By Mesu Andrews
As a little kid I was anxious to grow up, to go where I wanted, and to do as I wished without asking permission. Now, I’m beyond grown up but still asking permission for many things–especially at writer’s conferences.
Permission to switch workshops.
Permission to sit at a meal with a particular editor or agent.
Permission to send a full manuscript when an editor or agent is the teensiest bit interested.
I recently learned that Jesus too dealt with this nagging requirement of seeking permission. Perhaps the best lesson is found during His wilderness temptations…
“The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'” –Matthew 4:3
Satan tempted Jesus at the point of a legitimate need. How about you? Could a traditional book contract or self-publishing satisfy a legitimate need in your life?
Perhaps you’ve been told you have the talent to publish. Jesus, also, had the ability to feed Himself, evidenced when He later fed five thousand people with a few loaves and fish.
But He didn’t have permission. Here, in the wilderness, God asked Jesus to endure a season of privation for Kingdom glory and His own heart’s good.
“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” –Hebrews 5:8
As you prepare and attend writers’ conferences, ask your Heavenly Father, “Do I have permission to publish–either traditionally or indie?” Get His approval before you look for it in an editor or agent.
Permission to Use Our Gifts
Next, Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple and challenged Him again:
“‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down…'” –Matthew 4:6
Jesus would do miracles more astounding than skydiving from the Temple, but Jesus didn’t have permission to use His gifts in this way. Many of you are gifted writers, but because of circumstance or choice or calling, you find yourself in a role that disqualifies you from wide publication.
Don’t jump off the Temple. Use your gifts elsewhere for God’s Kingdom glory and your heart’s own good! The first book I wrote was a travel log for thirty-two people from our church who toured Israel together. I scribed everything our guide said, typed it into a spiraled notebook, and presented it as gifts to my fellow travelers. Gross sales: $0.00. Satisfaction: priceless.
Permission to Worship
Satan’s final temptation was most deadly of all–worldly success. If you’re blessed enough to receive an offer from an agent, editor, or publisher…beware. The mind can become clouded with details and distractions that dull our passion for the One True Love. Heed the passionate words of the Only Begotten:
“Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” –Matthew 4:10
Mesu Andrews‘ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive through her highly-acclaimed historical/biblical novels. Her sixth book, Miriam: A Treasures of the Nile Novel, released March 15, 2016.