Our loving Father’s ultimate goal for us is that we share in His holiness. This is not just holiness, mind you; this is God’s holiness. The Lord wants us to “be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). As the apostle Paul said, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:7). The writer of the book of Hebrews states, “That we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
To be holy means to be set apart for a special purpose. The story goes that Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo chose a block of marble and set it aside to sculpt an angel from it. His hammer and chisel pounded and scraped away until out of that dull cube of rock emerged a beautiful angel for the tomb of the pope. “My task,” he told his admirers, “is to look at a block of stone and see an angel. Then I carve away everything that is not the angel.”
That’s what God does with us. Since we are not insentient stone, the hammering and chiseling may hurt. But we are in the hands of the Master Artist, and we are His masterpiece. If we submit to His sculpting, we will see holiness emerge from the dullness of ordinary living as we are transformed chip by chip into the image of Christ.
For fallen creatures bent on going their our own way, hardship and holiness are inextricably linked. There are no shortcuts; it’s a slow and painful process. God chips and chips until an unworthy attitude crumbles away. He scrapes incessantly until a bad habit disappears. All the while He sees beyond these imperfections to the beauty He intends for us.
Not only do we see the old, sorry attributes falling away, we begin to know God as only discipline can reveal Him. You see, sculpting is a close, detailed, intimate process through which we can develop a fellowship with Him that makes any conceivable discomfort more than worth it.
What is God chipping away in your life right now?
Are you fighting Him and refusing to change and alter a part of your lifestyle (attitude, action, thought, approach to life) or are you submitting and allowing to do what only God can do regardless of the discomfort?