About a year ago, I believe God told me to write for Him. Since then, I’ve learned a few things. If you think God is telling you to embark on a new Christian ministry, there are three things you might want to keep in mind:
1. No one cares.
2. People really seriously just do not care.
3. Something is wrong if you care that they don’t care.
I thought I had to do stuff, but I really don’t. I have to write and sit back and see what God wants to do with it. As my Mom says, I’m just sprinkling seeds and He’ll make them grow.
Recently, National Guard Magazine published a column from me encouraging military wives to stay strong in the face of deployments. When I saw it in print, I thought of Obi Wan Kenobi when he put the thought into the heads of the Storm Troopers, “Move along, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.” I was impressed that no one at that magazine said, “Hold up. This column is all Jesus-i-fied. We can’t go there.” No one said that. They were happy to publish it. I think God wanted them to. Can’t stop Him.
My Dad once told me that when you plant a plant, the first year it sleeps. The second year it creeps. And the third year it leaps. Maybe that’s what is happening with my writing. Or not. Is it about my writing ministry's becoming great? No, it’s about doing my tiny little part to be used for God’s purposes. Yes, all along my writing has been about Him, but that's not what God said. He said, "I want you to write for me." I've been writing About Him but not necessarily For Him.
Until now, my ministry has been for me. I had my own purposes in mind. I had my own expectations. I rather hoped I might soar to greatness. I was on a bit of an ego trip, and in Latin the word "ego" is the first person pronoun "I." As in, "Tuh-huh, ain't I somethin." Insert big toothless grin with a thumb's up and baseball cap turned backwards.
Those thoughts were not the same as God's. So my thoughts were enslaving me and robbing me of a lot of peace and joy, to the point where I thought about deleting my blog. I asked God for a breakthrough. He showed me Proverbs 16:3 which says, "Commit thy works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." That word "established" means fixed, strong, not wavering. I hadn't committed my writing work to the Lord. No wonder my thoughts were a big ol' discouraging mess.
Through that passage of scripture, God helped me to see that, if I want to be free of miserable thoughts, which -- if you think about it -- are what create a miserable reality, then any expectations of my own about my work needed to be gone. Our purposes for ministry might be something like:
- Bring 65,000 people and their brother to Christ and my Twitter every ding dong day,
- Show the world how irresistibly clever and brilliant a Bible chick can be, and
- Oh snap! Write a best seller. (Just hypothetically saying.)
God's purposes for that same ministry might be:
- Bring healing among hurting family or church members,
- Work behind the scenes to show the world His perfection and the brilliance of His word, and
- Give the leader of the ministry a new level of selfless humility. (Also clearly just hypothetical and in no way based on real life experience and y'all know I am Thoe Therious.)
My writing is still about Him, but from now on it is also For Him and His purposes. I'm about planting seeds that whisper, “For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9. He’ll make those words grow however He wants to.