A chef once told me that plates are shaped for different purposes and to properly place food on them, every good chef needs to understand the different shapes of plates. I had to do a little digging myself and I found out some really cool stuff I didn’t know, like the different types of plates and their different purposes. We have: our dinner plates, desert plates, bread and butter plate, soup plate, salad plate, appetizer plate…and maybe, so much more, that I might still not know about. I also found out that each of these types of plates have their appropriate sizes and colours.
Have I misused a plate before? Oh yes, I have. Until, my research, I pretty much used plate because of their physical appeal to me at the moment. I might have used a desert place for dinner, and I’m, definitely, sure I’ve used an appetizer plate for dinner. Did my knowledge change anything? Of course it did, I don’t have all the kinds of plates there is to have, and honesty I’m not going to get them just yet. But, I know I’m now committed to do better, especially when I have to plate food for guests.
Why am I saying so much about plates and food? It’s because the Holy Spirit interrupted my thought during my morning jog and asked me to go read about the potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18…and one of many things a potter can create with clay is…a plate.
Here is what Jeremiah 18:1-6 says: “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my Words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was working at the wheel. And the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hands of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me; o house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Says the Lord. Behold as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, o house of Israel.” (AMPC)
The above scripture applies to us. God says, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are we in His Hand. That means God shapes us into what He wants us to be. He shapes us according to the content He wants us to carry. Like I said in my last post, each Christian is like a curve or a stroke that the kingdom of God needs to create one. We have our different roles in the BIG picture because we’re unique in our own way. So, it will be proper if I say this post is a continuation of my last post.
Let’s begin with this question: are you a curve or a stroke?
What’s your shape? To create a square we need strokes, and when we want to draw a circle…we work with curves. How has God shaped you? This is an important question, and we need to know what the answer is.
Now, we can never know, at once, ALL God wants us to carry on our inside, but we should know the path God wants us to walk in, as He keeps filling us. God doesn’t want us be unaware of the path He wants us to walk in. He wants us to know. He will not tell us what lies ahead and along the path, but He wants us to know the path and walk in it. Ephesians 5:17 says, “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but be wise—sensible, intelligent people; making the most of the time—buying up each opportunity —because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is.” (AMPC)
What are your features and what content is your world benefiting from you? If you don’t have an answer to these questions, then you need to start asking your heavenly Father. You don’t have to stop the current flow of activities in your life. All you need do is, deliberately, begin to give God the permission to interrupt your life and fill you up with the content He shaped you for. More than you’ll ever desire to be filled; He wants you to be filled. Go, boldly, before God and ask Him to reveal all you need to know about your life.
When you ask, you have to, patiently, trust the process. It’s a daily process…one day at a time. God will put desires in your heart, the type that will totally glorify Him (SEE Psalms 37:4, Proverbs 3: 5-6). These desires will consume your very core. These desires will complement your natural abilities. God will create windows of opportunities for these desires. He’ll cause you to meet the help you need for these desires to come through. These desires might scare you, because they’ll look so BIG, but again…It’s a process…one day at a time. If you don’t take the first step, you won’t see the next. You have to trust God and His timing.
Let me use my life as an example. Apart from my first four posts, I’ve never known what I’ll be blogging about next, until when it is time. Sometimes, I don’t know what to blog about until like two days to when I need to release a post. Other times, I don’t have a topic and some other times I don’t know what my featured image is supposed to look like…nonetheless, I’ve been blogging for two years now. Am I supposed to be blogging? Without any doubt, my answer is a YES!
It was God that placed the desire of sharing truths from the Bible in my heart. Blogging is not the only platform I do this with. In my church, I have the privilege of teaching children and also adults in the Bible academy. God created these platforms for me. When I wanted to join the academy, I was discouraged by so many people. I was told they were not going to accept me, because I was very young. I was 23 going to 24. I went for the interview, I was accepted and then I thought they were just going to give me an administrative role…but barely a month I was asked to facilitate a class. Was I scared? You bet I was. But my desire was greater than my fears. It’s been an awesome ride, and that’s because God wants me there.
I’ve been invited to share God’s Word too. Some persons, way older than me, come to me to for advice. People ask me questions about God’s Word. I don’t go all out and put myself out there, God creates these opportunities for me. There are other desires God has placed in my heart too, and I’m praying about them and making sure I’m stepping into the opportunities God is setting before me. More than ever in my life, I’ve come to understand that God doesn’t want us to figure out life on our own. He already has a plan. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Here are few things to hold onto:
Whether we like it or not, we’re walking in a path:
We make choices every day and those choices are defining our lives whether we believe it or not. You’re already following a thread and that thread is either leading you to the wrong place or to the right place. So, why not just insist on the right?
Embrace your own convictions because God gives us instructions according to our shape:
Have you ever been around kids? Do you know how funny most of their actions can be? Like when a child brings his cup and wants you to serve his rice in it. What will you do as an adult, would you put the rice for the child in the cup? You would, if you’re trying to play nutty, but on a normal day, you’ll replace the cup with a plate, and then go ahead to educate the child briefly. Why? Cups are shaped, primarily, for liquids.
You have to understand that God gives us instructions according to our shapes. He gives us instructions according to what we’re supposed to carry on our inside. So if God is asking you to do something…just do it. Stop looking at some other person that is not doing it. No one on earth is shaped like you. No other person can carry the content God has created you to carry. You don’t have to imitate them just because you admire them. Let them inspire you. Learn lessons from them and use those lessons to develop your own originality.
The cup and plate difference is very clear, and sometimes life can be that clear for us to understand. But there are other times when we can’t help but have the plate vs. plate difference. These times, you might just think that all plates can carry all kinds of foods. And yes, you can just go ahead and use any plate to plate anything, but when the potter made the different plates, he had different purposes in mind. The potter created some for desert, others are for soups, others for bread and butter, salads etc…and there are others that are just souvenirs or for decorations. If you’re shaped to carry desert…embrace your desert. Your Creator has a reason for creating you that way.
Don’t impose your convictions on others:
Stay true to your shape. Know what your content is supposed to be, carry it with pride and don’t force others to be like you, think like you or do things like you…they can’t. They aren’t you, and no matter how they try, they can never be like you. No one is better than the other. A chef needs all different types of plates and sizes; the potter knows that…so the potter creates according to the different needs. You’re an answer to a need on earth, God knows, and He created you to meet that need…you shouldn’t drag others along with you.
What you carry matters…it matters a whole lot:
You might not have a grand stage and you might not have the attention of the world, but what you carry is powerful. It is as powerful as the One who fills your inside with it. In the physical, you might be your only cheerleader, because absolutely no one pays attention, but Jesus sees you…and that’s all that really matters. Do not quit. Do not feel frustrated. Keep giving out what God wants you to give out. Learn to live your life for the applause that comes from heaven…and heaven only.
Do not be deceived your path isn’t crowded…there’s more than enough space for you:
It doesn’t matter who you think is already carrying it. If God places it on your inside, you have to trust Him. God already made sure your own content is unique. No one can replicate the exact content God has shaped you to carry, because God can’t reveal it to anyone. God is way too limitless to create exact copies. Let your focus…your entire focus be on Jesus.
Also, don’t get intimidated by what others think, say or do. Again, your focus should be on Jesus. In fact you should know; haters will come for your head and every other part of your body. If they don’t come then something is wrong…very wrong. In all, stay true to your shape and daily submit to the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you and me:
May we know our shapes and may will flaunt it with God’s glory. May we know the content we’re called to carry and may we daily let the Holy Ghost fill us up. May we boldly show forth who we are and may we, confidently, exude what we carry…in Jesus’s name…Amen.
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