Audio: Chapter 2 "Potter & Clay"
Chapter 2 "The Potter and the Clay"
We are the clay,
and Thou our potter;
and we all are the work of Thy hand.
—Isaiah 64:8 KJV
When we are going through a marriage crisis, it is so easy to focus on what our husbands are doing to us. However, as long as you do this, you will struggle and never come to victory. In chapter 8, “Won Without a Word,” we will learn that our husbands are not the enemy.
Let us learn, in this chapter, that God many times is not changing our husbands (their attitude or behavior) because God is using the things our husbands are doing as the Potter’s wheel while His hands are molding us more into His image. However, if we complain because we would rather He use something or someone else—not our husbands and not our marriages—as His wheel, we will find ourselves wandering in the desert land for years!
Quarrel with his Maker? “‘Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker’—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Isa. 45:9). Let God be God. Instead of complaining about “how” or “whom” He uses to irritate us into finally seeking God to change us, praise Him for His faithfulness! He is determined to bring you forth as a beautiful vessel ready for His use.
But you don’t understand. Many women tell me as I try to comfort them or encourage them that I “just don’t understand!” In many ways I do understand, yet they are right that no one except Jesus really understands. “. . . Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, . . . ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isa. 29:16). Talk to Him about your situation and allow Him to give you peace. He knows what’s best for you, so work with Him.
You are in His hand. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand . . .” (Jer. 18:6). Isn’t it comforting to know that you are in God’s hand? Though your husband may tell you that he doesn’t care, or treat you as if he doesn’t, your Lord does. Who else do you need? The truth is that your husband does care.
God has a prescription for healing a nation or a family. He says if “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
God told us that if we would humble ourselves, if we pray, if we seek His face (not His hand) and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear—hear, forgive, and heal us. Instead, we “walk in the counsel of the wicked” (Ps. 1:1) and “trust in mankind” (Jer. 17:5), so now we suffer the consequences—superficial healing! “The brokenness of His people is healed superficially” (Jer. 8:11). “And they have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14).
Instead, we are to die to self. “And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).
Only the Humble
Humble yourself. Self-willed, haughty people understand the Word without the Spirit, but to know the mind of God we need humility!
Humility will be tested. “. . . He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2).
Humility will save you. “When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence and the humble person He will save” (Job 22:29).
Humility will strengthen your heart. “O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear . . .”(Ps. 10:17).
Only the humble will be exalted. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble” (Luke 1:52).
Only the humble will be given the grace that they need. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’ Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:6, 10).
Humility is rooted in the spirit. “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit . . .” (1 Pet. 3:8). Your false humility will be manifested in a self-righteous attitude.
Spiritual arrogance. Over half of those who come to our ministry for help to restore their marriages exhibit spiritual arrogance or self-righteousness. This is what I refer to as a Pharisee spirit. Ladies, this is so dangerous. It will prevent God from moving your marriage toward restoration, and it is what is really driving your husband away.
God showed me, in His Word, that Jesus was only harsh, critical, and opposed to one set of individuals—the Pharisees! And I was one of them! I am sorry to say that there are far too many Christian women who pretend to be spiritual on the outside but are filthy on the inside. There are so many women who look at their husband’s sins yet neglect to look at the log in their own eye. Ladies, this was me! I saw my husband and his sin of adultery. However, no one could see my contentiousness, my deceitfulness, or my spiritual arrogance.
Others saw me (and I saw myself) as the “poor victim” who had been abandoned and cheated on. But I, in my self-righteousness, was willing to forgive. I was the one desperately trying to hold our broken family together. I was the one waiting, with open arms, to forgive my husband, “the sinner,” when he came to his senses, by repenting and coming back home from the far country! Scribe, Pharisee, “white-washed tomb”!!
If you can identify with this sinful and prideful mind-set, if this is you, I would beg you to get on your face before God, and ask Him to cleanse you of this attitude that will not only inhibit restoration but also put you in opposition to a sincere and intimate relationship with God.
