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.