A Fictional Adaption of (Acts 5:36-39)
Recently a conferee at a writers conference commented on the sudden popularity of an author and how almost as quickly the individual’s fame plummeted.
“Some time ago Gladis’ books were everywhere. She was on morning shows, featured on book clubs, even rumored to be about to start her own publishing company. She claimed to have the secret to publishing success and at one point had about four hundred others committed to doing whatever work she asked. Then she was tragically killed in a car accident and all her followers went back to doing what they were doing before. All of it came to nothing.”
I nodded but said nothing.
“After her, Jude whatshisname, the guy from Gatlinburg, appeared in the days leading up to the last election and led a bunch of people in a march on the Capital. His book was number one on Amazon. He too was killed, in this case by police, and all his followers were scattered. Some are probably still hiding. I’m still trying to figure out if I can replicate any of the success those two enjoyed. Do you have any advice?”
The faculty member I’d come to meet with had been sitting at the table with us during this conversation, listening.
Finally he said, “In instances like these I would advise you not to get too excited about sudden fame or a quick best seller. Instead, work on the craft and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. If your purpose or activity is only of human origin, it will fail. Or at least fade from the public’s memory. Maybe not right away, but in time.”
“Paul wrote almost half the New Testament,” I said, “and as far as we can tell he never earned a cent in royalties. I doubt he saw any of his works in print. And yet who of us wouldn’t like to have that sort of legacy.”
“C.S. Lewis died one week short of his 65th birthday,” my faculty friend added. “Name another author whose books are being sold more now than they were when they were alive. Lewis’ vision for the Christian life was seemingly simple while being very complex. My advice is this: if your writing is from God, no person or event will be able to stop your influence for his kingdom. And should anyone try, they’ll only find themselves fighting against God. Write for him and write what he tells you to write. God is in the business of creativity and productivity.”
When others come against you, meditate on these verses. Take comfort in knowing God is on your side.
Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)
The Lord thwarts the purposes of the peoples. (Psalm 33:10)
When in doubt as to whether your work is of worth and glorifies him, meditate on this verse.
Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3:21)
Write what the Holy Spirit places on your heart. Write with excellence. Then wait on the Lord. His submission process considers the impact our writing will have for all eternity. Be faithful and let his fame be your glory.