In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship

In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship In this time of making a critical decision, thank...

In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship

In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship.

A Vessel of Mercy, of Honor and of Glory – by Ron Kangas

I don’t think this is a formal arrangement that I get to be with you once a year but I consider being with you and ministering something from the Bible just as important as ministering in a big conference or in the training. In some ways it is more important because of the average age. If you exclude my age it’s nice and pleasantly young. Let me gradually enter into the subject and verses in this way.

One of the things that makes us human beings is the need to make decisions. Although we are not absolutely free, we have some other freedom. As you grow older, you’ll have more freedom to make your own decisions. And no one can and no one will make the crucial decisions for you - not your parents, not the elders in the church, not your teachers, not your angel, and not even God will replace you in making decisions. When a child is little, the parents make all the decisions. But when you reach a certain stage where your conscience is developed and you understand certain crucial matter, the important decisions of life are yours. But it’s good to have decisions when you are clear, when you are calm, and when you are ready. We don’t need anyone to play with us and we don’t need anyone to manipulate us, although the world does its best to do both. There are certain matters we should think about, we should pray about, and then we decide. The flip side of this is that if you don’t decide, then the devil will decide for you and will carry you along as a passive doped person. If you don’t make any decision, that means you are passive. And when you are passive, that is when the enemy is most active.

When we make a decision that matters before the Lord, that’s when God is most active to bless us to carry out that decision. This brings us to the matter I want to present to you. It concerns not only who we are and who God is but also what we are and what God is. And tonight what God is, is a potter. A potter makes vessels out of massive clay. Clay signifies humanity. God puts the clay on a spinning wheel. And as the wheel spins, then he deliberately shapes the vessel according to His desire. He has authority over the clay. The vessel really has no right to protest. For instance, maybe someday you are really down and you wish you hadn’t been born. You can’t protest to say, “I didn’t ask to be here. That was decided by someone other than me.” God is a potter among other things. And human beings are vessels. Many of you have heard messages about this. But tonight everything is fresh, everything is new.

In Genesis 2:7 we are told that God formed man out of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word for formed means formed as a potter. So all of us, whether you are comfortable with your body right now, whether your body is still developing if you have hopes it will be this high or you’ll have forearms bigger than the governor’s (Governor Arnold Swarzenegger), it’s a fact that we are all bottles. We actually look like bottles with the openings at the top and we are of different shapes and different complexion. But as human beings we are vessels. That is what we are. Nothing can change that. No one can change the fact that God is a potter and no one can change the fact that you are a vessel. But one thing you can do, and actually you must do, is to decide three (3) things related to being a vessel.

One is what kind of vessel you will be. Will you be a vessel that will bring forth God’s wrath because of the way you live? Or will you be a vessel that will bring in God’s mercy and that will shine with God’s glory? I know that the Potter has authority and He is sovereign. But we still have some measure of freedom to decide. If you don’t decide what kind of vessel you would be, then the enemy who is hiding behind the world system will decide for you. That’s just the way it operates. That’s just the way it is. The enemy’s way is to pacify everyone, to drug everyone, to anesthetize them, to put them to sleep, spiritually and psychologically, and then work on them. God’s way is by the Spirit and the word to wake us up, to shine in us, and to move on us, to encourage us to make the decision that is in harmony with Him.

Once we decide what kind of vessel we would like to be – a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor (Paul speaks to this to Timothy) – then we need to consider who will mold us, who will form us. Now again you couldn’t decide what family you were born in and who your parents would be. So you started to be formed before you could talk, before you were in first grade. But now you are not little kids anymore. You have some realization that there are choices and there are forces operating. You have the freedom to decide into whose hands you will commit yourself as a vessel. Later in life you will make many decisions related to this. I will go to this school, I will study this material. I really will not decide to be trained by the Lord in His recovery.

In Romans 12:2 Paul says, “Do not be fashioned according to this age.” In the original language that word for fashioned implies shaping, conforming, molding. And Paul doesn’t say simply “the world”. He says “this age.” That is the world that surrounds you, your world in a very real sense. We don’t live in altogether live in the same world. I don’t go to your school. I don’t tune in to your FM station. I don’t put my hands on your DVD. I don’t have any idea what is on your iPod. I couldn’t hear what’s on mine. Nothing coz’ I aint got no iPod. If I have one, I would need a young person to train me how to do it.

