I’ve been writing about my attempts to get my head around the notion that the problems I’m having with writing Sky — ie, actually getting myself to go into the office and attend to the book as opposed to any number of other things that are available to do — do not call for me to seek to discipline myself better, but to turn the problem over to the Lord who lives in me and has promised to do the work. Both the work of my calling to write this book, and also the work of conforming me to His image.
The past two posts have been an exploration of thoughts leading up to the ideas in this one, which is an excerpt from a journal entry from last week (this blog is subtitled as my “writing diary,” after all, so I can’t feel too out-of-bounds when I insert sections of my actual diary… 🙂 )
These first two are quotes I selected from Pastor John’s message from Sunday Feb 19, 2012:
“Abraham teaches us there’ll be many tests of our faith. He continued to get up after every defeat (and there were many) and have faith in the Lord who called him….
“There’ll be many times when our faith will come under evaluation. When that happens, it’s really the doctrine we already learned/believed that gets tested.”
So when he says turn it over to Christ and trust Him to do what He says, that means the word and the promises and principles I’m to be believing. Do I really believe He is at work in me? Do I really believe He’ll get the book done through me without my help?
I think that’s the issue for me. Can I believe He will do it — is able to do it — without my schemes and self-condemnation and ‘How can I do it better?’ and ‘I will do better…’ No. See, I do believe He can handle situations over which I have no control. But making myself get down to work — isn’t that my responsibility? Well, how can it be if I’m dead (crucified in Christ) and Christ lives in me? That makes it His responsiblity. So then instead of focusing on me, and what I’m doing or not doing, or hope to be doing, I should be focusing on Him. His character, His work, His purpose, His promises.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all-sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed,.” ~2 Co 9:8
“Faithful is He who calls you and HE will bring it to pass.” ~ I Th 5:24
Even in just writing these two verses I realize if I concentrated on them (rather than self or distractions) why would I want to avoid going to work on the book and seeing Him work?
“For the Lord GOD helps me, therefore I am not disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint. And I know that I will not be ashamed.” ~ Is 50:7
“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance, and he went out NOT KNOWING WHERE HE WAS GOING [!!!]” ~Heb 11:8
Abraham had to get up and go out. But the focus wasn’t to be on what he was going to do, where he was going, but just one step at a time, trusting God to guide his steps.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~Ps 119:105
When that last verse was written, they didn’t have very good lamps: candles, torches, oil lamps. And if you’re carrying any of those as you stand in the darkness, you wouldn’t be able to see very far. But as you walk forward, more is revealed. If you stand still you will never see beyond the present circle of light. No matter how you strain, you must MOVE to see more. So you take a step… into the office, up to the desk. The focus is not to be on the book, or on my lack of ability, or the blankness I have about it but on what I know and believe about HIM. That he’s given me a gift and a calling and a contract for a specific book and promised not just to help but to do it. Why am I afraid? That makes no sense.
Am I more occupied with the Giver or the Gift? The book or the Lord who is giving me the book? Myself and my lack of ability or the Lord who has given and will continue to give me the ability?
Faith is hearing the word and keeping it. Then realizing that we turn more and more of our lives over to Jesus Christ. “I live by faith in the Son of God” (who is the Word of God) and that will be tested. And when it is, and you keep on believing, God reveals Himself to you.
Like how He comes through, no matter what the difficulty every time.
So now in writing this book, He’s right inside me, probably trapping His foot waiting for me to believe Him when He says those things — ie, He will do it, I will NOT be ashamed. I have to go into that office, get in fellowship, trust Him to guide me and show me and get to work. If that is only a nonstop or go over stuff I did before or the notes, let Him guide me.
And that will be tested. Sometimes I’ll have to wait. But wait believing. Wait expecting.
“Unbelief looks at the thing in God’s hand and says, “I wish I had that.” Belief looks and says, “God has promised me that — I WILL have it.” ~ Pastor John Farley, paraphrasing Dwight L. Moody,