Last Sunday my church began the updated version of the study series, Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby. The introductory lesson reminded me that God has plans for my life–big plans. It also reminded me that it’s up to me to obey.
Blackaby bases the whole series on what he calls the Seven Realities:
1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you.
These seven realities are true for everyone, but they are uniquely so for Christian writers. We all have experienced the call, the invitation, to join God in His work through our writing. We know God is at work all around us and are inspired by our times of Bible reading, worship and prayer.
But for many writers, including myself, a new project brings a certain amount of fear, uncertainty, and chaos into our lives. We wonder if this really is what we should be writing right now. Sometimes the enemy is so unnerved at the thought of God working through a particular project that he hurls spiritual grenades at us. I recently completed a project even though each time I sat down to write the phone rang, someone came to the door, my minister-husband needed me to make a visit with him, or the pain in my hands acted up. The only reason I got through it was because I had a deadline involving others, not just me. We can be tempted to think God won’t mind if we shelve the idea for a while.
We need to remember that God’s invitation to us always leads to a crisis of belief requiring faith and action. And that it also requires major adjustments on our part. These are the uncomfortable aspects of following God’s will. We wish it could be possible to whip out a novel in three days, send it without a proposal to one editor who would offer us six figures for the manuscript, and have the publisher promote it into a best-seller overnight.
While warp-speed ease sounds nice, we would miss what God wants to do in our lives through the process. As I labor over my work, God labors to work in me. As I depend on Him for idea inspiration, and then use my craft to create the vehicle through which He’ll speak to others, I am changed. I come to know Him better as He accomplishes His work through me.
Is your current writing project God-inspired or you-inspired? How upset is the enemy over what you write? Are you stuck in the crisis, or are you obeying with action?