Listen to what God says about how we prepare ourselves to be an instrument in His hands. “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (II Tim 2:19-21). When we cleanse ourselves from worldliness and wickedness, we will be ready to be put into service for the Lord.
An illustration we often used to explain this concept to our children goes like this. Once we become a Christian, God is prepared to use us like a homemaker uses their kitchen utensils. We are like pots and pans; pitchers and silverware. We are vessels for service. Would a cook knowingly use a dirty pot or pan to prepare the meal? Would you like to sit down to the table only to find a dirty fork with some old whatever stuck to its tines? Of course not!
Likewise, God does not want to use a “dirty” you or me to accomplish His work. Our II Timothy passage teaches us that sin makes us an unclean vessel while righteous living – “turn away from wickedness” – makes us a vessel fit for service.
One evening, after a Bible lesson on this very topic, our son Josh was emptying the clean dishwasher. He came across a fork with some food still stuck to it and loudly proclaimed to all within earshot, “Hark, an ignoble fork, unfit for service!” and threw it into the sink of hand dishes. The illustration had hit its mark.
We remain a clean vessel when we obey God’s commandments. And the desire to be found fit for His service is another motivation to do the right thing.