“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words’” (Jer. 18:1-2, NKJV).
This is such an enriching scripture for teaching us about hearing God’s voice. For starters, God did not just give Jeremiah His message right where he was. Jeremiah had to take steps of obedience to get to the place where he would hear from God. He loved God enough to obey what God asked of him.
God reserves the privilege of hearing from Him intimately for those who love Him enough to walk in obedience. It was Jeremiah’s obedience — getting up out of his seat and moving to the Potter’s house — that positioned him to hear from God. Loving obedience results in increased communication from God.
Secondly, Jeremiah was entirely dependent on God to hear His message. The wording in this scripture is, “I will cause you to hear My voice.” In the same way, you and I are entirely dependent on God for Him to open our ears. Thankfully, He delights to do so as we take steps that demonstrate our desire to hear from Him. As we do what we know to do in pursuit of relationship with God, we can count on Him to increase our capacity for hearing from Him.
Thirdly, notice that God chose to speak to Jeremiah through a simple visual illustration. Potters working with clay were a mundane part of life in Jeremiah’s context. God pointed out to him a detail of everyday existence, as a symbolic message. He wants to speak to you and me in the same way. All around us in our daily lives are object lessons that the Holy Spirit will rest upon and use as illustrations to speak to our hearts. If we have ears to listen, He has so much to share with us. This is why the Word contains numerous repetitions of the phrase, “Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Matt. 13:9, NIV and many others).
One more thing about this Scripture. God’s message through Jeremiah was an appeal to His people. “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD” (Jer. 18:5-6, NKJV).
He calls out to our hearts with this same appeal today. If we have not been living our lives in obedience, posturing ourselves to hear from God, let’s put ourselves like clay into His hands. “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make” (v. 4). Let’s yield ourselves to Him in surrender, allowing Him to remake us into the shape that brings joy and pleasure to His heart.
Oh Master Potter, have Your way in our lives!
Can you remember a time when God honored your obedience to Him with increased clarity in hearing from Him?
8 thoughts on “God’s Voice at the Potter’s House”
Love this. As to your question: “Can you remember a time when God honored your obedience to Him with increased clarity in hearing from Him?” I sat penning a card of thanks to my in-laws today that reflects the clarity God gave me in my obedience. My husband and I were planning a move back to my home country but a part of that process involved laying our desires before his parents. I wrongly and selfishly put it like this: “now, I am choosing what I want for a change. I have had to give up so much, but not anymore.” His mother broke down in our midst.
As I prayed about what had unfolded God deeply convicted my heart. He showed me how deeply my in-laws had loved me and cared for me, especially after my Mum died and I suffered from CPTSD. He changed my mind to see that what I had given up (my family, my home), He had given back richly and abundantly, by giving me an even bigger family and another place that truly is such a home (of His Presence to me).
And He told me: those longings I have given you for New Zealand aren’t null invoid, Anna. But I ask you now to lay down your life and those longings for my Body, just as your in-laws laid down their time and plans to be there, when you needed my love and compassion most. Now, be there for them, as they were there for you and are still there for you today.
Yes, I uncovered those longings for New Zealand, but part of why I did so was so I could clean your inner cup – so I could break and remake your heart to love as I love. So, I could redeem your past, helping you to understand this Promise I spoke applies to your whole life as a little missionary girl, a girl who returned to a country that no longer felt like home, a young woman who fled the idol she made of me to go to the other side of the world seeking what only I could give her – give you:
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
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This is incredibly profound and moving. I am with you, clinging to that promise from Matthew. The sacrifices can be so painful! And yet we can never outgive Him.
And BTW this repentance of mine and obedience was about two years ago now – in the midst of corona lock-downs. So many more blessings have flowed in since that moment and I am SO thankful to God.
This summer I got to go “home” and weep at the gift of my home country that as a little returning missionary girl didn’t much feel like home at all. I went back to the place the Holy Spirit first poured out upon me as a teen (with my husband and daughters: my eldest the age I was at that time) and received it as such a gift, as God healed the wounding that came right after that beautiful experience, as the enemy condemned me for what I didn’t at the time realize was in fact so very beautiful to Jesus (my open boasting in my weakness and my open confession of sins as His Spirit descended upon me mightily).
God’s fullness of redemption is so precious. I know He’s only just started repaying the years the locusts ate, giving me back a double portion. I am so so so rich – His breaking and remaking is amazing!
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Reading this, my spirit rejoices with you, Anna! Yes and amen, so very very rich in Him, in His breathtaking goodness and redemption! That visit to your home country sounds absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you for a beautiful and challenging post.
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You are welcome, dear Faye! I am now back and getting caught up again on blog comments. The richest of blessings to you in 2023!
Thank you! Great your article and the words of the Lord in Book of Jeremiah chapter 18th! You have given me the thirst of reading this all chapter of the Bible and I have put this text and the link of yours in my blog. Through this extract of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, make me understand that he has erased my sins, after having pray and let others going to repent themselves to a priest this evening, at church, during a penitential time of prayers. I wanted sincerely to go to a priest to be forgiven by the Lord, to have a penitence, an absolution, and to be salt and Light for a priest, but I let a musician go to confession and my husband also, before me. So I prayed a lot instead going. And then, the time of confession was finished without being able to go. It’s the intention who is the more important for the Lord. I have prayed the Lord to be forgiven today:
Thank you to God for His extraordinary gifts!
From Advent to Paradise through the Rosary of Our Lady of the Stars on December 2, 2022 and adoring God, who is with us and loves us:
JESUS V MARIE MARIA PARADIS(E) PARAISO
GLORIA DEO IT’S TOGETHER THAT WE WILL WIN!
To help to discern, to hear better the Lord and to be more humble to obey Him;
HELENE JOSEE M
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Praise the Lord! I am so touched by your sharing here, my dear sister Helene. Your faith is very precious to Jesus, and I know He receives the offering of your heart with so much love and delight. Thank you, truly, for sharing this with me. (I am now back from a long ministry trip and getting caught up again on blog comments.) The richest of blessings to you in 2023!