Thursday June 16th
2 Timothy 2:20,21 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. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
If I want to be a vessel for the honorable, I have to stop filling myself with the dishonorable. If I want to be one thing, I have to stop filling myself with the opposite thing. I cannot consume donuts all day and expect to look like I’ve been eating broccoli. This is painfully obvious, but I clearly remember wanting to be used by God while I was caught up in addiction. I was sowing the seeds of my own flesh nature, wallowing in guilt, and trying to cover that guilt up with doing good works for God. I desperately wanted to do the honorable without ever giving up the dishonorable. Then I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing the results I desired. Why are my efforts for God so ineffective? I was banging my head against a wall. I couldn’t quite figure out why my work wasn’t working.
It seems absurd in retrospect, but many of us find ourselves in a similar position everyday. We are caught up in some addiction to our flesh nature. We fill ourselves with the dishonorable (pride, anger, lust/porn, greed, gluttony, obsession with self-image, jealousy, alcohol) and then expect that God will use us as vessels for the honorable. We are sitting on the couch, eating donuts and just can’t figure out why coach doesn’t put us in the game.
If I want to be used by God to do the honorable, I need to continually weed out the dishonorable. This may be painful and violent. Ridding ourselves of ingrained, addicted behaviors is messy, hard work. Some will need to go to treatment. Some will need to change occupations. The point is, we are responsible to do whatever it takes to rid ourselves of that which is dishonorable in us.
I need to ask God everyday to show me exactly what I need to cut out of my life. Then I need to be willing to actually do it. Only then can I begin to fill myself with the honorable. If I want to be close to God, I need to pursue God. I cannot pursue the dishonorable and the honorable at the same time.