280. Power in jars of clay.
'We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.'* ( 2 Corinthians 4:7) Humans perceive themselves to be strong but God *'knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.'* ( Psalm 103:14) The phrase *"jars of clay"* gives a picture of human weakness yet amazingly, God chose these *"jars of clay"* to enclose his treasure; the deposit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord needs vessels in these last days to pour out his Spirit, for he has said, *"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh ... before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."* ( Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17-20) The fulfillment of this prophecy began on the day of Pentecost when 120 *"jars of clay"* in the upper room were filled to overflowing! And through the Apostles the Spirit was imparted to others by the laying on of their hands. God is looking for vessels he can use in this generation to impart his Spirit. However, not all vessels can be used but only those vessels that have been consecrated or set apart for this noble purpose. *'In a large house there are vessels not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. '* ( 2 Timothy 2:20-21) God is not asking for golden or silver vessels but ordinary vessels; nor is he asking for empty vessels but yielded vessels because he is able to empty us of our 'selves'! We are so filled with our 'selves' that there is little room for God! But if we begin to pray: *"You must increase and I must decrease"* ( John 3:30), the process will begin. To be consecrated means that our bodies are set apart for his divine purpose and therefore we honour the Lord with our bodies. *'The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body ... Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God? ... Therefore honour God with your body.'* ( 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) We are exhorted *'to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - as our spiritual act of worship'* ( Romans 12:1) and it prepares us to receive the power of God in these *"jars of clay".* Just as our spirits require an earthen body , to contain it while we are on earth, even so the Holy Spirit requires our earthen vessels to contain his Spirit while on earth. Revival happens when people consecrate their bodies to God but it dies out when there are no more vessels to be filled with the Holy Spirit, just as the oil stopped flowing when there were no be jars available in the widow's house to contain the oil. ( 2 Kings 4:1-6) Preparing as many *"jars of clay"* as possible is the key to a lasting revival. The first miracle Jesus did to reveal his glory was to turn the water into wine at the wedding at Canna in Galilee ( John 2:11), as a *prelude to* (an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important) the outpouring of the *"new wine"* on the day of Pentecost. However, it was not Jesus who filled the six stone jars with water but the servants, at his command ( vs 7) and then at his word, the water turned into wine! The ministry of Jesus is to *'baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire'* ( Matthew 3:11) but the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to prepare the *"jars of clay".* He uses us to fill the *"jars of clay"* around us with the *"water of the Word of God"* before the *"new wine of the Spirit"* can flow through them. But many neglect the Word of God and still expect to receive the power of God in their *"jars of clay"!* Without the *"oil of the word of God"* in our lamps, the *"fire of the Holy Spirit"* cannot burn! Get ready! The revival is coming!Amen.