|Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Exsodus|
If you're like me you probably have several writing projects on the boil at any one time. You'll likely be writing regularly for your blog or website, crafting short stories for competitions or in the hope of publication, and having a bit of a dalliance with poetry. Perhaps you also love to write devotionals. Then there's your main project, 'the' book – the one you've been writing for months now, or perhaps even years. It might be fiction, non-fiction or faction, depending on your leanings and unique talent.
I'm always tempted to pick up whichever task takes my fancy at the time. You know, the one I feel like writing in the moment. That's all well and good sometimes, and it often provides a delicious taste of satisfaction and fulfilment, at least on a certain (human) level. But, as with everything else in our busy lives, we need to pause and consider whether or not our industry aligns with God's design – and that's not always easy.
Prayer, of course, is our first port of call. And then we wait...looking for subtle signs or nudgings in our spirit. At times, God gives us free reign, indulging us and allowing us to use our time to develop our creativity and skills. At other times, God has a very specific plan for us. It might be only for the day or it might be for a period of weeks or months. We can be sure though, that He has a particular purpose for our writing and a particular time frame in which to do His will.
'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:'
At times, we'll receive confirmation from a fellow Christian about where our focus should be, although we must always test what we hear by bringing it before God and seeking Him in earnest prayer. I received this kind of direction from a beautiful woman of God a few months ago. As an editor, publisher and fellow Christian, I felt her words resonate with me as she read some of my work and gave me direction. I now know which one of the many writing tasks God wants me to concentrate on over the coming year. (No more excuses for me!)
At other times, I only figure God's priorities in retrospect. If, at the end of the day, I feel God's arms around me, and hear the words, 'Well done, good and faithful daughter,' wash over me, I know I've been fulfilling His will. My habitual anxiety abates as I'm bathed in an incredible sense of spiritual and emotional well-being. It's like snuggling up to a newborn babe and drinking in that delicate smell of luscious soft skin and downy, sweet hair. The experience of peace and contentment is profound.
'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
When we allow God's will to come to fruition in our lives, doors open and the path is laid before us bit by bit. If we ask Him, as I invariably do, to gently correct us when we go astray, He is faithful. He has pointed me back to the path many times in my life by simply stepping in and stopping me from proceeding, and then leading me back in the right direction. For the past four years, I've authored a blog about verbal, emotional and psychological abuse. From time to time, I consider it time to let it go; I feel the blog has run its course and served its purpose. But every, single time … without fail over the past year or so … each time I've considered shutting the blog down, I receive an email or comment from a new subscriber who thanks me sincerely for helping them to understand, and to embark on their healing journey. Many have been moved to tears. It's a beautiful dance between me and my best friend, my confidante, my King and my saviour.
God's will never harms us. He promises we will prosper but we need to bear in mind that His riches are not those of the world. We may earn an income, or we may not, but our spirits will be nourished and nurtured every step of the way. We'll continue to grow and learn, but most importantly, He'll be using our words to touch the hearts and minds of His people.
May this be our prayer:
'Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.'