There is a powerful shaping influence directed at you. It’s not just directed to people my age. Most people my age are no threat to the enemy. But the young with their potential, the young with their future - that’s a big threat and also a treasure to him if he can shape them and mold them. I’ll show you later how practical this is. We have to decide whom we will allow to shape us. I proposed to my wife in 1966. Suppose I asked her to marry me and she said nothing. Then in effect it is NO. The absence of a YES is NO. If there is no answer, it’s NO. I think this is clear. So if you make no decision, or you are just difficult and you are in a pit of rebellion, and you decided to go against everything that you heard from your parents or from the church, well, that’s one strong decision. Thank the Lord for His mercy that this kind of decision can be reversed when you gain your “sanity”, like the prodigal son when he came to himself.

The third matter that needs a decision is what will fill you. You are a vessel and what will fill you? I can’t decide what will fill you. That would be a denial of humanity. What music you will listen to? What rappers you will mimic? I can’t decide that. But I know this: Every time you listen, you take it in not just to your ear. Proverbs indicates that it goes down to the center of your being. So you need to decide what would be your content, what will fill you. It’s impossible for any person to be empty. It’s also dangerous if one is empty. Like the Lord said that you clean the house of one bad spirit, the house is empty and seven worse ones come in (Matt. 12:43-45).

So this is the framework of my speaking to you. Regarding the potter, the Lord, and the vessels, which, tonight, is you in particular. What kind of vessel will you be? And who will shape you? To whom will you entrust your being? Do you realize that when you enter into a close relationship with another person, any close friendship, any romantic involvement, that will shape you for years and years to come? When I was your age I got shaped by all manner of relationships and 90% of them all was negative. So, to say something clearly and faithfully, as with me, the responsibility of deciding is up to you.

In Romans 9:20 Paul says this starting close to the middle of the verse, “Shall the thing molded say to him who molded him, Why did you make me thus?” So I don’t know if you have made peace with your body, but eventually you’ll have to make peace, with the kind of body you have. Many of you know our brother Willy Wise. We traveled together and we served together and I enjoyed the fellowship with him very much. He was really up there in the professional basketball. He is about 6’6” or 6’7” tall until gravity begins to pull him down. But he’s hoping for 6’9”, like Magic Johnson who is 6’9”. There is something about being 6’9” that he would like to be, a power forward or something, but he just couldn’t push the elevation higher. It just stopped the 6’6” or 6’7”.

So it’s useless to complain to the Potter, “Why did You make me this kind of vessel?” The fact is He did. You’re of this race. You’re of this color. You were born in this culture. You have this as your first language. That’s God the creator’s arrangement for you. He believed it’s the best. And in the church, we have no partiality, no discrimination, no preferences, just as God Himself. He is the Potter

Then verse 21 goes on, “Or does not the potter have authority over the clay…” What do you think is this? The Father as the Potter has authority over the clay. Here is the wheel spinning. There is some water to keep it moist. He doesn’t ask the clay, “May I touch you here? May I put pressure here? May I make you a tall vessel? May I make you a stout vessel? And the clay is not complaining. It’s just clay. Do you realize that there is a Potter with authority and that you are the clay to be a vessel? Sooner or later you will know this. And when you do, you will be blessed. It sounds scary. Actually I never regret it. I see my clay in the hands of this Potter with all the authority. Tonight, in fresh way, I would still honor Him, “However You want to arrange the rest of my life, whatever You want to plan, whatever You want to do, I say amen. I love You. I believe in You. I’m one with You.”

Then we’re told He has authority over the clay “to make out of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?” We are all the same lump. I notice the young sisters may not like this particular expression, “lumpy.” Lumpy is hardly a pleasant adjective. We wouldn’t want to be described “lumpy”. But I wouldn’t call you lumpy. You are just part of the lump. We are all part of the lump. Today I heard about a brother who is in Anaheim being trained. He stopped school at the age of 15. He must have a lot of talent because he became very successful in his business. And then, not too long ago, he had some contact with some of the closest associates of US 15 (notorious people), especially 4 of it, and they are all in prison. And that really woke him up and caused him to appreciate the Lord’s preserving of him. The Potter, for reasons known only to Him, doesn’t make precious vessels out of all the clay. He just doesn’t do it. It seems that He needs certain kind of vessels like Pharaoh persecuting the people of Israel so that upon them He could make His power known to the universe. He has decided to make you a vessel unto honor. The vessel itself is unto honor. I don’t if honor is very high on the list with the teenage value system, to be a person of honor. But God regards it very highly. He says “to make out of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor.” That is God’s choice. Our choice should be, “Lord, make me a vessel unto honor, that my whole being would be honorable. And as a result, although I may not be popular, I may never become a student body president, I may never be a cheerleader, (because there are politics even at that level) there will be respect for me because I’m a vessel unto honor.”