Pray! Begin by praying Psalm 51:2–4: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge.” There is much more on praying in the last two chapters of this book.
Seek My face. “If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face . . .” (2 Chron. 7:14). “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually” (1 Chron. 16:11). “. . . seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me” (Hos. 5:15).
They were radiant. “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed” (Ps. 34:5). Seek His face! So many seek His hand (what He can do for me). Those who seek the face of God will inherit all things!
Turn from your wicked ways. “If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways . . .” (2 Chron. 7:13). Scriptures are not only for the head; they are for the heart and the will. To get the real impact of Scripture, we must surrender our lives and our wills to the leading of the Spirit. We must be willing to be made over. We must yield to Him.
To obey is better than sacrifice. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:22). Do you know the right thing to do, yet you do not do it? Obey it! “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Walk in the Spirit
Walk in the Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit will enable you to walk in the Spirit, not in sin or fleshly desires. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit right now! “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezek. 36:27). “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). (For more information on being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” watch or listen to the “Be Encouraged” series. Once you are “filled,” you will have power that you never had before to make it through to restoration victory!)
Pray. “If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray . . .” (2 Chron. 7:13–16). At a RMI Home Fellowship, all the women whose husbands were with other women (OW) prayed for their “wombs to be closed.” All but one was closed. God used this child as the tool to mend this family.
We can always trust God to bring about everything for our good because “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
What “Condition” Is Needed to Be Heard?
Conform your desires to His will. Jesus’ promise is based on this condition: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). When your heart rests in Jesus alone and your will is centered in His will, you are truly making Him Lord. To know His will is to know His Word. It is His will that your marriage be healed. He hates divorce, and we are to be reconciled; however, He has conditions.
The condition for every blessing. Each promise given by God has a condition for that blessing. Many will claim a portion of the Scripture, yet omit the conditions or overlook them.
Condition: “Believe on the Lord Jesus . . .”
Promise: “. . . and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Condition: “Delight yourself in the Lord . . .”
Promise: “. . . and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
Condition: “Train up a child in the way he should go . . .”
Promise: “. . . even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
Condition: First, “to those who love God . . .”
And secondly, “. . . to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Promise: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good . . .” (Rom. 8:28.)
Your Tears Are Precious to Him
To whom do we cry? Men seem to hate our tears. Is it because they don’t know what to do when a woman cries, or because the female has used tears to manipulate him so much so that he stands afar? The fact that God is a jealous God and those tears belong to Him could be the reason for our husbands’ indifference, at times, to our tears. “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’” (Isa. 58:9). “Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us” (1 Sam. 7:8).
This victory may take longer to be manifested in the flesh: We hope for the things that are unseen. It will need our faith in God. Cry to Him alone, not to your husband! Only God has the power to change your situation!
My tears. “I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears” (Ps. 6:6). “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long” (Ps. 42:3). “Put my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?” (Ps. 56:8). “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting” (Ps. 126:5). “‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning . . .’” (Joel 2:12). To find a greater walk and intimacy with the Lord, visit our website first thing in the morning for our Daily Devotional for fellowship members, written especially for those in marital crisis.
Tears, crying out, wailing. You must find and write down Scriptures that will help you understand the heart-felt sincerity needed when we cry out to God (especially for our husbands’ salvation or for a broken or troubled marriage). As you read through them, mark those that move your heart and memorize them during your prayer time, on your knees and before the Lord. We are told to pray and to cry out to God.
Find more encouragement and overcome the hurdle of #WWW "won without a word" by clicking on the #TAGlinked to Restored Marriage Testimonies.
Personal commitment: to allow God to change me. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to allowing God to change me through whatever means or through whomever He chooses. I will focus my attention on changing myself rather than my husband or others around me.”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith, in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” my restored marriage! 2 Timothy 4:7-8
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