How Does God View Us?

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.

But.

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.

Our choice.

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.

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9 Responses to How Does God View Us?

  1. Brooks Carlson says:

    Sam – Good article. The quote attributed to Michaelangelo I’m familiar with is similar to what you’ve used. Someone asked the artist how he could sculpt such incredible work. How could he fashion such a fabulous angel, for example? Michaelangelo replied something like, “I take away everything that isn’t the angel.” Same idea from a different direction. Sort of like Eustace getting the skin pulled off him in “Dawn Treader”. We can’t break out of the marble ourselves, we need Him to lovingly free us.

    • Brooks, I like that quote and the connection with Eustace. Yes, “we need Him to lovingly free us.”

      And the thing we have to come to believe is that “lovingly” part. He really is doing it lovingly.

      Believing this–lovingly–makes all the difference in the world for how we receive it and how we live our lives.

      It can give us joy in the middle of difficulties.

      Thanks

  2. Bruce says:

    Dear Sam,

    Great word picture!! We tend to be so sight-driven and don’t see God’s handiwork going on below the surface of each of our lives; especially those we crictize.

    It reminds me of putting the dot in the middle of the page and asking the other person what he sees. Nine times out of ten they will see the dot instead of all the white space around it! How we focus on the wrong things when it comes to God’s view. Help me to see me and others as unfinished sculptures in His hands.

    Love In Him,

    Bruce :~)

  3. Mark Wager says:

    This is a great allegory for life with God.  Thanks for sharing it.  It was helpful to me.  –Mark

  4. Michael Knower says:

    Sam, every one of Leo Tolstoy’s stories is a redemption story. The interesting part is you never know at the outset who in the story will find redemption and how it will happen. As we encounter people from one day to the next, we never know what God is up to in their stories. We know He is at work. As opportunities arise–and they will–in the course of our contacts, we need to live, breathe, and speak redemption. We may or may not become part of their particular stories, but we do not want to risk missing that possibility.

    • Hi Michael,

      Really good thoughts. I agree, that we, “we do not want to risk missing that possibility.”

      We really never know, do we. Recently a friend told me that he is not always clear on how to help other brothers, but he wants to give a “cup of cold water” at the very least.

      Thanks.

  5. kenstewart says:

    Great insight.

    Graham Cooke had an experience he shares (it’s on YouTube, about 10 minutes long, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu-nxBFxfGQ, where 3 guys tried to discredit his school of prophecy, and God took him to the throne room and gave him an inside look at what was REALLY going on. Pretty incredible vision–like Michealangelo’s revelation in today’s technology and terminology. LOL…

  6. Lisa says:

    This article rings true and I find great comfort in God seeing the true me…as He created me to be. As I let go more and more and surrender to God and His plan for my life…it’s funny, but I feel more and more “like myself”- Lisa

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