When I was in high school, we had a secular event. In one bus trip of about 55 high schoolers, it was pretty loud and pretty coarse. There was one young sister who walked down the aisle to get to the other part of the bus. And when she got there, the talk immediately changed. There is something about her which caused all the foul talks to stop in her presence. That’s a vessel unto honor. We surely want to be this kind of vessel.

Going on to verse 23, “In order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory” Remember what glory is? Glory is God expressed. When you go to school on Monday you’re not gonna wear to express something weird like this uniform that I put on everyday. You need to be a normal young person. In the church life we would never encourage you to be something other than a normal young person. But as vessels unto honor, we are for the Lord’s glory. God is expressed in these clay-vessels. That’s what makes Him happy. Here is a human being who is a vessel and she is filled with God. She doesn’t realize it but she expresses God.

I don’t know if kids still have trouble getting their lockers open. In the high school I went to half a century ago, we all have our own combination locks. My trip was never to lock mine. We friends would use one another’s locker and people books and stuff were there. One afternoon, I guess I was just feeling perverse. Before I left I just press the lock into place. No one could pull it down any longer. They had to call me and get the combination. Even if something is trivial as getting your locker open, and getting from this place to that place, we are all common, we are all ordinary, except that we are vessels unto honor and God shines out. The Lord says here, “which He had before prepared unto glory.” This is what God wants. He wants you to be the kind of vessel that He would shine out. But it doesn’t mean that you go to school on Monday saying, “I got to start shining.” It’s not by deliberate effort. You just get filled with God and He shines.

Then part of verse 24 Paul says, “Even us, whom He has also called.” God made the decision before there was any universe concerning us. That was when He prepared you. What is God’s calling? God’s calling is when He comes to you at a set time applies to you His desire. And He will call you, I don’t mean audibly from a heavenly megaphone, until you respond. As someone who is not young, as acknowledge by all who are truly young, I made many crucial decisions. The most important decision was made when I was 16. I made it after a struggle; I made it in response to the Lord’s calling over many days. This decision has directed my life for more than half a century. It’s not uncommon both in Satan’s kingdom and God’s kingdom for the most radical choices to be made in the teenage years between 15 and 17. If something happens to you, you realize something. Although you are not legally an adult, you can’t boast yet you can make this decision inwardly. That’s what happened to me, humanly speaking. That’s why I’m here tonight because at the end of October (now listen to this because the year is gonna sound ancient) 1955 I made this decision. I never wavered. It’s a decision. When you say “I want to do something,” that’s not a decision; that’s a desire. If you don’t workout, you don’t exercise and you say, “I want to get in shape” that’s not a decision; that’s a desire of the moment. If you make a decision, that will change your whole life regarding that matter.

Finally, let me point you to not only what kind of vessel you will be or who will shape you. Rather I would like to concentrate on what will fill you. What will you take in? And I assure you when I touch on certain things I’m not religious. I may be not young, but I’m not religious and I’m not legal. My children grew up under authority but not under religious legality. I would never impose that on a young person. But this needs to be practical. I’ve been in places that could be an elevator, that could be the lobby of a bank, that could be in a restaurant, when they are playing a song in the ‘50s. Then I hear that music. And it’s not a matter of, “Doesn’t that sound familiar?” All kinds of feelings and memories, and even memories of relationships, flood my mind just by hearing some version of “Unchained Melody.” Some young people have never heard it. Sure it’s not in the Rock and Roll museum. That song conveys a content. And I don’t know how many songs got in me. Rock and Roll officially started in 1954 with the group called “Bill Hailey and the Comets.” I remember the announcer introducing this. I had these old record player with 78s and 45s. You might not have seen one. I would lie on my bed and play this ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ again and again and again. I will not sing it to you. But at the age of 14 Bill Hailey and the Comets and ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ got in me.

