Any Christian gifted with the ability to write, be it music, prose, meditations, or books immediately encounters a dilemma.
You see, writing is a form of communication. Any author in any genre will tell you that a finished piece, heard by another, is equivalent to a piece of his own soul being publicized to the world. In order for any composer's work to be complete, it must touch the ears, the heart, or the spirit of another and communicate some form of a message that speaks into the life of it's hearer.
So, naturally, Christian writer's have a natural desire to share what they create with someone else.
In the natural world of composers and writers, the goal is to get published! When you get "published" you receive clout in the world of your chosen genre. You may even receive financial renumeration for your work, giving a sense of pride and accomplishment. Once published, it is easier to be published again and again until you become one of the 2% of all writers whose work actually supports them. You have "the ear" of your reader's and people put stock in what you have to say about the craft. Your creativity becomes a thing to be admired, stroked, pampered and guarded.
Oppositely, a Christian writes because there is an unction, an anointing, a supernatural ability, an if-I-don't-get-this-out-I'm-gonna-explode experience. Our gift is not our own in the sense that it originates from us. The reality is that it simply resides in us and expresses itself through us. "There is nothing new under the sun", so we can't even really claim what we are saying as our own. We are simply expressing timeless truths in a way unique to the gift that God has graciously placed in us.
The natural world's audience is anyone who will listen, read, and buy the material. The audience that purchases the material is often the audience the next piece of work will be directed to in order to sell more material, make more money, and gain more status.
The Christian writer sometimes only has an audience of one, God Himself. There have been many times when I have written things, under the direction and unction of the Spirit of God that only I and God have seen. Not everything God gives is for the world. Sometimes, it's just between Him and me.
This is where the dilemma presents itself.
When God communicates a truth to us and then graces us to write it in a format that is pleasing to others, we want to share it! It is, after all, communication.
This morning, as I wrestled in prayer over this very issue, God spoke so clearly to me and said,
"Do not study to have something to say so that others may know Me better. Instead, study to know me better so that when I want to use you as my 'voice', you will have something to say."
Writers can get so caught up in the craft of what they do that they forget the reason of why they are doing it. It's a Writer's trap. There must be a constant guarding of the purpose of what we do. I'm not saying that we should never work to perfect and fine tune our gift. We should. But we must never lose sight of the fact that our gift is simply that, a gift. It is something that belongs to another and was given to us to use for HIS benefit and the benefit of others. Our benefit simply comes from doing what He asked us to do and what He gifted us to express.
Ambassadors are not well known people in most circles. They go about their very important jobs incognito to most of the world. But how they do their jobs can change the course of world history. I am the Lord's Ambassador. I just want to hear the message correctly from Christ and deliver it correctly and in the right manner to the world. That is my duty, my joy, and what the Holy Spirit uses me to do.
Someday I will know fully what impact my Ambassador-ship had on the world, but for now, I am simply focused on representing my Lord correctly to the world and as I come to know Him more fully, I can more accurately represent Him to the world. Knowing Him is reward and renumeration enough for this lowly writer. He is my reward!