Sunday, October 14, 2012

Let God Chisel

"Let God Chisel."

This was the title of the opening message given by Lysa TerKeurst at the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina last year. Hardly a day goes by even now—one year later—that I don’t mull over this concept. 

Because life is full of the chiseling process.
We’re either experiencing that hammering and shaping in our own lives, or participating as God chisels another.

To “let God chisel” means we recognize that God is the Master Sculptor, making each one of His own into a masterpiece for His glory, in His own way.

When Michelangelo was asked how he created his best known masterpiece, he replied, “I never saw a block of marble; I saw ‘David’ locked inside.”

That’s how a master artist thinks.

Consumed with creating a perfectly finished project, Michelangelo never left the side of his block of marble.  He hammered and chiseled and shaped and molded until David emerged.

He saw a masterpiece that others didn’t.
And others saw it, only after he was done chiseling.

When asked for advice on how to become a sculptor, Michelangelo answered:
“You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”

God is masterful at chipping away what doesn’t look like the masterpiece He wants to produce. He is skillful at carving with whatever it will take to shape us. Whatever it takes, when He chisels, beauty will surface.

Sculpting and shaping requires this chiseling.

And, as many of us know . . . when God chisels, it hurts.

To "let God chisel" means we trust Him as He is doing that work, however painful, knowing that out of that pain will emerge beauty—not of our own making, but His.

Lining the halls leading to the room where his greatest masterpiece, David, is kept, stands a collection of lesser known statues by Michelangelo.

These statues are unfinished.

A leg, part of an arm. A head, but no body.
Only parts of the masterpiece emerged.

These partly-chiseled works are called “The Prisoners.”

They were never destroyed. They were never laid aside, because the touch of Michelangelo is upon them.

They're still admired for the glimpse of beauty that is the mark of their master artist.

But they‘re prisoners.

None of them became another “David,” because they required more chiseling.

When God chisels, He completes what He has begun.
He hammers. Not to harm, but to free.

He is at work—even in the pain—to free each one of us from our hard places.

To complete His masterpiece.

That's what a Master Sculptor does. He chips away what isn’t part of that masterpiece.

He sees the beauty He is producing. 

And we will see it, too . . . after He chisels.


  1. Bethany, I was there that year too! I still have my "Let God chisel" keychain. That was a powerful message too, I agree.

    "He sees the beauty he is producing" -- good line. Thank you.

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. That's great that you were there, too - I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you! Thank you for your comment. I pray the Lord continues to bless you in your ministry.


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