At times, you may feel as though you have been abandoned in the process of becoming who you are. Perhaps you are going through a season that seems to be lingering on for way too long. Maybe you have been diligently praying for a breakthrough in your health or a miracle in your marriage or deliverance from an addiction and it hasn’t happened yet. Or maybe everything is going amazing for you - your work, marriage, family, finances and health - yet, something is missing deep inside.
As you read these words, know that God sees you. He is at work in your life, even when you see no evidence and you don’t feel His presence. He is at work in your life in this very moment, even if you don’t believe in Him or have questions about His existence and love for you. You are His masterpiece. You are His work in progress and God always finishes what He starts.
Phillipans 1:6 reminds us, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Emphasis is mine.)
I can remember many times in my life when I had no idea what God was doing or if He was even paying attention to me. I even explored “other options” throughout my life for something to grab onto because the God of the bible seemed silent and distant during many of the dark seasons of my life.
Only from the vantage point of where I am now, can I look back and see not just His fingerprints, but His mighty hand all over my past. I see purpose in the pain that I once thought was unnecessary and cruel. I see beauty from the ashes of my regrets and mistakes. I see His loving provision and protection when I was running from Him. I see His heart for me when I was struggling and crying out for help. I know that He has never left me. I know that He is for me and not against me. While, I am still in the process of fully trusting God with my mess, I walk in faith that God is working all things out for my good. He is using everything that was meant to destroy me for my good and His glory. It’s part of the process of becoming who He has created me to be. The same is true for you, my friend.
When we are in the midst of the struggle of becoming who we have been created to be, our perspective is short-sighted. It is important to keep reminding ourselves that God knows the beginning and the end. He knows how each of our lives will unfold because He created the plan and purpose for every one of us.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I know life can feel like it has absolutely no purpose. I know there are seasons of life and tragedies of life that don’t make any sense. But the above verses are truths for our spirits when our human minds can’t comprehend. I spent many years of my life with a religion but lacking a relationship with Jesus. I went to church on the major holidays and kept up a Christian appearance because I believed being a Christian was about what I did for God rather than who I was to God. With this doctrine focused on works, I set myself up to never feel good enough. I was constantly battling with shame, guilt and condemnation.
It seemed easier to just live life my own way, in my own strength and for my own self pursuits. It seemed like a good idea to just live for me. But then I got really tired of chasing after peace, joy and love from sources that never satisfied. It didn’t matter what external success I had, or how much money was coming in, how thin I was or how many people surrounded me - without God, it just didn’t make sense. It didn’t satisfy the deep place in my soul that was starving for a deep, personal connection to something bigger than myself. God knew I would turn back to Him. It was all part of the plan. It is all part of the process of becoming His masterpiece.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
This gives me comfort every time I read it. We don’t need to know why we are going through something, we need to know Who is guiding us through it. Amen.
Jeremiah 18:6 reminds us that, “as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” God is molding us into something beautiful.
Instead of trying to control, manipulate, figure out, force or change the circumstances or people in our lives, what if we focused on what God is trying to do in us? What if God doesn’t want to change our situation but rather He wants to change us? I believe He wants to change our hearts. He wants to renew our minds. He wants to remove those mindsets of bitterness, pride, unforgiveness and anger that are holding us back from experiencing sustainable peace, joy and love. But in order to allow this process to happen, we must believe God is loving, caring and accessible and we must submit our will for His will.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. Psalm 37:5
I had a skewed perception of God given to me by a religion, not the word of God. I had to challenge my belief that God was an angry, distant man up in heaven looking for a way to send me to hell or “get me”. But as long as I was seeking truth from other people, I was accepting other people’s interpretations and I was missing out on the intimacy I desperately wanted with God. I had to make a decision to go to the source - the word of God, aka the Bible, and see for myself Who God really was and is.
What I found was a love story. A love that is so intense and powerful, nothing in all creation can separate me from the love God has for me. He is for me, not against me. He is working all things out for my good. He has a plan and a purpose for me and it’s full of hope and prosperity. He sent His only son, Jesus, to die for me to reconcile me to Him. Through Jesus, I am no longer held captive to sin and I am free. I am his beloved daughter and He is preparing a room for me in eternity, where we will be together forever. Because of this love and the plan He has for me, I want to obey Him, serve Him, honor Him and praise Him. There is nothing my heart wants more than to know Him more. Because the more I know Him, the more I know who I am. The more I know Him, the more peace I have. Them more I seek Him, the more He shows Himself. It’s a love story like none other!
This does not negate the wrath of God. You can’t read the bible and not see the blessings for those who believe and the wrath towards those who don’t.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
All you have to do is look around to see God. There is no excuse. And this is good news! It is good news that we have a Creator that loves us so much, He would send his own son to die for us while we were still in our sins. This is love redefined. What human being would do this? Only a God who madly loves his Creation would come down to save us, instead of allowing us to destroy ourselves. Jesus lived, you can’t deny it. He was a real man. God sent His flesh to dwell among us and the testimony of His life is undeniable - so there is no excuse. Just read the bible and see for yourself. If you say you don’t believe, but you have never read the bible, don’t you think that is a big risk? What if it’s true? What if eternal life is a real thing and so is hell? Just sayin, I had to read it for myself and I am fully convinced - this is the truth that will set us all free.
Sorry for the detour. Back to the masterpiece stuff.
The famous sculptor and artist, Michaelangelo could take a piece of rock cut from the earth and sculpt the most amazing masterpieces. He said, “I see it in the rock and I set it free.” If a mere man can make something as beautiful as the sculpture of David, what more can the God of the universe do with each one of our lives?
Galatians 4:7 says, So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
According to Romans 6:6, ...our old man has been crucified with Jesus, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin. God has already set us free but it is a process to become free in our bodies and minds. Most of us are walking out our path to freedom. We may feel free for moments, days, weeks or seasons and then find ourselves struggling in old or new bondage. God will meet us in those places of struggle to remind us of who we are and do more work in molding and shaping us. Every movement of our sculpture’s hands is with purpose - to equip us for the next leg of our journey where more of who we are will be revealed!
He is going to finish what He started in you. You are His masterpiece. Live today in this truth!