Living in the Workshop of God

January 7, 2024

Lead Pastor Dr. Timothy Melton

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Have you ever been to the Workshop of God? Some would say, “no,” but I would venture to say that you have never left the workshop of God. You are in the workshop of God every minute of every day. We see it throughout scripture. 

Ephesians 2:10 reads, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

As followers of Christ we are always in the Workshop of God. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He never takes His eyes off of us. Christ is in us and we are in Him. He never leaves us as we are, but is constantly working in our lives to make us like Christ and working through our lives to shine His light in this world.

Romans 8:28-29 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.”


This is the truth, but many times we live completely oblivious to the fact that we are always in the workshop of God. We walk through life experiencing difficult circumstances and are blinded by our emotions. We are drawn away from God because we never make the connection between our circumstances and how God is wanting to work in our lives. 

The greatest thing God can give us is Himself, not a second-hand knowledge about Him, but a first-hand experience with Him. Perhaps God is allowing poverty so we can come to know Him as The Provider. Maybe God is using uncertainty and the unknown so that we can experience him as the Almighty Counselor. Perhaps God works in the midst of sickness or an accident to show Himself as the Great Physician. Maybe God is working in our loneliness to drive us to Him as our Immanuel, God with us. Maybe He even allows failure so we finally put our complete trust in Him as Lord of all.

Jesus tells us in John 5:17 that the Father is always working. Welcome to the workshop of God. Have you ever connected your circumstances to what God wants to do in your life?

In scripture we see this principle time and again. God works through circumstances to work in His people’s lives. One example is found in Genesis 12:2 . Speaking to a man named Abraham God says, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

This verse is a promise that God will work in the lives of Abraham’s descendants to make them the Nation of Israel.  The Nation of Israel had been called to be the people of God. To shape them God used circumstances in their lives. This was especially evident as God led the descendants of Abraham out of Egypt. God had allowed slavery and bondage to turn the hearts of the Hebrews to God. As they cried out to God, He delivered them. God allowed hunger so they would call out to Him for help. God then provided manna to eat each day to teach them about their daily need for God. He gave them the commandments and laws to teach them justice and righteousness. He allowed wars to build their military strength. God used Moses' unbearable load as a judge to lead them to a new way to organize themselves so they could better care for and judge the people. Through circumstances God transformed the descendants of Abraham from a huge family to a mighty nation.


In Geneses 37 we see the workshop of God again. Joseph, one of Abraham’s grandsons, had 10 older brothers who sold him into slavery. He was taken to Egypt and became a slave for a powerful and wealthy man who was the captain of the guard for Pharaoh. God was with Joseph and blessed him to the point that Joseph was appointed manager of all that Potiphar owned. 

Joseph was then falsely accused of making sexual advances toward Potiphar’s wife, so Joseph was thrown into prison. Scripture stated once again that “God was with him,” and because of this Joseph rose to a position of leadership in the prison, even as a prisoner. 

Two of Pharaoh’s officials were thrown into prison and they both had dreams. Joseph interpreted their dreams correctly and one returned to work for Pharaoh. Joseph told him to tell Pharaoh about him so he might be released, but he was forgotten.

2 years later Pharaoh had a dream, the official remembered Joseph and Pharaoh summoned him to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph interpreted the dream, that famine was coming, gave a solution and was appointed by Pharaoh to be the second-in-command of all Egypt.

It is an amazing story of how in the midst of being sold into slavery, falsely accused and forgotten, God was with him. God was working. It must have been so difficult at times but God used all Jospeh’s life experiences to prepare Joseph for the great task that he was eventually given. Joseph honored God in the daily circumstances and God used those experiences to prepare Joseph for what lay ahead. That should be our example. Live faithfully in the present trusting that God is working in our lives to prepare us for the future. 

All throughout scripture we see this pattern of God working in people’s lives to shape them into the people that God wanted them to be. David, Moses, Esther, Ruth, Peter, and so many others were shaped through life situations, decisions, events, and relationships. God worked in the midst of their lives to prepare their character to match their assignment. God was orchestrating things in their lives when they didn’t even know it. God was using even the worst of events for their good. They were living in the midst of God’s workshop.


