|THIS TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS
Read our text passage, which is II Corinthians 4. The apostle Paul here delivers sound doctrine for us, truths that can
have a great effect on our lives. For that reason, we are compelled to feed upon it and grow thereby. Now look closely
at verses 6-7. Paul speaks here of a treasure. This treasure is apparently something each of us who knows Jesus
possesses; we know this because he uses the pronoun “we” as he relates this truth. So, from this you can understand
that God has placed what He considers to be a treasure within you.
Our task is to discover what this treasure is and what it means to us. Verse 6 holds a key for us. God, whom we know
spoke light into existence, (Genesis 1:3) is also the One that has called for light to be shone into our hearts; this is the
light of truth or knowledge, as Paul puts it. This knowledge has brought to us the glory of God. We can get a picture in
our minds of how this glory looks by the description of the face of Moses after he came down from Mount Sinai.
(Exodus 34:29-30) Please remember that Paul is saying that you who are born again by the Spirit of God have this same
glory Moses had and the same glory that was upon the face of Jesus. (see Isaiah 60 for further insights into the glory of
The treasure Paul refers to in this passage is the literal anointing of God. The anointing is something that is
supernatural in power. You cannot see it, but you can see the effects of it. It is the means by which Jesus heals the
sick, raises the dead, walks on water, and changes water into wine. The anointing is the power of God at work on the
earth to carry out the will of God. It is important to remind yourself at this point that as we discuss this tremendous
power that you not lose sight of the truth that you too possess this power, if Jesus lives within you!
As you finish reading verse 7 of our text passage, you will discover why you possess this powerful force called the
anointing. God has chosen to distribute His power on the earth through the most unlikely vessels - us. He did not
choose golden or platinum vases to carry His glory. The vessels God chooses are, as Paul puts it, “…earthen
vessels…” One might ask, “Why did God choose just plain, everyday folks like you and me to handle such a divine task
as carrying His glory?” The answer to this question is found in this 7th verse: “…that the excellence of the power may
be of God and not of us.” In other words, He wanted to make certain that the vessel did not receive glory, but that
whatever He did through His saints would cause glory to be directed towards Him.
One can see that God has developed these vessels for this divine task to be ordinary people. But not everyone is
qualified to be one of these vessels of the glory of God. No, only those who are sanctified by God and set apart and
deemed holy enough for such a glorious purpose. The fact is, we seldom feel very holy because we are all too aware
of our own carnal tendencies and fleshly weaknesses. But this personal knowledge does not change the reality of this
lofty calling to which we are called by God – to be carriers of His glory.
Verses 8 and 9 aptly describe our humanness as Paul recounts how we are hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and
carrying about death in our physical bodies. But he also rightly points out that these things do not prevent us from our
appointed task of distributing and displaying the glory of God. We can understand from this passage that neither our
humanity nor the challenges we face can keep us from adequately functioning in our divine calling. For that we should
give God praise!
The tendency of many Christians is to spend far too much time worried and concerned about themselves. Now read
verses 16-18. Here you are told the obvious, that your outward man (physical body) is perishing. It is prone to
weakness, fatigue, and it ultimately will even die. But God wants you to focus on what is inside – that treasure that is
within you. The outward challenges you face are, as Paul puts it: “…light affliction…” This means they are not worthy of
undue concern or anxiety. In fact, we are told here that these things that seem to be hard and painful are actually
producing in us, “…a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” With each victory over these hard things, God
is glorified as others see us strong and unmoved by them.
Perhaps verse 18 holds an important key for you. It discusses what things command your attention. Paul tells you
that it is not good to focus on what you can actually see. He knows that these things are subject to change. This is
because the anointing of God that is within you is more powerful than whatever it is that is confronting you! Praise
God! The truth is: whatever you focus on will determine the outcome of the challenge you face. If your focus remains
on Jesus, He will cause you to be victorious. On the other hand, if you focus on all that is wrong and hurtful, that is
what will become foremost in your mind, and it will ultimately create death or destruction to some area of your life.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and see that treasure within you cause victory!
Now let’s discuss how you can practically apply what you have learned in this simple lesson on the treasure that is
The anointing is what God uses to carry out His will, as you have learned; therefore, once you know the will of God on
any given subject, you can apply His anointing that is within you to that situation and you will see His divine will unfold
on your behalf. For example, what would you do if you just learned that your employer was going out of business and
would be shutting down the office in which you work?
First of all, you would remind yourself that what you focus on is very important. Paul admonishes you to set your
focus on Jesus, not on the challenge itself. As you can imagine, if you were to lose a job you had had for 15 years, it
would be traumatic in the natural. But, you are not in the natural nor are you limited to natural principles; as a child of
God, you operate in the supernatural realm due to the powerful anointing that is within you. So, the first thing to do is
to avoid the temptation to allow the problem to become all encompassing.
How do you focus on Jesus? You focus on Him as you immerse yourself in the Word of God. He is the Word. (John 1:
14) This immersion into the Bible will do two things:
1) It will give you a clear understanding what the will of God is concerning your life and even your employment,
2) It will begin to renew your mind, giving you strength and wisdom to face the present challenge.
Knowing what God thinks on a particular subject can mean the difference between victory and defeat to you. When
you know that God wants you to prosper, (III John 2) and that He has promised to bless the work of your hands in all
that you do, (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) it begins to build faith in you that regardless of the job layoff, God will cause
wonderful things to happen for you with a brand new, better job. When you understand that He promises to surround
you with favor (Psalm 5:12), you will approach that prospective employer with a new confidence and even boldness that
will impress him and cause him to lean toward you in his hiring decision. That’s the way it works!
The next thing you should do is to begin to immediately release the power of God into your situation. How is this
done? Let’s return to our text passage and look in verse 13. Paul declares, “…I believed and therefore I spoke…”
The faith of God within him empowered him to not only believe God but to speak what He has said to him in the Word.
The speaking of the Word is key to releasing the power that is within it. Using the promises of God, you might want to
make this confession: (see the confession in the box at the left)
Do you see that I took Scripture verses and fashioned them into a prayer of confession? This is what you must do.
Use the Word to bring about God’s will in your life. I simply used the powerful anointing that is within me to implement
the next stage in the plan of God for my life. That anointing empowered me to believe. It enables me to speak in faith.
And, it will bring about that which I have spoken, to the glory of Jesus Christ.
Your new job is on the way! However, the timing is up to God. That is why Paul wrote what he did in Galatians 6:9
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Don’t give up before the promise manifests into the blessing. Keep confessing; keep believing. Your Father is
faithful to His word and He will cause it to happen. When it does happen and you are enjoying the fruits of that new
job, give God glory for it by telling everyone you see that God has done this wonderful thing for you.