This is an addendum that further elaborates on the blog post: Masterpiece
During the two years Michelangelo shaped his work of art, he used a variety of different tools. He used hammers and large chisels to remove large sections of stone. He used smaller chisels to work on the finer details, and he used brushes to remove debris. God does the same thing when He is shaping us into His masterpieces. I want to look at four different tools God uses in our lives:
- WORSHIP –God doesn’t need us to worship Him, because God isn’t insecure, sitting around hoping we like Him. WE need to worship Him. Do you know why? Think about who you are today: your personality, your quirks, your good qualities… and even your bad ones. What are they the product of? The people you admire – your idols, and the people you spent the most time with. In the same way, we become more like God when we spend time with Him… admiring Him. In (2 Cor. 3:18), Paul wrote, So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
- WORD – It is in reading God’s word that we learn what parts of the stone need to be removed, and what needs to stay in order for us to achieve the things God has planned for us.
- We find pieces of stone that need to be removed – (Col. 3:5; 8,9) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world…
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
- We also use God’s word to identify the characteristics that need to be accentuated in our lives – (Col. 3:12-14) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
- WORKS – (Eph. 2:10) 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. What are your dreams? Are they big? I’ll bet they are. Aren’t there BIG things you would like to do for God’s kingdom, or to help the people around you? Have you accomplished all of those dreams? Do you think the “good things God has planned for you” would be bigger or smaller than your dreams? Do you know why most of us aren’t doing the big things we had hoped to accomplish? Because we haven’t been willing to do the little things that have presented themselves first. The two greatest leaders in the entire history of the nation of Israel would likely be Moses and King David. These men had very little in common. Moses was educated in the finest schools in the world, David never attended school. Moses was 80 years old when God called him, while David was a teenager when he was anointed king. Moses was married with children, David was single. However, they had ONE thing in common. When God called them to lead, they were doing the exact same thing: tending sheep. To be more exact, each of them were tending someone else’s sheep. Moses was caring for his father-in-law’s flock while David was tending his father’s sheep. The Bible is full of stories of heroes who were plucked from obscurity to accomplish great things. The greatest enemy of reaching our destiny and accomplishing big things for God is often our unwillingness to do the little things that are right in front of us. In Luke 19, Jesus reminded us that when we are “faithful in little things, He will make us rulers of much.”
- WARFARE – Warfare might truly be confrontation with the enemy, or it may take the form of testing and trials, but God is still at work with his hammer and chisel… even in the hard times. In (Ps. 119:67; 71), the writer said, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word…
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.
In those times that we struggle, grieve, or feel afflicted, God is at work like a master sculptor removing little pieces of our lives that hide the beauty of His finished work. Little things like pride or self-righteousness can be those final pieces of debris that must be removed to reveal God’s finished work. That is why, in (Rom. 5:3,4), Paul said, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”