I'm just returning from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The worship and keynote speakers were all wonderful and inspiring. But why is it that I always seem to have one of those epiphanies? More like a kick into something God is trying to teach me.
Last year I had it in my head - notice I said in my head - that there were some questions I would answer for myself and my writing career. I talked to some very smart people and concluded that I was all right. Just keep doing what you're doing.
So this year I decided that I would just go and be spiritually refreshed and maybe connect with old friends and new ones and maybe teach a tidbit or two that could be usable to my class attendees and one on one appointments. Then God inspired a sweet woman I ended up sitting next to during the one on one appointments to speak right into my life and my stubbornness.
Sweet Christian brothers and sisters, I have learned that in the calling God has for me, I am never to just get comfortable and ride along. God's plans are a process that I am to work out until I stand in front of Him in Glory. Sometimes this involves pushing myself harder to a higher level than before. Yeah, it's easier to bask in past glories and coast on that level. But that's not His way.
"Be strong, all you people of the land," declares the Lord, "and work. For I am with you," declares the Lord Almighty. "This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear." Haggai 2:4-5 NIV
This verse pierced my heart. The Lord would have me to be strong but work. If God were finished with me, I would be standing in front of Him in heaven. Since I'm still here, there's still work for me to do. But I do have the promise that He is with me. God birthed the calling to write for Him in my heart and He still expects my efforts toward that calling. I can trust Him to move me to the higher level He is calling because His Spirit is in me to guide and instruct. I don't have to stay in my comfortable spot. He reminds me that I shouldn't fear. And twice He pauses to remind me of Who is talking - "declares the Lord" and "declares the Lord Almighty."
God has the blueprint for my life and even knows how what I do will influence others for Him. And I get to work for and with Him. Did you catch that? I get to work with the God of the universe.
So as I evaluate my takeaways from the conference, I'm reminded that I have to get back to work. I have to strive for excellence on a higher level because He deserves no less.
I pray my lesson may help you in some way to resist getting comfortable and work for the Lord!