I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Write When The Spirit Says "Write"

I called my parents this afternoon to wish them "Happy Easter" and to check in with them. My dad commented that he had been keeping up with all my writing pretty well, but lately was finding I was just so prolific, he couldn't keep up with it all!

Yes, I have been quite busy and feeling as if I must write while the spirit inspires me to write. I have had times in my life - days, weeks and even months where I didn't feel like writing. I could write, I just didn't want to - I wasn't "feeling it" to use a slang expression. Like everything in life, there is a season and a time for my writing.

During the winter months I tend to hibernate. I read and hunker down to some extent. Once the days become a bit longer, the weather a little warmer and I actually see the sun I begin to feel that old energy coming back. I imagine if I were to write 24/7 and 365 days a year it wouldn't be as pleasurable for me. I enjoy writing when I'm in the mood, because I don't always have the opportunity or the inclination.

Those who consider themselves "writers" can't imagine life without writing. Perhaps they merely work a crossword puzzle or read a magazine daily. Perhaps they jot down a limerick or short poem; maybe they even pound out a short story or an article on a topic of interest. Just about every activity in a writer's life is either research for their writing or actual writing!

The trick for Christian writers is to (1) accept that we are called by God to write; (2) hear God correctly and clearly about what it is we are to write; (3) constantly give the glory to God for any "success" we may have; (4) don't write for the saved but for the lost; (5) write from our brokenness and not from our wholeness; (6) embrace and encourage other Christian writers.

These are challenging guidelines, I realize! I may wish I were a poet, but if God didn't gift me with the ability to create a lyrical, rhyming series of words to paint a picture in someone's mind or heart, then I just better focus on the writing that I excel in. If I don't excel, I had better get myself up to speed - take a grammar course, take a journaling course or a course in creative writing.

When we realize we are called, ordained really, to write for God, then we must figure out if we are to write novels, articles, poetry, short stories, fiction, non-fiction -- you get it. Once we achieve some success, once our writing is published and we begin to make a name for ourselves, give the glory to God. He's the one who placed the call in our hearts, remember.

The saved don't need to taught about the saving power of Christ. They already know it. Sure, we can all use more information, participate in bible studies and book groups, study various versions and translations of the bible to deepen and broaden our understanding of God's word. Everyone needs uplifting and encouragement. But the ones who need to hear or read what we write most of all are the ones who haven't heard it yet! Or the ones who have heard it in the past, but need to hear it in a new way in order to understand your message.

I have trouble with Christians who spend a lot of time and energy telling me how wonderful they are now that they have been saved. If we're not careful the focus of this kind of writing isn't on Christ but on oneself. Yes, our lives are better when we give them over to our Savior. Yes, we are all thankful for our blessings, and we are right to declare our thankfulness, as long as we make Jesus the reason for our gratitude. It can be easy to turn our Good News into preaching, though.

Rather we should talk about how broken and sin-filled we were before we came to know Christ! Yes, we're still broken and sin-filled, but much less so. The improvement in our lives is due to the healing power of Jesus, not of our own doing. Let's tell those who are lost, broken, afraid and alone that Jesus loves them and He will heal their hearts. Remind them that God loves them so much he created them for a unique and divine purpose on this earth.

Even if we don't agree with or particularly care for other Christian writers, we must encourage and uplift them. The Word of God needs to be shared with this world. If we don't offer our prayers and our encouragement to each other, we all work harder against the power of the evil one to counter our God-given, Spirit-whispered message of the healing blood of Jesus.

Christian writers are a special breed. We stand apart from other writers because we write for Christ and His kingdom. We live in the world but are to avoid being "of it." We see how others live and are tasked with offering a better way, both by our example and our writing.

Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. (Isaiah 30:8 NIV)

"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. (Jeremiah 30:2)

[ The LORD's Answer ] Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it (Habakkuk 2:2 NIV)

I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. (1 John 2:12 NIV)


RCUBEs said...

Amen sister! I woke up from a nap after celebrating Resurrection Sunday and your post pierced my heart because that was what I was just praying was for the Lord to continue to use us, those blogging for the Lord as I felt that there are still many out there who are still lost! And that's what sad! You're right! We must never forget to do everything esp. writing for God's glory! [Then again, how can the posting go wrong if led by the Holy Spirit? :)]. God bless and may God continue to inspire you.

Andrea said...

Stop by Arise 2 Write...I have something there for you. GOD BLESS, andrea

Andrea said...

Amen..thank you for your continued encouragement...GOD has used you in a mighty way in my life.
GOD bless, andrea

Saleslady371 said...

It is truly a fine line we Christian bloggers walk. I know for a fact that I have a mixed following. Many do not leave comments. My daughter tells me her friends read my blog. I had to stop worrying about what spiritual state my readers are in and spend more time with the Lord and let Him lead in my writing. I'm finding that this is no easy task but extremely rewarding.

Thank you for all your encouragement to writers.

Sharon Ball said...

Thank you for encouraging all of us writers through your words and your heart for Jesus. To Him be all of the glory.

Page said...

I would like to add my applauds to your RCWW e-mail: Tom, I offer this post, not as a way to shine the spotlight on myself, but to share what I truly believe is God refining and defining my ministry. Christian writers are in need of encouragement, uplifting and support. A large part of my ministry is growing larger all the time: ministering to Christian writers.

Mary, you have been the primary encourager and lighthouse in my efforts to get going with a book I have been working on almost 10 years now. Thanks to you the full draft is now complete. God bless you.