pottery, God now has him traveling to different churches, giving real live demonstrations on exactly how pottery is made, and then how this analogy perfectly fits in and lines up with how God wants to mold, shape, and transform all of us in our personal growth in Him.
I reviewed the entire DVD, and his demonstration and explanation of this analogy was excellent. I cannot recommend this man highly enough with his demonstration on the potter and the clay.
If any of you would like to have him come to your church to do this demonstration for you, he is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Sierra Vista, AZ.
In this article, I will give you the main steps on exactly how pottery is made, and then the appropriate explanations on how all of this fits into the analogy that God is the Potter and we are His clay.
Grab a hold of this very powerful revelation, because it will both visually and dramatically show you not only how God molds and transforms us in this life, but exactly why He does some of the things He does with us in this molding process, as this process can be quite painful and unpleasant at times.
Next, I will break down the main steps on how pottery is actually made, along with the appropriate explanations as to how all of this perfectly fits into God’s actual sanctification with us.
How Actual Pottery Is Made & How It Fits Into God’s Sanctification With Us
I will break down the main steps on how pottery is actually made, along with the appropriate explanations as to how all of this perfectly fits into God’s actual sanctification with us under the specific captions below.
1. God Needs the Word in Us Before He Can Start the Sanctification Process
The first thing Pat will show you is the lump of clay that he will actually use to make the piece of pottery he is looking to make.
Before Pat can put this piece of clay on an electric wheel to start the actual molding process to make the kind of pottery he wants to make, he first has to add enough WATER into it in order to make it pliable and soft enough for him to be able to actually use it.
If he does not add enough water into the clay, the clay will remain too hard and rigid for him to be able to actually use.
When the water is added into the clay, it makes the clay soft and pliable. If the clay is not soft and pliable enough, the potter cannot begin to use it to make the pottery he wants to make.
The analogy for us to pick up on this first step is that the water used in this process represents the Word of God.
Here is a good verse giving us the actual revelation that the word “water” in the Bible is symbolic of the Word of God. In other words, the Word of God is like water to our souls.
Just like our physical bodies need water in order to be able to live and survive in this world, in the same way our souls need God’s Word flowing through us in order to feed us on the inside in our inner man.
” … that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26)
What this is telling us is that God cannot even begin to mold and transform us in this life unless we are first willing do our part.
And our part has to be to get into His Word and try to read, understand, and assimilate what is in the Bible as best we can, with the Holy Spirit also helping us to understand what we are actually reading.
The Bible says that we are to grow in the knowledge of God, and one of the main ways that you will grow in the knowledge of God is to read from the one Book that will give you this direct knowledge – the Bible!
There is no other way into the knowledge of God other than through the Bible.
If you do not spend enough reasonable time in this life trying to read from the Bible and assimilate the actual knowledge that is in this Book as best you can, then God will have very little to work with in your own personal growth with Him, and you will see very little, if any actual spiritual growth in Him in this life.
The reason why so many of God’s saints are not spiritually growing in this life and being properly sanctified in the Holy Spirit is because they are not spending enough time trying to read and understand the Bible as best they can, and then see how the actual knowledge in this Book can be implemented into their daily lives.
The Holy Spirit needs something to work with in order to get this growth process kicked into full gear – and that something is knowledge – and that knowledge can only be gained by reading the Bible. There is no other way!
Just as the potter cannot use the clay unless there is enough water added into it – in the same way God cannot start the sanctification process in our lives unless we first start to get enough of the Word in us.
The Word cannot start to effectively work in you and your life unless you first start to attempt to get it into you in the first place.
So without question, the very first step you have to take, if you really want God to mold and shape you into the kind of person He really wants you to become in Him in this life, is to spend enough reasonable time in the Word – trying to understand, with the help of the Holy Spirit, all of the knowledge that is contained in it, and exactly how all of this knowledge can be incorporated into your personal life and walk with the Lord.
2. You Have to Be Properly “Centered” in Jesus Christ
After Pat adds enough water into the clay to make it soft and pliable so he can now start to work with it – the next thing he will do is put the piece of clay in the center of an electric wheel.
This wheel will then start to spin so he can then use his hands to start the molding and shaping process with the clay as it is actually spinning on the wheel.
However, if the piece of clay is not properly centered in the middle of the wheel, then he will not be able to work with it, and he will not be able to make the pottery he wants to make.
Pat said having the lump of clay perfectly centered in the middle of the electric wheel is the first step in being able to actually make a piece of pottery.
If he tries to make a piece of pottery with a lump of clay that is not properly centered in the middle of the wheel, it will eventually tear apart before he can finish the process.
In the same way that the clay has to be properly centered in the middle of the wheel before the potter can even begin to mold and shape it – we have to be properly centered in Jesus Christ before God can start to mold and shape us.
