I love a good story, don’t you? I’ve been reading some Old Testament battle stories, and I love it when God steps in and clearly shows that he is helping armies not just advance, but win! Some of the greatest battles we’ve seen in scripture came this way.
As a writer, I love to tell good stories. I love to see God at work and to be able to share about it.
Writing God’s stories and writing for God looks a lot different than some mainstream writers who gain big accolades for what they write. Or even some Christ followers who write a different narrative than the Bible presents.
So you and I have a choice:
- Do we write for God?
- Do we write for ourselves?
- Do we write for what we perceive the culture is looking for?
I believe writing for God can impact more people when we write the truth of his words rather than what’s popular or trendy to write these days.
It can be tough some days to see what gets published. You probably have seen things get published and you wonder how. Or why. I’m referring mainly to the Christian market, but also to what is being presented in the general market that is escalating in front of us.
Publishing fatigue can set in when you see what others publish. And you may read their words and see something that doesn’t line up with scripture.
Scripture is always our source for truth.
Writing for God incorporates a holy encounter where we listen to Him for his words to drive our story or message.
We need our hearts to line up what we are sharing with the way scripture presents truth.
One of my favorite Psalms is found in chapter 16, and as you read the entire passage, I want to encourage you to focus on verses 5-6 (NIV): “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
I love this! God has assigned us our portion, and He is who makes us secure, not a book contract, not an agent, not a successful book launch.
Do you feel like David—where your stepping out draws more fire than safety? Meaning you may be under scrutiny, others test your words, question your work, but you know that what you are saying lines up with what you know to be true about God!
David’s enemies were present. But David looked straight to God as his refuge. He knew that those who would run after other gods would regret doing so. His words “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places” have stuck with me because he knew he needed to be within the bounds of God.
You may have set boundaries around your words and the truth of what you will share/not share that doesn’t come from God. As you are creating the lines of what you will write, know that God will honor you as you honor him. Pleasant places, to me, means a place of safety where I want to be as I use my creativity, since it represents union with God. A place where I know I’m not outside the fold. Where I’m writing from the truth of who God is.
Writing with God also means that sometimes we have to keep fighting the good fight of faith even when others aren’t. This isn’t to judge others but to focus on our faith in God. Our choosing to write and engage with him as scribe.
A passage I like to refer to from Paul, who knew what it meant to fight the good fight of faith, is this: “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (NIV)
Holding onto faith and a good conscience. Wow, isn’t a good conscience worth more than anything else? Maybe you have some regrets about how you’ve handled someone or about how you’ve responded to an opportunity. We all have these challenges at different times. But it’s amazing how Paul knew that we would be tempted to do things that would go against our conscience. And then the literal phrase that I am drawn to where those who have neglected a good conscience “have rejected these (referring to faith and a good conscience) and have shipwrecked their faith.”
Paul, who was shipwrecked and saw men fleeing to their destinations, warns us not to cast it all aside and abandon our faith. No writing is worth the cost of losing your faith by something that compromises the Word of God or doesn’t leave you a clear conscience in what you write that lines up with scripture.
Presenting a different narrative than scripture will always cost us. Maybe some have thrived doing that, for now, but we know that we will have an eternal inheritance that is ours when we don’t abandon the truth of scripture for a fad or for an opportunity.
Writing for God will bring you more peace when it’s led by him and for him. It may mean a delay; it may mean saying no to something you know doesn’t feel right by how it’s being presented to you, or another boundary line you need to put up just like David knew.
Writing for God looks like letting his words flow through you and letting them fall on pleasant places that he will lead and guide you to, in his timing.
Question: What is your favorite place to write? How do you prepare your heart for a writing project?
About Blythe Daniel
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent, author, and marketer. Her agency markets books and represents non-fiction and fiction. Blythe was the publicity director and marketing director for Harper Collins Christian Publishing and a literary agent for 18 years. Blythe co-authored Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters and I Love You Mom: Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours with her mom. Blythe and her daughter co-authored Let’s Be Friends: A Tween Devotional on Finding and Keeping Strong Friendships.