In Jeremiah 18:1-6 we find an interesting analogy in. Before we look at these verses we need to have a better understanding of their context. Jeremiah was a prophet who was called of God to speak a message of judgment to the nation of Israel. He was afraid, but God assured him that he would become strong and brave. God would rescue him from danger. Jeremiah’s message was difficult and the people rejected it. It was God’s warning to his people who had turned away. They had rebelled against Him and His calls for repentance. Now judgment was to come.

In Jeremiah 18:1-6 we find these words.  

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 

Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

This verse is a picture of God working in the lives of the Nation of Israel. The verses say that God is like the potter and the Nation of Israel is like the clay. The clay was marred. In Hebrew that meant that it was ruined. It was useless. It could no longer be used for its intended purpose. The Nation of Israel had been created to be the people of God. They were to so rightly relate to God that they would be blessed by Him. This was then intended to draw the other nations of the world to follow God as well. But now because of their rebellion and idol worship they had ruined this possibility and testimony to the world.

Even in the midst of this they were still in God’s hands. That is not so much a literal phrase, but a figurative one. “In His hands” meant they were in His care. The sovereign God was still watching over and actively involved in their lives. 

The Potter, in the same way, formed or worked in the midst of their situation with a particular end goal in mind. But when the clay was marred the Potter would start over again to shape it into “another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” This was a clear example of God returning the clay to a lump on the potter’s wheel and starting over as God saw fit.

When one understands how to make pottery it gives this illustration even more application. Many potters start out by working or massaging the clay. This works out any air bubbles or lumps that would ruin the final product in the end when placed in the furnace. They soften and moisten the clay. The clay is then placed on the wheel where the sculpting takes place. If at any time in this process a crack or stiffness emerges the sculpture is then destroyed and returned to being a lump of clay. The problem is remedied and the shaping process starts over. Once the piece of pottery is finally sculpted the way the potter wants it then it is glazed and eventually put into the kiln or furnace at 0ver 2000 degrees Celsius. Can you think of life experiences that were used by God to purify, shape, reform, or refine you, to make you into something beautiful?

That is an amazing idea. That the God of the universe would intimately be working in our lives to shape us into who He wants us to become. It is a pattern that can be seen all the way through scripture. God works in the situations of one’s life to shape them into the people that He wants them to be. 


Romans 5:3-4 tells us that, “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. “

1 Peter 1:5-7 Peter tells his readers that, “You may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials . . . so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 

God is always working and works all things for good in the lives of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. With this in mind, what is He working in your life right now? 

Our goal is to be like Christ. Which of these characteristics do you sense God is trying to grow in you right now in the midst of your life situations? Authenticity, Compassion, Dependence on God, Forgiveness, Generosity,  Gentleness, Humility, Joy, Kindness, Love, Obedience, Patience, Peace / Peacemaker, Perseverance, Pure in Heart, Sacrifice, Self-control, Service, Silence, Submission, or maybe others.

What might God be teaching a person who . . .  just had a new child? Has a very difficult boss at work? Just lost a job? Is in a dating relationship with someone who might be their future spouse? Has a huge presentation at school? Has important decisions to make? What other situations do people face that God could use to grow their character? What situations are you experiencing right now? What might God want to be teaching you in these situations? 

Life will bring good and bad to us all. In the midst of it will we take the time to stop and see what God wants to grow in our lives? If we will join Him where He is working we will become more like Christ. Will you ask God to show you what He is doing in your life and then join Him in what He is doing?

For example, if in your life right now he is teaching you to serve others then join Him in prayer about you being a servant. Study the scriptures about servanthood. Share your desire to be a better servant with trusted believers and let them speak into your life concerning servanthood and the ways you do or don’t exhibit it already. Read about others who were known for being servants and others who have written on servanthood. Repent and make right anything that may be keeping the Holy Spirit from working in your life. Intentionally put yourself in serving situations. Daily surrender your life situations to God that He would give you a humble and serving heart.

Submit yourselves to the working of the potter in your life. Trust that the shaping, forming, reforming, and the refining are all with a purpose. Rest in Him and may He form in you the character of Christ for His glory.


There is an interesting word in the Great Commission that encourages us in the same direction.

In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commands His followers to, “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The word, “go” can also be translated, “as you are going.” That is the idea of how to live the Christian life as well. It is an “as you are going” type of faith. It is not just on Sundays, Wednesdays or during your devotional time. We are to live, actively in the presence of Christ “as we are going” throughout our days. 