What you listen to gets in you. The kind of music you really open your being to will become part of your content. You may forget about it consciously but maybe one day you will not be young and you enter a place where music is piped in. There will be a song from your youth, a song shared by you and a certain person and you realize that’s been in you for decades. I wonder what would happen if an ordinance were cast in Anaheim that will take effect on November 1, for 30 days that says no one under the age of 25 could listen to any music. All iPods would be confiscated, all FM stations would be reprogrammed, all the computers would be hacked so that whatever you got in there is blocked. Imagine for 30 days – soundless. I don’t think you could take it. Could you handle a week? Probably not. What about a day? Unlikely. An hour? Maybe, if there is really exciting going on. I’m not bored smashing your iPod. I’m not bored deleting all the stuff on your computer. I’m not for that. I’m not religious. But what are you gonna take in? Something demonic? Something satanic? Rap? Something that’s dehumanizing? Debasing of women? Criminal? Lawless? Do you have to take that thing?

You have choices. If you realize that you are a vessel and what’s coming in to those ears is gonna stay in you, is gonna remain in you. The feelings and associations and even the spirit behind it will be in you for years and years until I make a strong decision to empty it out. But even more is what we look at, what we see, what we read, where we go on the internet. Again I’m not religious. I’m not legal. Maybe your parents have blocked certain things. Maybe they don’t allow you to have a computer access in private. Maybe it has to be public and you think they are cruel parents. They want to protect the dignity and humanity of their sons and daughters. But it wouldn’t always be so. In just a matter of time when you can power up, and some clicks and you could be anywhere seeing anything and living a virtual universe thinking that it’s only for the moment, it’s only for now. No, it’s not only for now. The images, the feelings, the violence, will get in you.

I’m gonna tell you a mistake I made because this might be helpful to you. It helped me. It goes back 30 years when Star Wars First Episode came out. It just flooded the world, all the schools. I never took my family to movies. But somehow I picked up this idea that I don’t want my kids to be weird that when they go to school they don’t know who the characters are. So, I took my son and at a certain point he was almost crying and said, “I wanna go home. I wanna go home.” This weird alien person just frightened him. I thought I was doing him a favor. Actually I was contributing to the corruption of the vessel by being a nice guy. Maybe I should have said, “We don’t have to see it. I’ll read you an abbreviated version of the story so you will know who’s who and what’s what.” Then it got into him. He was wiser at that time than his father. He said, “Daddy, I wanna go home. I don’t wanna see this.” You may suppose it will be just for a moment. But the images you look at get in you. And this goes on virtually non-stop. You gotta always have music in the background. That’s why as you know, whenever I speak to young people about reading the Bible for a few minutes everyday, I tell them, “Turn everything off. Do not have the remote in your hand and read the Word during commercials.” When you gonna read it, then read it. And read it with your whole being. This age is trying to shape you and to fill you with so many things. I believe these two areas of general illustrations are sufficient.

Now let me end it this way. Paul is the one who had a deep understanding of our being vessels. This is what he says about himself, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7). Who is the ‘we’ here? The ‘we’ here refers to the apostles representing the Lord and also representing the Body. He is testifying, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” We are the earthen vessels. This treasure, if you read the verses before, is the Christ of glory (2 Cor. 4:4-6). We are vessels unto glory and the treasure in us is the Christ of glory shining in us. Now let me tell you something practical about vessel. We know we are 3 parts – spirit, soul and body. The heart is a composition of the soul plus the conscience. Our heart always takes the lead to represent us in anything; the heart acts first. That’s why we need to turn our heart to the Lord and open our heart to the Lord. When you say, “I love that”, that’s your heart. When you say, “I hate that”, that’s your heart. The heart directs the vessel. What you love will be what you concentrate on, what you open yourself to, and what you take in. So the heart is really crucial. If we want to have this treasure, the Christ of glory, filling our vessel to make the vessel unto glory, we need to turn our hearts to the Lord. I do this at the beginning of every day, “Lord, I turn my heart to You.” If you feel that you can’t turn your heart, you may wanna pray, “Lord, cause my heart to turn toward You.”

