A Spiritual Spanking

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” –Jesus
John 3:8 MEV

The spanking.

God reminded me afresh what it means to answer His call and follow His lead.

My writing flows out of my relationship with Him. Being a writer was not something I set out to do or become. He said and it happened.

[He] calls things that are not as though they were.
Romans 4:17 NIV84

So there’s no manufacturing this process, there is only practice and obedience to His call on my life. Which means it doesn’t follow the rules of the world when it comes to promotion and marketing.

I listen and do my best to obey. There have been quiet seasons on my blogs or one gets more attention for a bit then grows silent for a time. But it doesn’t mean I’m not writing.

This realization came to me in conversation with a friend. I told her I hadn’t been writing — but as soon as the words left my mouth I knew it wasn’t true.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

My definition of “not writing” was connected to publishing on my blogs: here and JeremiahsMenu.com. I’d posted nothing on these two places for a while… months… In my mind, I believed I’d not written because I hadn’t posted publicly on the sites where I “market” myself as a writer.

Here is where the spiritual spanking came about… because that wasn’t true either. That I hadn’t published my writing for God publicly.

The truth.

The last eight weeks, I published on the blog I share with my partner in ministry, my sister in Christ — SisterTalkFaith.com. Wrote and shared deep writings, over my head work. Bible teachings about the way of salvation to sanctification. Living life resurrected.

Then I remembered the writing I completed at the beginning of the year. A call to take the Westminster Shorter Catechism and write a series of short devotionals, each 200 words or less. The word count included a Scripture at the beginning and end of each.

This work of writing began as text messages to my family: husband, daughter, two sons, and a daughter-in-law. The writing was more or less daily and it took about four months to walk through the 107 truths of the Christian faith in the catechism.

Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

There was also the editing and republishing of past blog posts made available to my local congregation through the newsletter and with two small groups meeting weekly.

So what I’m saying — I suppose — is my definition of writing as posting on personal blogs for views and visibility in marketing has been revealed as skewed and in need of repentance.

Repenting.

This work of writing is an offering to God for Him to use as He will. Hopefully, for His glory and the good of His people. But the world’s ways creep in, because that is the environment in which we are immersed — like fish in water.

Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash

Believers pursuing a different way, living under the authority of a different Kingdom, must be on the lookout for getting sucked into the undertow of the world’s way and definition of success when it comes to following God’s call on their lives, whether it’s writing or anything else.

This truth was solidified for me in an audiobook I was listening to recently. Kyle Idleman’s Grace from the Cross. In this short work, he teaches on the final words of Jesus from the cross. The one which struck me most was His call to the disciple John to take care of His mother Mary.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
John 19:26-27 NIV

As the eldest son, Jesus was responsible for the care of His mother. Knowing He would no longer be able to fulfill this role, He called His disciple John to this important ministry.

Sometimes, Jesus calls us to just one person. And this is fulfilling the call of ministry.

Oh, how we let the world creep in and blow us off course. Fill us with guilt and confusion because we haven’t found our “great” calling or aren’t successful in the world’s eyes.

The business of God is love. Loving Him through obedience and loving others one person at a time the way He calls us to.

Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

As I let go of this skewed perspective on writing and the need to market and make myself visible in social media as the experts say I must to be successful, I feel the call of God — His pressing — to return to the short writings of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and publish them here. One at a time, one day at a time (more or less), for whomever He brings to read them.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8 MEV

And for those who follow Him, I pray you are set free from the demands of the world to serve only Him as He calls.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 MEV

[Feature Image Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash]

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