Most everyone has gone through times of reshaping. We all have failed at one time or another or have wondered if we were really adequate to carry out our God-given assignment.
Remember the instruction God gave to Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house? The prophet did and witnessed a reshaping moment. The pot that the potter was shaping from clay became flawed, so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him (Jeremiah 18:1-4).
That word picture from the Old Testament holds a powerful lesson for us today. God says to us, "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand" (Jeremiah 18:6).
The key to the reshaping process is our surrender. We must continually give ourselves to the loving and competent hands of the Master Potter. He has a plan for you and every member of your family — a plan that will not only glorify His name, but also bring fulfillment to your ministry.
I had been in ministry for about 10 years when I had a reshaping moment. I had allowed a measure of success and recognition to go to my head. In many ways, my ministry was more about what I was doing than what God had accomplished.
At a time of great conviction, I realized how arrogant and self-absorbed I had become. In the quietness of an empty, darkened sanctuary, I lay prostrate at the altar and confessed my selfishness. I declared my willingness to give it all up if I could not have greater peace in my assignment.
God took this fractured vessel and began remolding me into something He could use. I will never forget that day, nor can I explain the joy I felt when God filled my emotional and spiritual emptiness with His unconditional love and understanding.
If you need reshaping, find a quiet place and talk with the Lord. Not only will He respond to your surrender, but He will also reward you for it. From the words of a 19th century hymn:
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
("I Surrender All" by Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896)
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.