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Polishing Our Vessels
by LaBreeska Hemphill
Sometime back, our brother-in-law who occasionally sees visions, had an interesting experience while in church one night and I want to pass it along just as he told it to me. Marvin said that he was standing with the congregation, and as they joined in with the choir and began to sing, the scene all around him changed. He said, “To my amazement what I saw resting on the pews were what looked like cooking pots instead of people. There were all different sized pots and pans throughout the sanctuary. Some were tall and shiny, some were thin, others were big and heavy apparently made from thick metal. Astonished I looked up at the choir and a mist had enveloped the platform. I could see through the mist and what I saw was more vessels, making up the choir. Some of the vessels were made of glass, and I could see that many were not full, and several looked fragile. As I studied them more closely I noticed that there were some that were adorned with engravings and ornate art work. Some of the pots were tarnished and had cobwebs inside. It was evident that they had been stored for a long time. As I was taking this all in, the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, ‘like in a large kitchen, some vessels are used every day. Then on special occasions the cook takes vessels that he hasn’t used in a long time from the shelf and scrubs and polishes them. Then after use for the special occasion he stores them once again’ until he has further need for them.”
Marvin wept as he relayed the insight that the Lord gave him that night. He said he understood how the Lord moves on some people once in a while for a certain task, and how He prepares these for His use by honing, cleansing, and polishing before he uses them, and the preparations usually come in the form of a test or a trial. This often goes against our human nature since honing and polishing don’t always feel so good. He also knew that there were some real strong vessels, much like iron pots and kettles, and some more delicate and weaker vessels. But he also realized that each one was very important and had a part to play in the work of the Lord. Marvin said that there wasn’t one vessel in the entire church that night that God didn’t have a need for.
It is interesting to note that through-out the Bible we are often referred to as vessels. In the book of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, who later became the Apostle Paul, was called “a chosen vessel” by the Lord. Peter referred to wives as being “the weaker vessel,” compared to their husbands, and King David called himself “a broken vessel.” This is what Paul had to say about this subject.
“If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, [profane and vain babbling’s] he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and fit for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (II Timothy 2:21).
In the Bible God is pictured as the potter, (which is someone who makes earthen pots) and we are the clay, formed by His skilled hand. Keeping this in mind, when Joel and I encounter some Christians that seem a little odd to us, we just smile at each other and say, “God sometimes cooks in strange pots.” But as Paul said, “...notwithstanding Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice...” (Phil. 1:18).
Since it is established by the word of God that we are vessels then we need to give some serious consideration as to how to prepare ourselves for the Father’s use. None of us would want to be served a meal, no matter how tasty it is, from an unclean, unprepared, vessel. Our heavenly Father has a banquet for the spiritually hungry. Seasoned to perfection is the delicious meat of His word, and the bread of life is ours for the taking. There is also the milk of His word, and the crystal clear Water Of Life. King David said, “...the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:9-10).
All of this is prepared by the loving hands of our heavenly Father and passed along to us through Jesus Christ our savior. We are the platters and vessels in which it is served to our fellowman. If we honestly desire to be used of the Lord, we can begin to polish our own vessels. Here are a few guidelines that have worked for me and I would like to pass them along.
We need to have spiritual intake on a daily basis, through prayer and Bible study.
We should be careful to free our minds of clutter and make room for divine guidance.
We need to weed out negativism and strife from our conversation and become more
aware of our attitudes.
When we start to polish our vessels we should not be surprised if the Lord begins to give us dreams about ourselves and lets us see a need for attitude and behavior adjustments. He also will lead us to Scriptures in our Bible studies that show us how to be more pliable in His hands. The Lord might even begin to impress upon us who to add to our prayer list, perhaps people long forgotten. I have found that if we give Him a chance, He will fellowship with us and give us the gentlest, most loving paternal leadership.
Also, if you are sincere in your desire to be used of God do not be surprised if during prayer a long forgotten face comes to mind of someone that needs a call from you. A call to say; “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” or “I just want you to know that I forgive you and I want everything to be alright between us.”
For those of us who desire to be vessels of honor, used by the Master, it isn’t too much to ask that we prepare ourselves by polishing and making ourselves ready and available. Then after we do all we know to do, He will do the rest.