I know, I’m supposed to write a post regarding the 52 Books Challenge on Mondays. But I’ve had to do a lot of thinking over the last week or three. This is what happens when I listen to God.
Don’t worry. I’m still hot on the 52 Books Challenge and my writing, but I fear that my passion for those things is clouding the big picture. You see, there’s a difference between a writer and a Christian writer. The goal of the writer is to have his work read and appreciated. Hopefully read and appreciated enough that he can make some money, at least enough to keep food in the fridge.
The Christian writer, however, shares the same goal as any Christian. And that is to live within God’s will, share the gospel with the world, and encourage our brothers and sisters. The writer does this, of course, through his writing. It’s our gift. God gives us talent in order that we may glorify Him, not ourselves.
I must confess that I’ve lost sight of that. It’s easy to do. As writers, we tend to fellowship with writers of every stripe, Christian and secular. While I love learning from the best, many of whom are secular writers, I have to be careful not to cross the line. I can’t use the excuse of my art to join that world, the one in which I’m writing for self-satisfaction and not for love of God and others.
The title of this blog, Crossing the Line, is not just referring to the line that I may cross into the secular world. I recently read a book entitled The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel. At the end, he talks about a vision given to him by God. In the vision there are three lines drawn in the sand. They are:
Line 1: We cross from our old life into the new, the one where we’ve accepted Christ and receive eternal salvation.
Line 2: We give enough of ourselves to God to feel good, but not so much that it will cause us inconvenience. This is where the vast majority of Christians remain.
Line 3: Give ourselves fully to God and trust Him. Yes, it causes inconvenience, time, and money. But it is here we receive the full blessings of life here on earth. Mind you, it doesn’t make our lives easier or less painful. But, like the apostles, we are at peace with what we have in Christ.
I want to cross that third line, my friends. It is not a matter of salvation. We have that already. It is a matter of giving ourselves back to the God who has given Himself completely to us, even when we rebelled against Him. Even while we were pounding the nails through His hands and feet, He loved us and forgave us. I can’t repay that. But I can show Him how much I love what He has done. Just like a child presenting her mother with a dandelion, my efforts may do no more than bring a smile to His face.
But that, my friends, is a smile I’d give up everything to see.
What does that have to do with my writing? Everything. I will still work to improve my craft, but I will listen closely to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He may ask me to write a book that will be read by one person. But if that’s the person He has sent me to reach, then mission accomplished.
How about you? Is God working in your life to draw you across that third line? Or maybe you haven’t crossed the first or second. What’s happening in your world?