So what does it mean to be properly centered in Jesus?
I believe what it means to be properly centered in Jesus is that you have to be under a complete and full surrender of you and your entire life with Him where He is now in full control of your entire life.
Jesus has to become both Lord and Savior in your life, not just your Savior. Too many Christians do not have Jesus as the real Lord in their lives.
Again, this is all fully explained to you in our article titled, “The Full Surrender” in the Bible Basics section of our site.
In this article we give you all of the main verses from Scripture to show you exactly what this full surrender is all about, along with a good full surrender prayer that will actually get you into this realm with the Lord.
Bottom line – you have to enter into God’s perfect will for your life before He will start to guide both you and your life in the direction that He will want to take it in.
God will not fully guide you to your divine destiny in Him, and fully sanctify you to the degree that He would really like in this life unless you first come into this full surrender with Him.
It’s your all for His all.
Just like the potter cannot mold the piece of clay into the piece of pottery that he is trying to make unless it is perfectly centered in the middle of the wheel – in the same way the Lord cannot begin to properly work with us in this life unless we are perfectly centered in Him in this full surrender.
Pat actually shows this with a piece of clay. With it not being properly centered in the middle of the wheel, he gets it about halfway to where it needs to go and then all of a sudden it rips and tears apart from the wheel – all because it was not perfectly centered in the middle of the wheel in the first place.
In the same way, if we try to live our lives without Jesus leading and guiding the way, our lives will eventually fall apart and we will never reach and fulfill the divine destiny to which God has called each one of us in this life.
This is why Jesus tells us in His Word that without Him we can do absolutely nothing in this life – and that if we try to build our own houses in this life without His direct guidance, that we will end up laboring “in vain” if we try to do it all through our own efforts and wisdom.
Here is the verse that will give us this specific piece of revelation:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1)
3. Sanctification is a Slow, Steady, and Progressive Process
The next thing that Pat points out is how “slow” and “steady” the electric wheel turns as he is using his hands to mold the pot. He explains that to get the lump of clay to the pot he wants to make, that the wheel has to turn at this slow and steady pace. If he speeds up the wheel to any faster degree, the lump of clay will again tear completely apart before he can make it to the finish line.
In the same way, we have to have patience with the Lord on how He wants to work and build our lives up in Him. In our fast-paced, self-centered world, we are use to instant everything. But in God’s realm, He usually works things out in a much slower time frame than we are used too. And if we do not learn how to go with His slower flows and time frames, we could end up getting very frustrated and impatient, and then eventually end up losing our peace and joy in Him, not to mention our possible calls in Him.
Just as a teenager will get stretch marks on their skins if they grow too fast during puberty, in the same way we have to let God build us up in Him in this slow and steady manner. If we try to push the envelope too far and too fast with Him, different parts of our lives could totally unravel and fall apart.
Not waiting on God’s timing on who you should be marrying in this life could cause you to marry the wrong person in this life. Not waiting on the next new job you should be taking could cause you to take a major wrong turn in the divine destiny that God already has planned out for your life, and it could then end up costing you years of wasted and unproductive time, if not completely cause you to lose your entire call in Him all together.
Just as a good potter has to take his time when molding and forming out this piece of pottery as it is spinning on the wheel – in the same way God has to mold, shape, and transform all of us in this same, slow, and steady manner. This is why one of the 9 fruits of the Spirit is the fruit of patience.
We all need the patience of the Holy Spirit operating in us to help keep us in God’s timing with how He wants to work things out in our lives, especially in the fast-paced world in which we all live in.
4. God’s Hand Will Personally Mold, Shape, and Transform You
The next thing you need to grab a hold of in your sanctification in the Lord, is that it is literally the hand of God Himself, operating through the Holy Spirit on the inside of you, that will supernaturally transform and sanctify you. This is a direct, supernatural work done by the Holy Spirit Himself.
Once Pat has the lump of clay properly centered in the middle of the wheel, and enough water has been added into the clay to make it soft and pliable to work with, then Pat starts the actual molding process with the lump of clay.
What he first does as the lump of clay is spinning on the wheel is to take his hand and push it down on the top of the clay to create an opening in it. Once this opening has been made at the top of the clay, Pat’s hand then goes down deep inside the middle of the clay as it is forming out, and he then uses his hands to properly shape the piece of clay as it is building up during this spinning process on the wheel.
Pat’s hands are thus working on both the inside and outside of the clay to mold, shape, and transform it into the pot he wants to make as it continues to spin on the wheel. His hands are literally making and forming all of this out with this original shapeless lump of clay. Pat says that he cannot make a pot unless his hands go down deep in the middle of that pot as it is forming out.
