But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
As I was heading to my chair for prayer and meditation one morning, I found myself, loudly declaring:
“I need to hear from you Jesus!”
“Then sit still and don’t get distracted as you’ve done the past several mornings. What did you do instead of sitting quietly with me? You opened your computer and became engrossed in your writing. Your priorities are in the wrong order.”
God has a sense of humor, and I couldn’t help but giggle as I sat and reflected on His words. He’s absolutely right!
Two weeks ago, I signed up for training on how to become a better writer. My mindset as I started out on this new endeavor was that of confidence. My focus was completely set on God and what it was that I could do for Him and people through writing. The idea of perfecting my God-given ability was exciting, and His direction to enroll was unmistakable. Filled with anticipation, I couldn’t wait to share with my peers what I had learned, spiritually, thus far. I was more than ready to improve and felt blessed to be under the tutelage of other women who had already excelled in their own styles.
The Lord had faithfully prepared me for their constructive critiques and I had every intention of taking notes so that I could apply their wisdom to my own work. I am disheartened to say that his hasn’t been the case. I went into this writer’s workshop with certain expectations and immediately found myself to be inaccurate.
Writing is writing, right? Sit down in front of the computer, wait for God’s input, form a few thoughts and away I go! No, it’s not that simple. While watching instructional videos on the craft of writing, I suddenly realized that in order to gain an audience, there are skills and techniques that should be considered. In all honesty, I don’t pay much attention to design, punctuation, grammar, flow, sentence structure or imagery. The words I write come directly from my time in quiet with Jesus. He gives me the revelations, and I put them to paper, thinking of nothing else. The mechanics in writing were not a concern until now.
After surfing around on this writing website, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m ignorant to the ways of an effective writer. My punctuation stinks, not a design to be had, imagery is non-existent, and sentence structure is dull. How demoralized can one be after hearing all of this? My self-confidence and peace has been obliterated and my desire to carry on has left me?
I am now distracted by thoughts of inferiority. I’ve forgotten why I pursued this ambition in the first place. Instead of thanking God for His divine opportunities, I find myself looking at the polished material that has been submitted by my peers. I can’t help but to compare. I’ve sat with God on the topic of comparison, and He spoke to me on the danger of doing this. Well, here I am, dubious, because I took my eyes off of Him.
Matthew 6:33 encourages this:
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
I wrote this in my journal on May 14, 2018:
“Don’t allow disappointment to take root within you. Don’t allow people and their actions to distract you from God. He will give you everything that you need. Sure, you feel discouraged and unworthy but remember, this isn’t how God looks at you. It’s not about what others are doing or writing; it’s what you take away from it. You’ve been given a godly resource to learn and grow in something that you enjoy doing. Take hold of it and utilize it to your full advantage, asking God to help you understand the material and carry it out as He sees fit.”
Yes, I’ve had a couple weeks of discomfiture but on the upside, Jesus has remained faithful by showing me where I had gone wrong.
Matthew 6:33 is explained this way:
“To seek the Kingdom of God above all else means to put God first in your life, to fill your thoughts with His desires, to take His character for your pattern, and to serve and obey Him in everything. What is important to you? People, objects, goals and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly become most important to you if you don’t actively choose to give God first place in every area of your life.”
I love this question! What is most important to me? My answer is my relationship with Christ, and I’ve said this on numerous occasions but feel the need to say it again:
“There is no greater feeling than sitting with our Lord and Savior each day. He is the one that loves, strengthens, corrects, equips and saves. Without Him, we would just be lifeless human beings walking this earth until our bodies quit. With Him, we have life and purpose! We all need Jesus! Unfortunately, it’s the distractions that keep us from Him.
I was completely overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and the fear of old, destructive behaviors returning. My control was nowhere to be found. I quickly found a quiet spot and sat down, head in my hands. I didn’t have the will or the words to pray. I just sat and it was in the stillness that I found myhope.
“I’m just sitting here with you, Jesus.”
I remained in this position for about ten minutes and as each second passed, I felt relief.
It wasn’t a complete feeling, but the hint was there and I was going with it because that was so much better than sadness. Jesus is my Source of Strength and Exodus 14:13 confirms this:
“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.”
In times of emotional upset, whether it be with God, your spouse, family members, friends, or coworkers, get quiet. Reflect on what you have. Look at your distractions and move them out of the way. They aren’t put there by God. They are put there to sow the seeds of disappointment, doubt, loss, regret, grief, hopelessness and despair. All with the ultimate goal of keeping us from our one true love and this is Jesus!
I thank you, Lord, for your promise! You brought me out of the dark once again, and you showed me that I am perfectly designed. I have a gift to write! It may not be the same as another and that’s okay! Thank you for this ministry which supports and educates women to learn and grow in writing. I pray that each one of us is blessed by your divine revelations and that you equip us to glorify you in words of strength and power, that we would move people in such a way that they can’t help but call out to you! I pray this in your Holy Name, Jesus Christ, Amen.