Willing, but unclean.
Long ago in a little village in the middle of the kingdom was a pottery barn. The potter had jars and vessels by the scores sitting on the shelves within his store. They came in all shapes and sizes, each made with a specific task in mind. Each had a purpose to fulfil – each were waiting to be bought and used to fulfil that purpose.
There were two particular vessels sitting on a small shelf on the far left of the store. They were almost identical – exactly the same shape, exactly the same size – each were made for the same type of job. However, there was one major difference between them though: the one on the right was clean, completely spotless; the one on the left was dusty, covered with dirt and clumps of mud.
One day the potter walked over to the shelf where these two pots were kept and told them he had a special guest coming by the store later that day. “He’s needs a vessel… about your size. But he only needs one of you right now…”
The unclean jar spoke first. “Oh, I want to be the one! Choose me… I want to be used!” he cried out to the potter. The clean jar spoke up as well, “I’m willing to be used, if you believe I am what he is looking for!” The potter looked at them both for a few seconds, then spoke to the jar on the left: “If you wish to be used I will have to clean you first. You cannot serve as you are… you will only hinder the man’s work if you are dirty.” The jar was enraged by the potter’s words, “What do you mean…? Am I not good enough as I am? I said I was willing to be used… is that not enough?!”
The potter frowned and shook his head, “No… that is not enough. You must be cleaned. You cannot represent this man’s work effectively without being cleaned. You must shine – for you will be reflecting the master’s workmanship. You will be representing his good name!” The vessel continued its tirade, “Well, I do not wish to separated from this dirt! I am comfortable… I am fine just like I am. Why should I have to change…? People can overlook what they do not like about me. The man can either take me, or leave me – but I refuse to let go of this dust. After all, it’s what defines me!”
The potter shook his head as he turned toward the vessel on the right. “You are clean… will you give yourself to be used?” The clean vessel smiled at his creator, “I have waited all this time, waiting to be used… willing to do whatever it is I am needed for. I have allowed you to clean me day after day… even though sometimes it hurt as you scraped the mud from off my side. But I was created for a purpose… and I am willing to fulfill that purpose – knowing I am doing what I was created to do makes all the pain completely worth it. Yes, I am willing… I want to be used.”
Within moments a man walked through the shop door, exchanged words with the potter, then scooped up the clean vessel from off the shelf and carried it away.
“Master…?” the unclean vessel called out to the potter. “Who was that man? and what does he plan on using that other vessel for?”
The potter turned to the vessel and spoke gently, “My child… that man is the King of all this kingdom… and the vessel which He bought will be used to pour the drinking water at the King’s table…”
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The Savior, the Creator of the ends of the earth, is looking not only for a willing vessel – He’s looking for a clean vessel. It’s not enough to just be willing… you need to be clean. Psalm 51:2 says, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” I remember a time when I was willing to do just about anything in the area of service at church. I was willing, but I wasn’t living a clean life. I strived to do good, but all my works were in vain. I wanted to be used, yet I wasn’t willing to give up the sin in my life. But God doesn’t work that way.
All the willingness in the world can’t make you clean, but Jesus can. And He wants too! However, He will never do anything you do not let Him do. He will never force Himself on you. II Timothy 2:20-21 says, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” God wants to use His children… but they cannot be used effectively if they are living unclean lives.
This is something that the Lord has been dealing with me on lately. I want to be fit for the King’s service… but I must be clean; I must live a clean and separated life. I love the Lord, but not nearly as much as I ought to. I live a separated life, but not nearly as separated as it ought to be. I need to stay clean for my Savior – but I can only stay clean by the “washing of water by the Word” of God. Staying in God’s Book daily is vital – and I admit I fail in that area. I don’t always do my devotions, or when I do sometimes they’re extremely short and rushed. It ought not be that way. How can I fight the battles the day ahead will hold if I don’t get equipped with the full armor of God every morning? It’s something I definitely need to work on. God help me. You all pray for me.
“God doesn’t seek for golden vessels and does not ask for silver ones, but He MUST have clean ones.” ~ Moody