We should learn a lesson from the old heathen artist!
(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)
"In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah . . . and his wife Elizabeth . . . Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." Luke 1:5-6
This is a beautiful thing which God said of them. Yet, after all, that is the test which every life must endure. It is not enough to have human commendation. The question is — How do we stand before God? How does our life appear to Him? It does not matter how men praise and commend us — if God sees that we are living wrong. The Pharisees were righteous before men; but if you would see how they stood in God's eye — read the twenty-third chapter of Matthew: "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Hell!" (verse 33)
We are in reality — just what we are before God — nothing less, nothing more! The question we should always ask ourselves is, "What does God think of me?" If we would meet His approval, we must first have our hearts right — and then we must be blameless and upright in every part of our life.
One of the old heathen artists was chiseling the back part of his marble statue with great pains. "Why do you carve the tresses on back of the head of your statue so carefully?" asked one; "it will stand high in its niche against the wall — and no one will ever see its back." "The gods will see it," was the reply.
We should learn a lesson from the old heathen artist! We should do our work just as honestly, where it will be covered up and never seen by human eyes — as where it is to be open to the scrutiny of the world. For God will see it! We should live just as purely and beautifully in secret — as in the glare of the world's gaze!
There really is no such thing as secrecy in this world. We imagine that no eye is looking — when we are not in the presence of men. But really, we always have a spectator — we are living all our life in the presence God Himself! We should train ourselves, therefore, to live for the Divine eye in all that we do — that our life may stand the Divine inspection, and that we may have the approval and commendation of God Himself!
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!" Hebrews 4:13