…fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience…~1 Timothy 1:18,19
Dear Jesus following artist,
I know you’re at a crucial place in your career. It’s time to make a decision; is this what you really want to pursue? You think it is, you think this is where God is calling you. But it’s so dark, it’s messy, that environment is not entirely healthy. You’re wondering if you’re even ready to handle that. I mean, what if you fall away from the Jesus path? In other words, how do you keep your faith in the arts world?
Good question. Every Jesus following artist wants to know how to be in the world but not of it. It would be easy if we could condense it to a formula or three-step plan but learning to answer this question is part of the journey. Here’s a few things I’ve learned so far.
First of all, Don’t let the fear of “losing your faith” keep you from pursuing what God has called you to do. If God is calling you into the arts, go for it!! Yes, it might feel safer and more comfortable to stay in our little, Christian bubble but would that be walking by faith? To put it bluntly, would it be obedient? We were put on this Earth to be lights in the world (Matthew 5:16). Know and live confidently in the promise that if He leads you somewhere He will equip, guide, and protect you on the journey while glorifying and drawing people to Himself (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Most importantly, keep your eyes on Jesus. Immerse yourself in scripture so that you will be ready for anything at any time (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:1-3). Renew your mind with His Truth so that you will be able to distinguish what is wise and right (Romans 12:2). Also, constantly check your motives and goals. Ask Him to mold your dreams and desires to His (and be ready for this to be a painful process). Let Him be your ultimate goal and you will always be fulfilled.
I know sometimes it feels like we’re all alone. And as much as it seems appealing (to introverts at least) to be an island, we’re not meant to be. Surround yourself with like-minded community both in and outside of your environment (Hebrews 10:24-25). There’s something about being around other people that inspires, connects, and encourages us in our work. As the body of Christ, we’re instructed to work together to further the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Also, find a mentor; allow yourself to be vulnerable with and honestly accountable to someone. It really helps.
Sometimes the lines can get a little fuzzy when we venture into the territory of standards. We often overcompensate with a bunch of rules when we should be listening to the Holy Spirit. Yes, our lives will look different from those around us but be careful not to major on minors. Let your life be different because of the work of the Holy Spirit within you, rather than the rules you follow. Ultimately, living out our faith is an individual process that looks different for everyone but whatever you do, do not compromise the standards God has set. Your career is not worth a conscious decision to live in sin (Titus 2:7-8). Remember that everything from our attitude to our actions represents Jesus (Phillipians 2:13-15)
I’m going to be honest. It’s a hard road. And it’s not always clearly marked. It’s a walk of faith and not sight being led by the Holy Spirit day by day. I know sometimes it feels like all the pressure is on us to rep Jesus well. But we have to remember it’s not, he can rep Himself just fine without our help. Yes, we will make mistakes along the way but you know what’s beautiful? We serve a God of grace. A God who will equip and prepare us to handle whatever situation we’re brought through. He’s the One who will speak through us in our weaknesses and use our tiny, broken stories to invite people into His great big, beautiful story.
Be encouraged. Make your art. Be inspired by the Master Artist. Boldly proclaim His freedom. Confidently embrace the creativity He’s given you. Fearlessly pursue the dream He’s planted in you. Remember that you’re not alone and keep shining!
…stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain ~1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV
Standing with you,