Two months ago, I spoke at the One Year Adventure Novel Conference and one point I covered in one of my talks was “How do you know if writing is God’s plan for your life?” I’ve just returned from the Realm Makers Conference where I met with a lot of authors questioning what the “future of writing” held for them. During such a crossroads-time of life, this question about “God’s plan” can paralyze us.
Really, it can paralyze us in any stage of life. It can be scary to move forward with something when you haven’t heard a single booming sentence from God saying, “Go, do this thing called writing.”
I never heard a booming voice telling me to be a writer, but I felt direction in my soul from a young age. (You can read my personal writing story part 1, part 2, and part 3.) That direction came from constant prayer and studying God’s word. The Holy Spirit. So here’s my stance on this whole “will of God” thing. If He had designed life in a way where we weren’t allowed to move without His booming voice of instruction, then we’d have no passions. We’d be little drones. (Tweet this)
But that’s not how He made us. He created us with desires.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. [Ps. 37:4-5]
This verse is quoted a lot. But I want to point something out that was a new discovery for me. When you look at the Hebrew phrase He will give, it has several meanings. One meaning is “to be made.” Read it like this:
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will make or create the desires of your heart.
See? He created the desire to write and put it in your heart. It was intentional. Still not sure what I’m getting at? Well then, let me make it a little clearer:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [Ps 139: 13-14]
The original Hebrew word for “inward parts” is kilya and it’s both figurative and literal. it doesn’t mean only our physical bodies (brains, organs, etc.), but also our emotions and affections . . . our mind. It also means reins, like horse reins–the thing that steers us.
God already formed your mind. He formed your inclination toward writing, toward story, toward adventure. But the key is to use that inclination, those passions while seeking Him. And that’s when He’ll direct you. That’s the whole point of this existence thing. That’s His purpose for all of us: Seek Him while using the passions He gave us.
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind. [Isaiah 42:6-7]
That’s your calling, my writerly friend. God called you. He’s going to guide you and use you as a light. He’s given you a passion for story. Use that for Him, whether it means writing a single short story or twenty full-length novels. (Tweet this) Whether that means getting a degree in writing, skipping the “degree thing” altogether, or getting a degree in something else. You’re allowed to have more than one passion.
The point is . . . commit it to Him.
Run after that passion and use it until God says stop. God is holding your hand and He’ll tug you onto the right path if you start to stray.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will. [Prov. 21:1]
Let’s keep our hearts (and feet!) moving as stream of water. God will redirect a river–He’ll correct you and keep you on the right path as long as you’re seeking Him. But it’s hard to redirect a puddle, peeps. (Tweet this.)
Don’t be a puddle. Be His light and His river. Take His stories all the way–to each reader waiting for it.
Your turn! What passions/desires are in your heart?
What are thoughts about “God’s plan” for your life?