There’s a story about the artist Michelangelo who passed by a block of marble somewhere. He stopped transfixed and said, “I see an angel in there. Quick, bring me my chisel.”
This story illustrates how God sees his children.
Many believers I know primarily see the unfinished parts of their lives. It doesn’t matter if we are in grade school, High School, College, or in middle age. We see the things we don’t like, and we focus on the unfulfilled desires. We see the marble not the sculpture.
It’s like we are looking at our future lives through the wrong end of a telescope, everything we want to be seems really far away.
God, on the other hand, is looking at us through the other side of the telescope. He sees our future today, everything that we most deeply want to be, everything God desires for us. He sees all that now.
Just like Michelangelo.
God sees our future today, and he’s chiseling away at all that superfluous stuff that’s not us. At times that chisel may hurt a bit, but it’s just chipping away all the flakes that hide what he’s purposed us to be.
This truth is reality. God sees us today as the person he is making us to become tomorrow.
This is not something new.
It happened all the time in the bible.
- God said, “Abraham never wavered in his faith” (Rom. 4:20). And yet Abraham disobeyed God and fled to Egypt; while there he lies to Pharaoh about his wife; and later he doubts God’s promise by trying to fulfill it himself. And yet God says Abraham never wavered. God saw the finished product while we see the work in process.
- Gideon was scared to death of the Midianites; we first see Gideon cowering in the corner of a cave. The angel of God says, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor” (Jud. 6:12). God saw a warrior in that block of cowardly marble.
- And of course you remember David. He commits adultery, covers it up, and murders a best friend. Of him God says, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do” (Acts 13:22). What did God see that we don’t?
Okay. So what?
What we believe about God determines how we live. The serpent’s strategy with Eve was to corrupt what she believed about God. He told her that God didn’t have her best interests in mind; God was keeping her down. Eve believed the serpent, and doubted God’s love, and she acted. The rest of human history has been a story of violence, oppression, and betrayal.
All because of a person’s belief about God.
Our perception of God’s view of us reveals a belief about God. It is a belief about the nature of God. If we believe God is a harsh taskmaster, we will live our lives under the dark shadow of trying to avoid him. We’ll try to hide our faults from God and others; and we’ll even try to hide them from ourselves.
When we begin to believe God is a loving parent who desires the best for us, we begin to relax, and we find peace. We see him as the Master sculptor, shaping us into the people we were designed to be. He’s chipping away the false us. He’s unveiling the real us.
He’s creating a work of art.
The various trials of life take on a new perspective. We now perceive the tests of God as his way of bringing us freedom from the stones that weigh us down; they make us into art.
We also begin to see others differently. Instead of seeing all the ways others fail to live up to the harsh taskmaster, we begin to see the person inside that block of marble. We root for them. We hope for them. We long for their freedom. We begin to love them more.
So here is the deal. We can choose to believe the real “us” is what we see today—like one of those many unfinished projects we started and will never finish, or we can choose to believe our real person is already seen by the Master Artist who is just polishing off the bits and pieces that conceal the real us.
© Copyright 2012, Beliefs of the Heart. All rights reserved.