But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour (2 Timothy 2:20, KJV)
Paul gives us a remarkable imagery of the Church and how God works with us using the illustration of a great house above. You have probably experienced what Paul is talking about above. I am sure you have cutlery with plates and cups of different kinds and value in your home. Some of them you use every day for common daily routines such as your breakfast and lunch. There is nothing special about these and they for common everyday use. But there are some other plates and dishes which you probably have kept somewhere, and are reserved for special guests or occasions. These are for honorable use. This is the illustration Paul is making above. How does this apply to you and me?
First, he is telling us God’s House, that is, the totality of all believers is like your home with those different types of plates and cups. God, just as you would do, has some plates reserved for special and honorable occasions. He calls these “vessels of gold and of silver”. He also has other vessels that are used for common everyday use, and they are called “vessels of wood and earth”. Please note that He did not say these vessels of wood and earth are not His vessels, meaning children of God. They are His, but they are reserved for common or dishonorable uses. If I will ask you, who determines the kind of vessel you should be, the first response of many of us will be God, right? Well, that is not what God Himself says. He says He does not determine whether His children will be a vessel of gold or vessel of wood. The children themselves determine what kind of vessel they want to be. The next verse tells us:
“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.” (2 Timothy 2:21, ESV)
Your consecration to God, separation from dishonorable things, determines what God how God will walk with you. If I could rewrite this a hundred times, I would have done so to emphasize the importance of this statement. Please notice He did not say whoever cleanses himself from sin. Consecration to God is more than staying away from what is sinful. There are things that are not sinful but which are “weights” that will hinder your relationship with God (Heb. 12:1). The stains of dishonor in our lives could be stains of sin, worldliness, the flesh etc.
We have developed a spiritually fatal attitude in most Church circles which has been labeled “it does not matter”. I understand some Christian groups have become too legalistic with issues of consecration and compounded our problems and confusion. If you have ever been intimate with the Lord and began “drawing close” to the lovely experience of His presence, you will know that it matters.
When the Lord began teaching me about His presence and how to live in this beautiful fellowship with Him, I learned a bitter lesson. Someone did something that got me angry and I kept that anger lingering in my heart during the day. Is this a big deal? It may not appear to be superficially but not when your heart has been filled with the practical fellowship of God’s presence. The same thing I used to do before and had no big problem with it this time plunged me into spiritual darkness that frightened me terribly. I came to understand what Catherine Kullman often said that that she feared God taking His presence from her.It was not loosing her salvation. It was the withdrawal of that practical presence from someone who has come to know who it means to live there. The level at which I wanted to walk in intimacy with God did not warrant the kind of behavior I was trying to exhibit. Do you see what I am saying? Some of you carry such a call and presence on your life that you cannot do certain things other Christians do and “have no problems with it”. There are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. I know we have been taught that God does not have favorites. There is some truth in this statement but the most part is wrong. Get it today and get it straight: God has favorites amongst us. He has some of us that He will use for glorious purposes while others He will use for common purposes. However, it is not because He loves one of us more than the other. It is because we make ourselves honorable or dishonorable to Him. The choice is yours. Choose to be a vessel of honor, consecrated, and set apart for the Master’s use.
Who decides what vessel in the house is of gold, silver or wood?
APPLY THE WORD
There is a degree of conservation for every level of glory and intimacy with the Lord. Choose to be a vessel God reserves for honorable use.
Ask the Spirit to help you become a vessel unto honor.