June 19, 2008

WRITING ADVICE: In the Write Spirit

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25

We interpret the Bible every day, asking the Holy Spirit how God’s Word applies to our lives. I skim past verses that a friend of mine tells me later are “deeply powerful and exactly what I needed to hear.” Clearly, God uses his Word to talk to us where we are.

That’s why this verse may seem a bit “stretched” to you. Keep in mind that God’s speaking to me and now I’m sharing with you how this might be significant to us as writers. More simply: please bear with me!

My logic chain is as follows:

a) I belong to Jesus.

b) I listen to Him and learn about Him through Scripture, prayer, preaching and reading the thoughts of other Christians – all the while listening to hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

c) What I learn of Him, for the most part, has been written.

d) ALL the books of the things He did have NOT been written – if they had, the world itself could not contain them.

e) The world’s not filled yet, therefore, there are books WAITING to be written about what He has – and IS – doing.

f) Because I belong to Jesus, He lives in me and moves me and breathes in me.

g) The “me” I am includes my imagination and the imaginary worlds I’ve dreamed up.

h) These places – at least when I submit to Him and LISTEN to His voice with my heart, in the words of others, in His Word – were made by Him and are things He did through me.

i) So, I can write about these worlds of imagination – I can ADD to the books that have been written about Him because these worlds of my imagination are HIS.

Lastly, these verses speak to me as well:

“Write everything I tell you in a book.” Jeremiah 30:1

“And don't tell me that I have no authority to write like this. I'm perfectly free to do this—isn't that obvious? Haven't I been given a job to do? Wasn't I commissioned to this work in a face-to-face meeting with Jesus, our Master?” I Corinthians 9:1

“For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end;” 2 Corinthians 1:13

This is my call to missions, codified. Anyone hearing anything else?


John Brown said...


This is interesting as is your essay on B&N. Although I wonder if they did that to faciliate sales, not for some religious purpose.

Anyway, your statement makes me think of Paul as he's talking about the gift of tongues in 1 Cor 14: "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."

Of course, he's talking about gifts IN the church, the gift of speaking in a foreign tongue specifically (and an interesting take on the uses and abuses of that gift). But this principle of edification could be applied in and out of the church to all sorts of verbal gifts, including writing fiction, i.e. don't wait, actively seek the gift of the Spirit that will allow you to excel at edifying by your words...

Guy Stewart said...

John, I've no doubt that it DOES facilitate sales. My "beef" so to speak is against my fellow Christians -- in letting it happen, in even EXPECTING to find all "their stuff" together. Why NOT let it be shelved with all the other "secular" stuff.

Secondly, I agree heartily with you about the gifts of "tongues". I believe that every specialty has its own language. For example, golfers use a language that is well-nigh to impenetrable to me! Someone who wanted to share the Christian Gospel with golfers might do well to couch their words in the vernacular. Martin Luther used a beer drinking song as the basis of his hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"...