Romans 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
Isaiah 29:16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
All of the above passages speak of the same thing. The fact that we are formed of the clay of the earth, i.e. Adam, and fashioned by the hand of the Lord into useful vessels. The scripture writers use the picture of the potter and clay vessel as a metaphor.
Of course we know that the master potter is the Lord almighty, the creator, the one who fashions us. We also know that this speaks not only of our physical bodies, but also of our calling into His purpose.
However there is one problem, our interpretation of the process.
A lump of clay is thrown on the wheel and formed into a vessel, put into the fire of the kiln to harden and then sometimes painted with decorative artwork, depending on the purpose it has been created for.
If there is a flaw, or something goes wrong anywhere in the process, the vessel is destroyed and work begins on a completely new one.
God as the master potter has formed vessels for many uses; some for honorable uses some for dishonorable; some for mercy, some for wrath. The point here is, they are finished vessels. They are what they are. They are perfect in their purpose. He makes no mistakes.
We interpret these passages as speaking to OUR spiritual growth and maturing. It is all about what we desire to be made into.
Isaiah and Paul answer such a notion in firm manner; who are you to tell the master you don't like how it has been done? This is not a process anymore. We are finished vessels. We are made for mercy or we are not. We have a place of honor in the work, or labor in obscurity until He honors us.
1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
We should rejoice that we are vessels made for mercy.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
I am not saying that there is no growth, that we do not learn and mature. What I am saying is that what we will be has already been determined by Him. This is the revelation of the potter to the clay; you are what I have made you to be.
Woe to a church that is inwardly focused, for even when we admit He is the potter, all the time we are really looking to be made into what we would term to be, a more desirable vessel.
This is truly what may be termed, false humility. It is pride in beggar's rags.
He requires obedience not sacrifice, i.e. religious pretense.
This is not about our "spiritual journey", or our destiny. It is about the one whose workmanship we are.
Truly it is written:
James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
God gives grace to the truly humble.
A truly humble man is not one who thinks less of himself; the truly humble never think of themselves at all. God does it all, and gets all the credit.
We are all crafted and gifted according to His perfect wisdom and will, and all glory to the potter!
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Soli Deo Gloria