What shall distinguish your writings as a Christian author/poet? What is the “standards” mark of a Christian writing?
There are many people naturally gifted in the world to write. There are many who have admirable command of languages. There are many books/ blogs/ poems/ songs being written and published in the world on a daily basis. Literature or artistic work done by a Christian should stand out from the “crowd”.
How? Let us learn from Bible characters:
1. Bezalel and Oholiab
These two people feature in the instructions of God for the building of the the tabernacle.
See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.Exodus 31:2-11 NIV
The job which Bezalel & Oholiab were appointed to do, carnally speaking, looked very ordinary and common; it seemed a matter that essentially concerned skill. Kenyans would say, “If you know, you know 😊”.
However, your knowledge and skill is not adequate to bring forth spiritual fruit that will last.
Your gifts, talents, abilities, knowledge and skills must be surrendered by a heart consecrated to God so that His Anointing (burden lifter and yoke destroyer; eye opener and balm of healing to the heart) may empower you for effective witness of the Lord.
David, at a young age, had various gifts which included writing psalms for praise and worship to the God of Israel, and playing musical instruments.
Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.1 Samuel 16:16-18 NIV
David could play the lyre well. David had other admirable qualities: brave, warrior and fine-looking. These are physically impressive qualities but they are not adequate to advance God’s Kingdom (disrupting, annulling, uprooting and destroying works of darkness and establishing the rule of God on the earth).
I’m sure that in the land of Israel there were other brave warriors and fine looking men. David’s brothers had more experience in battle. They are described as having impressive stature that even caused prophet Samuel to consider each of them them for kingship.
The distinguishing mark upon David is that God was with him. Where God is, His presence abounds in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.” Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.1 Samuel 16:22-23 NIV
The Spirit of God upon David anointed his gifts for the breaking of yokes. Evil spirits could not thrive nor be settled on Saul because David was an instrument surrendered to God to be used as the conduit for the flow of God’s yoke breaking Anointing.
No matter how talented you are, you must never forget that “good minus God/the Spirit equals to zero”.
Paul was a highly schooled man, having attended one of the cream de la cream schools of his time (Gamaliel’s school). He was a significantly gifted and zealous man. However, this was rubbish considering the surpassing worth of knowing God (Philippians 3:8).
Please note that Paul did not deny his giftedness and the blessings of schooling that he had enjoyed. Rather, he acknowledged that they were as good as rubbish when considered apart from Christ.
Paul’s ministry was distinguished by the Holy Spirit and not by his giftedness.
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
Jesus Christ, our role model, demonstrated His reliance on the Holy Spirit during His days here on earth.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.Luke 4:18-19 NIV
Jesus understood that obediently following the Spirit’s promptings and remaining in communion with Him was mandatory if He was to bear much fruit in his three year ministry. Three years are too brief to achieve much if the strategy is employed based on human effort. Three years of Spirit-led service is revolutionary.
A book/ poem/ song/ blog written in the Spirit will bear much fruit to the Father’s glory.
1. Our writing efforts should funnel down to the Great Commission– drawing people to the Cross. Some ask how is this possible and I write on subjects that are not focused on the Gospel.
◦ When the Spirit of God anoints our gifts, they become phenomenal in drawing people to the Cross. A chemistry book written by a believer full of the Spirit will bear good fruit that is a witness of God to its readers.
◦ The Great Commission was never to be accomplished in our effort. The disciples were commanded to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
◦ Acts 1:8 NIV “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
2. God wants us to write & serve in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
◦ There is no dichotomy of spiritual and secular in our lives as many have been deceived to think. The chemistry book is not secular while the discipleship book spiritual. God has called believers to live and serve in the Spirit. All of our lives need to be lived in the fulness of the Spirit.
◦ John 6:63 NIV “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”
3. If you are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, ask of Him and He shall be given to you. This is the promise of the Father. If you are already baptized with the Holy Spirit, ask for a fresh infilling of the Spirit.
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 NIV
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”Luke 11:11-13 NIV