What is the Master's Commission?
While it may be obvious to some Christian artists, it may be worth defining for others. I consider it a vital mandate from the Lord to be His witness in the days that we are given upon this earth. (Acts 1:8)
If I do not constantly revisit it and keep it as my focus, then I am easily persuaded to create art simply for art's sake. If we, as artists, have clarity of vision and purpose, productivity flows naturally, even if progress may sometimes seem slow, or occurring in fits and starts. The Master's Commission is a charge appointed for each of us to be His witnesses, backed by His authority.
Yet we cannot properly execute this commission unless we know the Master and the power of His authority.
Every Sunday, thousands of Christians fill the pews of churches around the world. They are comfortable calling themselves by His name, yet their knowledge of Him is superficial.
They may know of Him, but do they know really Him intimately? Do you?
Acquiring intimate knowledge of Jesus as Master, is not complicated. It begins with an invitation to partner with Him.
He brings to our hearts the conviction that the human inadequacies of our self-serving personalities
(which He calls sin) are no match for His holiness. To bridge that divide, the penalty for our sin was paid for by Jesus' willing death on the cross. When we acknowledge
His love, demonstrated by His enormous sacrifice, and unreservedly welcome Him into our hearts, we experience freedom from the crushing burden of that sin. He imparts life to our spirits, which are now born again...new and vibrant, possessing His power and personality.
An amazing journey begins, as Jesus now takes the lead. We are born into a new life - the start of a wonderful adventure. The Master's Commission can only be comprehended through the prism of this new life, as He becomes both our Master and our dearest friend. A growing, vital relationship is the sweet fruit of this new experience.
A friendship only becomes rich, when there is transparency and honesty. It is impossible to become friends with someone who is unknowable.
How grateful I am that Jesus makes himself completely transparent and knowable in the pages of the Bible! His personality sparkles from its pages.
I remember as a new Christian soaking up the Bible like a sponge, wanting to know as much as possible. Surely you remember the delight of growing in your understanding of His character as revealed in its pages? As I read, I also remember discovering, to my dismay, some terribly unflattering aspects of my own nature!
I found it apt to call the precious words in the Bible, the ‘Living Word’. This pulsing, powerful Word, began a magical transformation in me and still works in me today, as much as I will permit it. It will do the same for you!
The Master's Commission calls us to become witnesses to that transformation.
It is a transformation that is not instantaneous or complete, but rather gradual. The great news is that the transformation is certain. Its final objective is perfection, but its expression in us at any moment in time, is usually messy. This process in all its raw humanity is what we are to be witnesses to.
A witness is merely one who tells about his, or her, unique experience. For example, at a crime scene a witness is asked about what they saw, heard, felt and experienced. Their account is necessary and valid. It is an account that is completely unique to that person. No one else experienced precisely the same thing, in that specific moment in time, from that vantage point, with that particular personality, moods, emotions or even perspective.
So do you see how powerfully unique your role of being a witness is?
The Master's Commission is your call to be a witness of what you feel, see, experience and enjoy as a result of being transformed. Instead of using words, you get to tell your story in a visual language, in a vocabulary provided by Him. All your challenges, joys, sorrows and frustrations are part of His work of transforming you. That is what you must be a witness to. Can you see how that can be your unique expression as you create art?
No one can replace you.
I pray that you will step up to accept your Master's Commission, as a Christian artist, just as I did many years ago. It will require all your energy and commitment, to execute this mandate with excellence. Thankfully, all that we require has been provided. Yet we struggle.
Why do we struggle so much with our Master's Commission?
Read about some common challenges we face as artists.
The powerful example of Rahab