You’d think after having two novels published and awaiting the release of a third (Love in a Broken Vessel, March 2013), writing a fourth book wouldn’t be such a challenge. You’d think I’d have conquered my insecurities, figured out the outline process, plot structure and character arcs.
If only it were true…
I find myself poised over my keyboard at that first word of the first sentence of the first paragraph of the first chapter in my fourth novel—petrified.
I shouldn’t feel this way, right? I know HOW to write it! I have graphs and charts and maps galore. I’ve done a ton of research, and I learned a bunch of great stuff at last week’s writers’ conference.
More prep doesn’t always mean more ready…
A hundred things can rob us of the victory God has promised. Israel was prepared but failed miserably:
“The men of [Israel], though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.”
Three things robbed the Israelites of victory:
- They didn’t keep covenant with God–they let their relationship with him wane.
- They refused to live by His law–they were disobedient to known truth.
- They forgot all of His faithfulness in the past–they focused on their fear instead of His power.
Notice that none of the requisites of victory had anything to do with the Israelites’ weapons. The nation was sufficiently armed—externally. They’d done everything humanly possible to prepare for the challenge, but their internal shortfalls caused them to flinch when they should have charged ahead.
Taking the Israelite Challenge
God’s best for His people is that they FIRST receive from Him and then use His resources to face the challenge ahead. This was true for the Israelites in the wilderness thousands of years ago, and it’s true for us today. My challenge is to be quiet before the Lord in order to hear Him. He speaks so sweetly, in beautiful stories and parables—if I will simply shut up. 😉 This was His promise to me today:
“O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”
- What is your upcoming challenge? How does the Lord want to fill you so that you’ll be prepared to meet that challenge, using the external preparation you’ve worked toward and the internal strength/direction He provides?