But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

Sanctification is the term that describes the process by which God takes converted sinners and transforms their character. If you're in Christ, that's the program you're on. God is sanctifying you-little by little molding you into the image of His own Son.

Picture a potter's wheel. The potter spins the turnstile and shapes a mound of clay into a vase, a cup, or a dish. By applying the appropriate pressure from his hands, he works the clay into a work of art.

Now picture your life on that wheel. God's hand is purposeful, the pressure is the right amount in the right places. Is it sometimes painful? Almost always. Do you want to resist the process? Naturally you do.

Isaiah 45:9 addresses that issue: "I, the Lord, have created it. Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker."

What does it means to quarrel with God? Isaiah continues...

"Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' or 'Your work has no handles'?

Like a Disney cartoon come to life, Isaiah imagines a vessel on the potter's wheel screaming, "Get your hands off me, I don't want a handle there!" Isaiah illustrates how silly we sound when we try to direct God's hand.

Look at the verse 9 again. "Woe to the one who quarrels with His Maker." After more than two decades of pastoral experience, I can report this as the place where most people struggle spiritually. God has allowed something in your life. Maybe it's your work situation. Maybe it's a marital struggle, or a prolonged health crisis. You could be facing a profound loneliness that won't go away. The choice is easy to understand but tough to make — either I will get bent and eventually bitter or I will allow God to be God.

I know these questions are not easy but you need to answer them for yourself. Am I going to embrace my life situation as something that God is using for good? Or will I fight and resist and spend my whole life wondering why I can't be the lady across the street? Will I trust that He will bring a good result through my yieldedness to Him? —James MacDonald

Will I let God shape me into the man or woman He dreams I can be? What is the Lord working on in my life right now?