In the same way, God’s own hand literally goes down deep into the middle of our souls and spirits where the inner sanctification work is actually done – to mold and transform us into the saints He wants us to become in Him. This is why we have to give God a full, solid, green light to do this type of inner sanctification work in us, as He needs our full cooperation in order to be able to get that deep on the inside of us.
Since God is doing the actual supernatural work on the inside of us, it can become rather painful and unpleasant at times, since He will be removing all of the bad and negative qualities that He will not want us to have operating in our personalities – and at the same time, instilling and imparting all of the good, positive, and godly qualities that He will want us to have.
Pat also has to apply a good amount of pressure with his hands as he is molding and shaping this lump of clay. In the same way, God has to apply some serious pressure on all of us from time to time in order to get us to change to become the kind of person He wants us to become in Him.
Removing toxic qualities such as pride, arrogance, bad tempers, and lust can all be very painful due to our flesh wanting to keep these negative qualities operating in our personalities.
But let God do this inner surgery work in you through the Holy Spirit, and you will eventually be molded and shaped into the godly saint that He is calling you to become in Him – and true joy, happiness, and fulfillment will be all yours in this life.
5. Let God Develop You to Your Fullest Potential in This Life
The next thing Pat will show you is that as his hands start to work with both the inside and outside of the clay, the lump of clay now starts to actually grow as it continues to spin on the wheel. It starts to get bigger and taller.
However, he then all of a sudden stops working the clay, with it being about half-way to where it needs to go. He then points out that we all need to let God take us as far as He will want to take us in this life. He said no one is going to pay for a pot that is only half-done and half-completed.
In the same with with the Lord, we should not quit and bail out on Him as we are about half-way up the mountain He is wanting us to climb in our calls and divine destiny in Him. We always need to continue to press on and let God take us as far as He wants to take us in this life. Too many Christians quit and bail out on the Lord as they are about half-way up the mountain He is asking them to climb for Him.
As a result, they never find out how much further they could have gone with God had they just continued to press further on.
Pat says that once you start this process with the Lord, let Him decide how far He wants to take you in this life, and do not be afraid if God really wants to stretch your abilities and horizons in the divine plan that He has already set up for your life.
You only have one chance in the eternal scheme of things to leave your mark in this world in the calling that God has placed on your life. Let God take you as far as He wants to go and you won’t ever have to worry about having any second regrets once you leave and depart from this life and enter into heaven for all of eternity.
You can leave this life knowing that you have fully accomplished everything that the Lord was wanting you to accomplish for Him if you just stay the course with Him and do not bail out due to fear or laziness.
6. God Knows Exactly What He Wants to Do With Your Life
The next thing Pat will point out as he is building this piece of clay into the exact pot he wants to make, is that he knows exactly what kind of pot he is going to make before he even starts the process. He knows exactly how tall and how wide it will end up being, because he already has a perfect plan for the pot before he even begins to sit down to start to work with it.
In the same way, God the Father already has our lives perfectly planned out for all of us. He knows exactly what He wants us to become in our callings in Him, who we should be marrying in this life, how many children He would like us to have, and exactly how to get to all of these specific milestones so we can make it there safely and in one piece.
Just as the piece of clay needs to fully trust the potter to make it into the exact pot he wants to make – in the same way we need to fully trust the Lord to mold, shape, and transform our personalities, along with leading our lives into the specific directions that He will want to take them in.
Since God is all-perfect and all-powerful and we are not – then it only stands to reason that we can fully trust God to build the “house” of our lives in Him rather than us trying to do it all on our own efforts and wisdom, or the wisdom and efforts of anyone else in our lives.
7. Do Not Stretch Beyond the Boundary Lines That God Has Set Up For Your Life
The next thing Pat will show you is that even though you want to make this pot into what you had originally designed it to be, you need to be very careful that you do not make this pot too tall or too wide and go beyond what your original design and plan for the pot was.
If you do, it will tear apart and completely unravel, thereby completely destroying what you were originally wanting to do with the pot in the first place.
In the same way with the Lord – though we are to press on and go as far as God will be wanting to take us in this life in our specific callings in Him, we also have to realize there is another side to this two-sided coin. We also have to make sure that we do not stretch beyond what God is calling us to do for Him, or stretch into positions that He does not want us going into.
If God is calling you to be an attorney, pastor, or doctor – do not try and stretch into other callings that He does not want you to be going into. If God is calling you to play third base on His team, do not try and stretch into the position of the shortstop or left-fielder.
Stay in the boundary lines that God will be setting up in your life. If you stretch beyond those boundary lines, you will stretch beyond your divine calling and there will thus be no anointing, no protection, and no fruit for you in those other endeavors.
