Staying Dependent

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Fellowship, Friends of ACFW, writing 11 Comments

By Ian Acheson

A couple of recent online discussions made me reflect on my writing journey.

At the same time, I had been reading Exodus 33 where Moses on being commanded to leave Sinai demanded of God that he wouldn’t go anywhere without His presence. Let’s have a look at the passage:

“Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33: 12-15 NKJV)

Who do we rely upon?

Many commentators believe the favour of God on Moses increased the very moment he said yes and only if God would go with Him. God wants us to be people who do not depend on our own ability, but upon Him.

So many of us struggle continuously with the “am I good enough” syndrome. Irrespective of how many books we may have written and/or published when we turn up to the blank screen for the next one there’s always that doubt that we’re done; there’s no more coming out of us. All our decent stories and/or characters have all been revealed.

I’m currently working on a non-fiction project and everyday I feel absolutely unqualified to explore the topic I feel the Lord has put on my heart.

And you know what, I am. Just like Moses who’s task was impossible in his own strength.

And the more I surrender to my own inadequacies the more I procrastinate and nothing of any real value gets written.

What’s the prize?

We all want to get published, then have a bestseller, win awards, and sell sufficient copies that we can live off a writing income. Yes?

Perhaps we’ll never admit it to anyone (except the first point about being published) but the other three would all be marvellous. Not just for the kudos and trinkets that come with them but the sense of significance too. I really can write.

But the longer I walk this journey with the Lord the more I realise it’s all about doing it with Him. When we spend time with Him both in the secret place (Matthew 6:6) and at our keyboards all those “rewards” don’t seem all that important.

We get something so much better: Him!

“It is the relationship and intimacy that grows out of remaining in Him that allows you to know His heart …” (Heidi Baker)

In calling us to write and/or filling us with story ideas, the Lord invites us to abide in His presence so He can fill us with His desires for the world and us. Oh, and He’ll help us write those stories. They may not win awards or even get published but does it matter if we’ve got His heart?

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NKJV)

If you’re struggling at whatever stage of the journey may I encourage you to be as bold as Moses and ask that you’ll only continue if the Lord goes with you. And when He says yes, enjoy spending time getting to know His heart for you and your stories.

Grace and peace, dear writing friends.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian’s first novel, Angelguard, is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Angelguard won the 2014 Selah Award for Best Speculative Fiction. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian’s website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter.

Comments 11

  1. Ian – all the times I read Genesis, I failed to see Moses’ yearning for God’s prescience like this. Thanks for emphasizing that and also for the reminder that if we write, God needs to be directing. I guess my problem is that I am not always sure if I heard God right or if this is Him showing me His way. Where is that megaphone when ya need it?

  2. Excellent point. I so needed to hear your message. I especially benefited from your saying, “But the longer I walk this journey with the Lord the more I realise it’s all about doing it with Him.” I tend get distracted from the main purpose of writing, which is to follow Him, and instead find myself pursing only writing itself.

  3. Hi Carol, thank you for your encouragement. Yes, I struggle with the same doubts about whether I’ve heard Him correctly. But I’ve found that’s why I need to continue to stay close to Him. That way I’ll hear His whispers that nudge me to change course or stop what I’m doing.

    Blessings to you in your writing, Carol.

  4. Hi David, thanks for encouraging me. I too get distracted, often not from writing but some other activity, and so yielding myself to Him as often as I can during the day helps get me back on track.

    May the Lord bless you in your writing.

  5. Sounds like the Lord’s chasing you, Marcia. First your hubby and now this post.May you be able to find some time to let go and just sit with Him. Enjoy it … don’t worry if you don’t hear anything. Just sit with Him. Enjoy His strokes of love.


  6. Wonderful, inspiring post, thanks Ian. I am currently praying for the Lord to lead me to what He wants me to write next. I don’t want to waste my time and energy on anything that He doesn’t have a plan to use in some way.
    The hard part for me is accepting that I may not see how He uses it. I want the Lord to get the glory and for people to be encouraged and inspired towards Him… but I have to admit that I can’t help wanting a little positive feedback from people too!!

  7. I’m going to post this at my desk: In calling us to write and/or filling us with story ideas, the Lord invites us to abide in His presence so He can fill us with His desires for the world and us.

    Thanks for the reminder, Ian!

  8. Hi Cindy, funny meeting you here … keep turning up each day and write something. You may find the Lord uses this process to inspire you with a new story/character … and speak to Him as you write asking Him for His guidance. He really wants you to discover what’s on His heart for you and your writing.


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