Most of us can remember Art Class in elementary school. Children are naturally creative and enjoy the possibilities that appear in a room full of construction paper, glitter, finger paint, and pipe cleaners.

But Art Class never seemed to allow us any (or enough) time to freely create unique masterpieces. No. There was always a project and a particular finished product we had to complete by the end of the grading period. There are no words to describe the frustration in the hearts of little kids trying to re-create the perfect model made by the art teacher.

Sometimes we still feel a similar let-down when we consider our spiritual formation. We know that Jesus is the Example that the Father is modeling us after, according to Romans 8:29:

For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. (The Living Bible)

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. (The Message)

From our human point of view, we may even think that sometimes God looks at us like art projects gone wrong. But He doesn’t feel that way, and it’s encouraging to read in the Bible that He is committed to keep His hands on us until we turn out as masterpieces of His love and grace, as His object lesson to Jeremiah shows:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.  And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me:  “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done?” declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

When we get off course or insist on going our own stubborn way (Proverbs 14:12), our Father continues to mold us in accordance with His perfect will. Praise God that He’ll keep working on us until we meet Jesus face to face (Philippians 1:6). 

So what are we being made into? Scripture paints a vivid picture of what is in the Father’s heart and mind for us:

  • He’s fashioning us into His glorious likeness and image. (II Corinthians 3:18)
  • He’s building us into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. (I Peter 2:5)
  • He’s making us vessels of honor to be used by Him. (II Timothy 2:21)
  • He’s transforming us into a pure and spotless bride. (Ephesians 5:27)
  • He’s cultivating us into His fruitful field. (I Corinthians 3:9)
  • He’s constructing us as His building. (I Corinthians 3:9)
  • He’s developing us into the whole and mature body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)

God loves us so much! These verses give us a small glimpse into the spectacular vision He has for us as His dear children. Just like parents are thrilled at their little ones’ artistic creations, the Father is lovingly looking at us through the finished works of Jesus and rejoicing in the process and the outcome of His operations in our lives. He’s making something wonderful and glorious. Both individually and as the collective body of Christ, we will display the magnificent splendor of our God

And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). Malachi 3:17 [Amplified Bible]

Faith Challenge:

Allow the Lord our God to finish the masterpiece he started in you.  Trust Him in the process.