God knows exactly how far He wants to take us in this life and we need to respect the boundary lines that He will be setting up for our lives.
Billy Graham was called to be an evangelist and he perfectly stayed in that calling during his entire life. He did not try to be a musician or a pastor. He stayed within the boundary lines that God had initially set up for his life and as a result, he will end up going down as one of the greatest evangelists of all time because of all of the good fruit he has produced for the Lord in that specific calling.
8. God’s Eyes and Attention Are Always on You
Another good point that Pat brings up is that his eyes are always on the clay once he starts to work with it. If he takes his eyes and attention off the pot as he is shaping and molding it, he could make a big mistake and damage the pot in the process.
In the same way, once we come into this full surrender with the Lord, God will never take His eyes and attention off you. You will always have His complete and undivided attention, since He is omnipresent and no respecter of persons.
God obviously has His eyes on everyone since He is omnipresent, but until you come into that full surrender with Him, He will not start to work and build up your life in the direction that He will want it to go in.
What this means is that you can fully trust God to complete the work that He has begun with you until the day you die and depart from this earth.
As a result, you will be able to leave this life with most, if not all of your divine missions fully accomplished for Him as long as you stay the course and do not bail out on Him anywhere along the way.
9. God Will Always Be Doing Major Pruning in Your Life
The last thing that Pat will do is to take a knife and start cutting off any excess clay that has accumulated around the pot as he was molding and shaping it on the spinning wheel. What Pat is doing is smoothing out all of the rough edges so the pot turns out complete and beautiful to the natural eye.
In the same way, God will always be pruning out different things and different qualities that He will not be wanting you to have in this life. God may want to prune out some of the bad and negative friends you are hanging out with due to the negative influences they may be having on you and your spiritual development in Him.
He may also want to prune out some bad habits you may still have on you such as smoking cigarettes or the overeating of the wrong kinds of foods – and He will definitely be pruning out some of the bad and negative qualities you may still have operating in your personality such as some of the ones mentioned above.
Though this cutting and pruning can be very painful at times due to your attachments to some of the above things, just realize that it is always for your own good in the long run, and you will be much better off by going with the Lord on anything that He will want to prune out of your life or out of your personality.
Resist God on this pruning and you may never reach to the heights, to the calling, and to the person that He will want you to become in Him in this life.
10. Let God Mold You Into the Specific Person He Wants You to Become in Him
After Pat completes the process of turning this lump of clay into a beautiful piece of pottery, he then makes the comment to let God mold and shape you into the specific person He wants you to become in Him, not what other people want you to become.
You have been created by God to be an unique person – unlike any other person that has ever been created and born into this world. Realize that only God can mold and shape you into the finished person that He wants you to become in Him.
God, as our Father and Potter, is the only One who has the full knowledge, the full power, and the full means to be able to truly sanctify us to become the beautiful, godly, and righteous saints He is calling all of us to become in Him in this life.
Next, I’ll give you my concluding thoughts.
Watching Pat give a real live demonstration on how pottery is actually made leaves you with a very good visual image in your mind’s eye on the analogy of the Potter and the clay.
Watching Pat’s hands literally take a hard, rigid, and shapeless piece of clay, and then turn it into a beautiful piece of pottery, perfectly lines up with what God wants to do with each one of us in this life.
Due to the fallen, sinful, and corrupt state that we have all been born into this world with, only God can mold, shape, and transform us into beautiful vessels of honor that will be fit for His use. Sanctification, when truly done by the Lord, is the highest state we should all be striving for in our own personal relationship with the Lord.
The Holy Spirit is already on the inside of us ready, waiting, and willing to do this type of inner work on us.
In the Sanctification Section of our site, we have plenty of good articles giving you more information on what true sanctification in the Lord is all about and how to get this kind of process going with the Lord.
I will end this article by bullet pointing all of the above main pieces of revelation on the Potter and the clay so you can see how powerful and beautiful this analogy really is:
- God Needs the Word in Us Before He Can Start the Sanctification Process
- You Have to be Properly Centered in Jesus Christ (The Full Surrender)
- Sanctification is a Slow, Steady, and Progressive Process
- God’s Hand Will Personally Mold, Shape, and Transform You
- Let God Develop You to Your Fullest Potential in This Life
- God Knows Exactly What He Wants to Do With Your Life
- Do Not Stretch Beyond the Boundary Lines that God Has Set Up For Your Life
- God’s Eyes and Attention Are Always on You
- God Will Always Be Doing Major Pruning in Your Life
- Let God Mold You Into the Specific Person He Wants You to Become
Once again, God the Father is giving all of us an incredible piece of revelation in His Word on this analogy of Him being the Potter and we being His clay. Let us know your thoughts below.