I saw this happened to one of my sons. He was quite distracted by two main things – girls and aviation. He was studying to be a professional pilot. He was turning in this matter. He was a flight instructor. He was rated on multi-engine aircraft. He wanted to fly for the military. He wanted to fly professionally. He was in the church, sort of, but his heart was on a young lady and on flying jets. One day he announced to me, “Dad, I’m seriously considering going to the full-time training.” I never prayed this. I didn’t have the faith to pray this. But the faithful serving ones were praying. His heart was turned. He got to the training. Bye-bye girlfriend. They grew apart. I was concerned not only that he would be hurt but also that she would be hurt. And then he just let go of the professional pilot. Even though the Navy invited him to be in their pilot training program, he decided not to. And now he is heading a direction he has never considered. Serving ones, don’t give up on the heart of the young ones. Pray for their heart to turn to the Lord. And you young people pray this for yourself, “Lord, I turn my heart to You. I’m not an angel. I’m not a spiritual person, yet. I’m a kid. But I’m a kid with God in me. And I choose to be a vessel of honor, a vessel of mercy, and a vessel of glory.” We know in Romans 8:11 that the God who raised Jesus from the dead wants to dispense Himself into us. That’s the content. Then in Romans 10 we have the way for this to happen, and it is so simple. It’s by calling with the realization that we are vessels, “Lord Jesus. You are not just the Potter but also the content. Lord, I love You. I choose You. I turn my heart to You. I open my heart to You. I draw near to You with my heart. And I call, Lord Jesus! Fill me. Lord Jesus! Shine into me.”

All of us here have a hidden history, hidden form persons that can threaten us or embarrass us but not hidden from the Lord. And part of our hidden history has caused us even at an early age to be filled with sinful things, with devilish things, with things of death, with things of darkness. Here is some good news. Just as you allowed your being to be opened, you can assume control of your being through your will and tell the Lord, “Lord, empty me out of everything that does not agree with You. Lord, anything I have taken into me in my life up until this point, anything I heard, anything I saw, anything I read, I don’t agree that these fill me for the rest of my life. I pray that You will empty me. Please give the experiences of being emptied. And the enemy will have to obey You.”

This is a law. You have a will. You are a human being with a will and you can tell him, “Enemy, I reject you. I renounce any ground I gave to you. I say NO to you. I evict you out of my being.” Then the spirit will stand with you. You’ll be emptied and cleansed. Whatever you have taken into your body, whatever you have taken into your soul, even what is coming to the borderline of your spirit to defile your spirit, the Lord, in His salvation, will empty you and cleanse you and forgive you of everything because we are vessels of mercy. Isn’t it good news? Don’t believe the lie of the enemy, “You did it, you heard it, you saw it. Now it’s too late.” Tell the devil, “It’s too late for you. You’re going to the lake of fire. It’s not too late for me to repent and turn to the Lord. I’m a vessel of mercy. The Lord has mercy on me.” And then you pray positively, “Lord Jesus. Fill me. Lord Jesus. I breathe You in. Lord Jesus, here I am. I need You. The talk in the munch room, the exclusion from certain table, the belittling of certain people, is painful. Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus.” Do this again and again. That is how the riches come. It’s so simple. He is the Spirit full of mercy, love, grace, glory. He would like to honor you with Himself, fill you with Himself, cleanse you, empty you, to make you a vessel of honor, a vessel unto glory.

The decision is yours. There is no pressure to do something in this meeting, there is no pressure to do something tonight, but rather much encouragement. I’m telling you the truth. I’ve seen a lot of distraction. As I speak there are places, technically in the Lord’s recovery, where a whole generation is being corrupted by bringing unclean things into the church life. What a mercy that you are in something pure, with serving ones that are sanctified, that love the Lord and that love you! This is the best time to make a fundamental decision inwardly before the Lord. Make it before the Lord first. Then you might have to tell the enemy, if you have the leading to, “Enemy, I am the Lord’s.” And then you can stand before the brothers and sisters, and eventually you can stand before your peers and testify, “I am the Lord’s. I made a decision, a choice to be a vessel unto honor, a vessel of mercy, a vessel filled with this treasure unto glory.” You spend a little time to read the Word, from time to time call on the Lord as the treasure. Eventually, you will join the other saints to say, “We have this treasure in earthen vessel.” Let us become part of the ‘we’, the ‘we’ that testifies to judge the whole world system that surrounds us, to shame the enemy who would seduce us. We stand here to testify, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels. We would be filled only with God alone.” Praise Him!



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ZION WE WILL BE: In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship
In this time of making a critical decision, thank to the lord for the precious fellowship
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