and that the toughest guys that God ever had to work
with had to learn this principle tells me something.
And our self-will and our continued attempts to try to
find what we call ‘God’s will,’ which in essence boils
down to trying to get God to approve our will, and what
some people call struggles and confusion as they deal
with God, which really boils down to the same thing
again—we want God to approve our will, or change in some
degree or in some small part of it His unchanging will,
so that God can accommodate to us and our wants a little
bit more easily.
The potter’s house settles it. That’s why the first
word is written down. Now I’ve been in potters’ houses
all over the world. I’ve preached on this chapter so
many years. I made it a habit wherever I was in a
primitive society where the potter’s work as a craftsman
work was still in effect, I’d seek out a potter’s house
from the high plateaus of Columbia and Bolivia to the
squalor and heat of Calcutta. They’re all the same.
There’s a potter, there’s clay, and there’s a wheel.
Those are the elements. The clay may be different in
texture, it may be different in color, but it’s always a
potter, clay, and a wheel. The principle that comes as
you watch it is that the clay doesn’t have any rights.
The principle is—because God’s the potter in this
parable and that’s why He interpreted it Himself—the
principle is God as the potter can do what He wants. He
has absolute right to work His will on the clay.
Now one of the tough guys, Isaiah, coined the phrase in
ludicrous picture. In one of Isaiah’s passages he
imagines the ridiculous. He says “Doth the clay say to
the potter, what makest thou?” ‘What are you doing with
me? What are you shaping me into? Just stop this
spinning bit and shaping bit and crushing bit long
enough for us to have a talk and let me find out what it
is you’re making with
me because I may not like it.’ “Doth the clay say to
the potter, what makest thou?” Nonsense! God has all
You’ve heard me preach on this. I’ve heard sin called
everything from automobiles to the hem on your skirts.
They used to say in Oroville, when Dad would go up to
the Free Pentecost Church, he could preach under the
anointing only if he took his tie off. I’ve heard
everything called sin. It all comes from one root.
Isaiah said it: “All we like sheep have gone astray;
we’ve turned every one to our own way.” You needn’t
think that that’s gonna change just because you’re in
the Church. You needn’t think that that’s gonna change
just like that because you had an experience with God.
I see people in the Church more determined to have their
way than all the sinners I’ve ever met in my life. And
they are the worst kind because they hunt and peck until
they find a Scripture to justify it.
Sin is rooted in that desire to have my way and that
root inevitably produces the compounding of sin that God
hates. The desire is not to sin but “we’re corrupt,” as
Paul said, “according to deceiving desires.” And the
corruption produces rebellion, and that’s the sin God
has so much trouble dealing with. We’ve passed a
certain point. We now are no longer just wanting our
way, we’re rebellious against anything that seeks to
stop it. It’s like a horse that you haven’t got tamed
yet and you can’t get his bit in the teeth.
Man, I had one once. My cousin had trained him—fastest
quarter horse I ever knew about; won every race he was
ever in and my cousin had trained him that when you
squeezed your knees he was to take off. Well the very
natural response when you get on a horse is to squeeze
your knees. First time I got on the horse I squeezed my
knees and I had air under me instead of the horse. He
was gone! When that horse got the bit in its