For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
What role does the canvas and the paints play in the making of the art? Well, for the most part, they justsit there. An artist comes and picks up the paint, brushes it or sprays it across the canvas. But the canvas is sitting and the paint is sitting. All of it is just being acted upon. The canvas and the paint do nothing. It is all the artist, from the mind and the creativity and the brilliance and the hands of the artist.
Now, the canvas and the paint could stop the art. Couldn’t they? How could they? They could be gone. If the canvas was in the closet or still at the shop, the artist could not use the canvas to paint the picture. No art would happen on a canvas that is not there. What else? The paint could be dry or cracked or runny or in some state other than what is needed. And in that case, the artist would not use that paint. The canvas could already have some other wet paint slopped on, in which case the artist would bypass that canvas, no art would be done with it. The paint could be mixed inappropriately, several distinct colors merged together in the wrong shade of murk.
There are several ways the tools of the artist could hinder their involvement in the making of the masterpiece. But if they sit under the instruction and movement of the artist, then the artist can use them. If they are there and are willing to be used, they will be. And the artist will do all the work.
As it is with this, so it is with us. The mighty things God could do with us, He will do. We will not be the doers, He will. We will be the tools, the ones acted upon, the ones with front row seats, theones on whom He will paint His masterpiece. We might like to look at all the colors and shades that are on us, the things that are beautiful and happening, and we might like to think we are the show. But it is the Mind of the Artist that is being shown, and we are what He is using to show it.
We are to be used by God for His glory. And we have the ability to hinder that work. We can be absent. We can be off in another room instead of in a quiet place soaking in His Word. We can be sitting in in right room at church, but our minds are absent. We can be busy with creating other so called masterpieces, which are not, but that we are splattering on ourselves, thus leaving no room for Truth or Art on ourselves. We can be too busy. We can become dry. We can become hard. We can become a wrong shade of murk, only available for pictures of mud and smog. Those can be beautiful pictures, but they often are not.
Let us, brothers and sisters, sit at the ready for our Master to piece us together as He wills. Let us make ourselves available to be acted upon and used in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Let us (abide in Him and be willing to)
let Him (in whatever way He chooses)
use us (for the glory of His own Name).