As believers we are always in the presence of God. Our goal is learning to think on God as we go through our day. Not just thinking, but abiding in Him. Where His presence is the truest reality in our lives and we join Him with His purposes in every moment. In the midst of stress, concern, work or home we should lean into Him knowing that He is with us and will accomplish His will in our lives.

Jesus teaches that God is always working (John 5:17). We are now tasked with seeing where He is working and joining Him (John 5:19)

In this God will use our everyday life situations and relationships as our greatest opportunities for ongoing sanctification and evangelism. 

For example, parenting exposes the spiritual condition of our hearts, much like marriage does, so receive it and allow yourself to be made more into the likeness of Christ as you parent your children. It will take you to a greater depth of servanthood, selflessness, and humility. It will reveal your character flaws when you are tired, frustrated and not sure what to do. It will at times drive you to your knees and a greater dependence on God, so accept it. Swim with the current of God and not against it. Recognize that God is working in the situation. Be shaped by the challenge of parenting.

Because parenting is an overflow of one’s heart, commit today to make your spiritual life a priority. Not just for your good, but for the good of the entire family. Finding that moment to have a peaceful devotional time may now seem impossible but develop the ability to make room for God in every situation. You may no longer have uninterrupted time for a long Bible reading with your favorite kind of coffee; however it may be that you grow more in those middle of the night feeding times or when consoling a baby who won’t stop crying. The same could be true for those who are now taking care of their aging parents. Let God work in the midst of the situations and be amazed by how quickly God will make you more like Jesus as you acknowledge His presence and join Him in His purpose for every situation. 

If we are honest, we must admit that family relationships are ideal settings for us to be refined into the image of Christ. Iron sharpens iron. It is in the challenges of family life that we are bound in permanent relationships and forced to turn to God to find a way to live out the Christian life. 

The same applies to those who are not married. Whether it be single, divorced, widowed or just presently living in a different country from your spouse, these situations, too, have their unique struggles and opportunities for spiritual growth. Join God in this season of life and watch what He will do in your life as you do. 

God can also be found in the midst of our workplace. Work is an ideal place to be made like Christ and to also share the good news of Jesus with others. Work as unto Christ and seek to recognize His presence in every moment. His presence adds purpose and even joy to the most  mundane of tasks. I say that thinking of the joy of relationship. Have you noticed when you are with those that you love that the joy is not based on the doing, it comes from simply being with them. As we grow in our love for Christ and grow to acknowledge and remember His constant presence, even in the mundane we can find joy, because we are with Him.

This same principle applies throughout our lives. As we look for God’s work in our situations, as we grow confident that God is working all things for our good, it becomes a habit to look for God in every situation. In the midst of bad traffic what is God working in me? In the midst of a difficult work environment what is God working in and through me? In the midst of my response to stress and worry what is God showing me about myself? Through our emotions what is God revealing to us about our hearts and our desires? In the midst of our relationships how is God wanting to use us to be a blessing to others? 

Take the time to stop and find where God is working in our lives? If so, God will never waste an opportunity to make us into a person after God’s Own Heart. The greatness of God is present all around us.

Through prayer invite God into your daily situations.

Creatively remind yourself of the constant presence of God until it becomes your permanent reality. 

Look for what God is doing in every circumstance. . . and join Him.

Work as unto Christ, letting His presence be the source of your joy.

Remember that you are on mission every day. Because of this no matter where we work or what we do, we have the privilege of pointing others towards Jesus.


Let us finish by returning to the workshop. Look at the tools. Most are made for hitting, chipping, filing scraping, grinding, chopping, sanding, pinching or twisting. Those are not very pleasant. They are all meant to change and reshape. How can these painful tools be used for good?

It all depends on the workman. God is our Workman and He is good. He has a purpose and a plan. He knows the final outcome and what must be done to work that in us. He is faithful and loving. As we submit to His processes, yield to His working, and rest in His care we will be pleasantly surprised in what God will do.

As we begin this new year, may we open our eyes to see what God is doing in our relationships and in our life situations and may we yield ourselves in faith to the lessons that present themselves in every situation. In this we will thrive in the workshop of God.