On this day, November 1, 1512, the Sistine Chapel in Rome, was exhibited for the public to see the finished work of the Italian artist Michelangelo.
After years of demonstrating his mastery of sculpture, Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the chapel with a series of amazing frescoes. The project expanded from a simple depiction of the twelve apostles to include more than four hundred figures, and nine scenes from the book of Genesis, the most famous being the creation of Adam.
Celebrated as one of Europe’s finest artists of all time, Michelangelo maintained a standard of excellence during four grueling years as he painted, often on his back, while working from a hanging scaffold.
Legend has it, that a friend once came to visit the artist while he was working in a dark corner of the chapel. Observing that no one would ever see that dark corner, he asked “why” he was giving it such painstaking effort. Michelangelo replied, “God will see.”
We need to wake up each morning with the realization that “God will see.” The wise man reminds us, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Prov 15:3).
Certainly, there is a warning to be careful about our conduct. God sees bad behavior. God knows our evil thoughts. God hears our ugly words. God observes our negative attitudes.
The Psalmist raised the question, “Where can I flee from your presence?” His answer: “If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” His conclusion: God is omnipresent. All seeing. Ever alert. And aware of our actions. He even sees in the dark corners. Whether the Sistine Chapel or our minds and hearts.
However, there is another aspect to consider. An awareness of God’s presence ought to do more than deter us from sin, it should stimulate us to excellence in everything we do.
It’s reputed that Michelangelo would frequently pray, “Lord, make me see your glory in every place.” This ought to be true in our homes. Our professions. And in our churches. Peter penned that as God’s chosen people, we should “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
This is why Paul admonished, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23-24).
It’s worth noting that this admonition was addressed to slaves. They were to serve their earthly master, whether he was just or unjust, with excellence. Willingly. Heartily. With gusto. The Message translates this passage, “Don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart.”
When we assemble for worship, we ought to give God our best every service. Those leading in worship have a responsibility to prepare and put serious thought into what they say. While that certainly applies to the preacher’s sermon, it’s true of the song leaders. The prayer leaders. And those who give communion talks. Don’t just throw something together on the “spur of the moment.”
This principle can be applied to every aspect of our ministry. The church web site. The printed literature. Our classes. Powerpoints. The curb appeal of the church grounds. The cleanliness of the building. And the way we welcome and greet guests.
Are we serving God with a high standard of excellence? Or merely giving Him second best?
Never forget. God sees. Even into the dark corners of our lives.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
3 responses to “God Will See”
Ken, reminds me of one of my coaches who was the son of a minister. He often quoted his father when teaching the importance of every detail…his father always said it took him 40 hours to write a 30 minute sermon!
I can relate to that! Good to hear from you Jeanette. Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment.
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