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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

When the Pen is the Sword by Dorothy Stewart

Are you a Christian writer? Or a writer who is a Christian? For the purposes of this post, any difference doesn’t matter. What matters is the word ‘Christian’. If you claim that name, you’re going to find yourself in a warzone. Our Lord Jesus Christ won the war but the opposition hasn’t given up yet and we’re in the firing line – especially if we have the temerity to stand up for what – and Who – we believe, in what we’re writing.

So do not be surprised when the attacks come. Illness, suffering, rejection, misunderstanding, abuse, mockery, despair, wanting to give up… and my particular current bugbear, that horrid creeping apathy like a heavy blanket that gets in the way of actually getting anything done!

Name the attack, by all means, but name the enemy too. ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the powers of this dark world, the spiritual forces of evil’ (Ephesians 6:12)

What to do? Prevention is best, if you can, and that means making sure we spend enough time in our Lord’s company and reading His Word. The harder the attack and the heavier the workload, the more time we need with Him – not just the morning quiet time but coffee time with Jesus, an aperitif of prayer before our midday meal, another duck of the head to check in and re-connect before we get stuck in to work in the afternoon… two or three minutes only, maybe, but each keeps us firmly attached to our Divine Sherpa as we struggle up the mountain!

And of course it helps if we are properly kitted out – in the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:13-17): the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith… and that sword – the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.



Yes, we need pens and paper, printer ink and laptops – all the essential equipment of the writer – but if we are to fulfil our commission - ‘so that when the day of evil [of trial] comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand’ (Ephesians 6:13), the Christian writer needs to be rooted in Christ and kitted out properly.

Paul ends his section of his letter to the Ephesians with a couple of comments about prayer. This is something ACW members are brilliant at. What a weapon against the evil one! Let’s keep having the humility to ask for prayer when we need it (as Paul does- Ephesians 6:19) and making time to keep praying for one another – that we may go on fearlessly, as we should!



Dorothy Stewart’s second novel will be out on 20th November. The Mizpah Ring is a historical Christian novel, the first in a trilogy. Dorothy is a lay preacher in the United Reformed Church and is based in Halesworth, Suffolk.
  


7 comments:

  1. Thanks, Dorothy - it's too easy to forget that we're in a battle, and that equipping ourselves spiritually is more important than any other part of our writing prep. I love the idea of a Divine Sherpa! F.

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  2. Well said, Dorothy! A timely reminder.

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  3. I feel so many of us in ACW are going through a spiritual battle at the moment and need to hear this. I know I did. Thank you

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  4. This is such a great reminder and encouragement - much appreciated post thank you :)

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  5. Thanks for this, Dorothy. I'm undergoing a bit of a battle at the moment and am finding writing difficult. This is a timely reminder for me and encouraged me today. Bless you.

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  6. Thank you for the reminder. I've felt - still feel - there's a spiritual battle raging and this has been evident from the comments of other ACW members. I am so grateful to God for ACW and the mutual support.

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