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The Father's Hands - Isaiah 64 - Revival - Ken's Copy

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How Far Will God Go

To Change Me?

 Isaiah 64:1-9

 March 25, 2002

Of all the images the Bible uses to describe how God feels about us, the "Potter" and "Clay"* is one of the strongest.

  • In the imagery we are reminded of the power and determination of God and of our ultimate inability to stand up against Him.
  • In a few, short statements, the ancient prophet put to rest any ideas that there are  "self-made" men or women".
  • Only when I am shaped by God will my life be what it was meant to be.

[Setting:  Isaiah lived in the 7th century BC.  God allows him to see some 100 years into the future and he predicts that Israel will be defeated and taken into captivity by Babylon.  But, he also predicts that out of their slavery and horrible conditions, the people of Israel will turn back to God, and ask Him for deliverance - or to "save them".  That term is one the Bible will continue to use and personalize to describe what God does in the lives of individuals who call on God to save them out of their bondage to sin]

Read Is 64:1-9 and Jeremiah 18:2-6


1.   He Will Show Us How Desperately We NEED HIM  in Our Lives

(Isaiah 64:1-3 NIV)  "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! {2} As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! {3} For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.

-          One of the most important places to ever be in life, is in a state of desperation.  To be in a circumstance that so scares us or pressures us or overwhelms us that we cry out to God for Him to come!

-          Until I reach a point of desperation, I am still living in a state of self-sufficiency.

-          Desperation for God goes against the grain of how most of us have been raised.   George Barna, in a recent survey, said the most named verse in the Bible that people could actually quote was this:  "God helps those who help themselves."   Only problem is that is not a verse from the Bible - and it is not a Biblical concept!



2.     God Will Show Us How Desperately He Wants to _HELP_ Us

(Isaiah 64:4-5a NIV) {4} "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. {5} You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways."

            God specifically works on behalf of people who don't run

ahead of God, but patiently trust Him/

God takes a special interest in people who will do the right

things in life.

God says He will actively oppose us if we insist on living

life according to our own set of rules and our own plan.

(Jeremiah 18:11-12 NIV)  ""Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.' {12} But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.'"


reading from The Sacred Romance*

3.  God Will Hide From Us In Order to Show Us What

     Our Sin Will Do To Us

(Isaiah 64:5b-7 NIV) "But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? {6} All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. {7} No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins."

*Counselor to a man overwhelmed by anger. "What would your life look like without all the anger?"   Thought for a moment and then said, "If I got rid of all my anger, what would be left?"

(Isaiah 29:15-16 NIV)  "Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?" {16} You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?"

  • This is the height of arrogance! For us to turn the table on God

and think we (who are the clay) can start to form God into the image we want Him to be!


4.  If Invited, God Will Get His Hands _INSIDE_ of

     Us So We Can Be Changed

(Isaiah 64:8-9 NIV) {8} "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. {9} Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people."


·         We appeal to God on the basis of who He is -- our Father.

·         We pray from our position -- we are His people.

·         We can ask because of God's grace -- that God would dare to forgive people who don't deserve it -- that God who has every reason to be angry will instead reach out to us, love us, and forgive us


PRINCIPLE:  God is the Potter, shaping our lives.  His power and control are absolute.


PURPOSE:  For our good -- but only God, the Potter, knows exactly what His intentions are.   The Potter knows what He's making.  The clay's role is to respond to the Potter's touch.


PERSON:  The Potter.  What is He like?   Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."    If you are serious about knowing God, invite His Son Jesus to take over control of your life.



"But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands;

so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him."

(Jeremiah 18:4 NIV)

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