Jars of Clay with the Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jars of Clay with the Teachable Spirit

Do you ever feel as if you are helpless to make any difference in the world?
Do you think that with all your skills and abilities, it is just a drop in the bucket compared to the needs of the world?

Paul understood that feeling of fragility, referring to the teachable spirit as treasures in jars of clay:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. II Cor. 4:7

Referencing a story in Judges chapter seven, Paul is thinking about Gideon and his 300 men.

Originally uploaded by Irish_Eyes to Morguefile.com

Originally uploaded by Irish_Eyes to Morguefile.com

For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in.  And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the LORD. –Judges 6:3-6

Gideon started with 22,000, but God said that was too many because He felt the men of Israel would not give the glory to God; so, He told Gideon to reduce the number. In the first cut, he ended up with 10,000; but, God said that was still too many. He had the men go down to the water and drink. Whoever got down on their knees and lapped like a dog, Gideon sent home. Whoever scooped the water up and drank from their hands became part of Gideon’s army.

He ended up with 300 men. That’s all God needed. 300.

Shofars used at the festivals of the Lord, especially Yom Teruah, where they are blown 99 times, September 2013.

Shofars used at the festivals of the Lord, especially Yom Teruah, where they are blown 99 times, September 2013.

Gideon divided the 300 men into three companies and put shofars (trumpets) into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the shofar (trumpet), I and all who are with me, then blow the shofars (trumpets) also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’”

So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the shofars (trumpets) and smashed the jars that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the shofars (trumpets) and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the shofars (trumpets) to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. When they blew the 300 shofars (trumpets), the LORD set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army.

–Judges 7:16-22

Blowing the shofar to announce the entrance of the bride at my son's wedding, August 2009. --Jon and Moch Photography

Blowing the shofar to announce the entrance of the bride at my son’s wedding, August 2009. —Jon and Moch Photography

God loves to be outnumbered. 300 men with enough courage to STAND in the face of the enemy, blow the shofar and smash the jars with the lights inside was all God needed to startle and confuse the Midianites and make them run.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Luke 12:34

We have this treasure in jars of clay, Paul says, which is the power of God to illustrate His ability and not ours. What is this treasure? Yeshua (Jesus) said,

Field in Israel, March 2012.

Field in Israel, March 2012.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. –Matt. 13:44

If you treasure what you have, you will have more to treasure. The teachable spirit understands that our treasure is in our hearts, the kingdom of heaven, where we give honor to God for the work He is doing in our lives. 

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

–Luke 2:19

Standing with Lake Nakuru in the background, Kenya, 2012.

Standing with Lake Nakuru in the background, Kenya, 2012.

Are we really able to do what God has called us to do?
Can we really take credit for the work He is doing?

The teachable spirit understands that God is doing all the work; we are just standing, blowing the shofar, smashing our jars of clay, and letting the light shine out from inside us.

God is the One Who confuses the enemy, causing them to fight each other and run.

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