As I was faithful in my research I came upon the following words by Michelangelo thathelped frame my thinking on our subject of conforming to the image of His son.
"Inevery block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shapedand perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."
What apicture of God’s intent for us to be fashioned in the likeness and image of Christ. Godsees what we can become:
shaped and perfect in attitude and action. That is, ourminds renewed and our actions following suit. Before we are revealed as Hismasterpiece, which is what all creation is groaning for, He uses all things for thegood, hewing away at the rough walls that imprison our loveliness. Were thereregrets on Michelangelo’s part over what he had to chip off to create the finishedimage he envisioned? I doubt it. The rough prison walls we’ve built up around us mustbe razed to expose God’s glory within us. I’m almost sure he reasoned, as Paul did,that the glory of the creation is worth the loss.For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to becompared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnestexpectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.(Rom 8:18-19 KJV) Just as Michelangelo was not the first to work that piece of marble, God is often notthe first influence that tries to shape us. The world, the flesh, and the devil are morethan willing to try and create a graven image from us. When we are conformed to theworld system which sympathizes with our flesh and allows the enemy access to us,the end product will be far from God’s image of what He would have us be. Thus John’s warning in 1 John 2:15-17.Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love theworld, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, butis of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he thatdoeth the will of God abideth for ever.(1Jn 2:15-17 KJV)It is estimated that the ankles on “David” are supporting near six tons of weight. Canyou imagine how much that piece of marble weighed before the hewing began? Thereis far more that was chipped away than that which remains. Our prison walls arethick! Paul tells us in Philippians to forget about what we’ve lost in the process andmove forward to receive that prize of the high calling of conforming to His image.That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I mightattain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained,either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that forwhich also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself tohave apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which arebehind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towardthe mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.