noun enthusiastic and public praise
Last week, I asked God for help in a certain area of my life, two days later, he sent the answer in the form of a book. This past Monday, I typed out a prayer to God specifically regarding my latest personal struggle. My need for privacy screams to keep the deeply personal prayer unvoiced, but my need to show God’s goodness screams louder, so I will share it with you. Here’s the prayer straight from my digital prayer journal:
God, How do I differentiate between using the talent you gave me to write and not want to be recognized for it? I truly realize that You gave me writing talent. That what I write often touches the hearts of people – it points them towards You or encourages them to walk closer to You. That is the greater glory. I want to seek that but find it hard to disconnect the two. If I write a novel, isn’t the purpose to get it published? I don’t want to seek validation in that, but why write if no one reads? Why delve into who You are in our lives, if no one can read it, and grow to know you more? I don’t want it to be about money or popularity or talent. I simply want it to be about the fact that was obedient to what you asked of me — exactly like it is with my decision to become a missionary. It was simply because you asked and I wanted to be obedient. I want my writing to be the same. It’s a hunger in me that has never gone away — even when I wanted it to. You constantly reminded me — year after year — of this desire. It burned within me until some days I was miserable because I wasn’t being obedient in pursuing it. Now that I am actively pursing it, please help me to keep it about you and not about my glory. Remind me daily that every word I pen comes from you. That all my creativity flows from the master Creator.
Today (2 days after I prayed the words above) I read a blog post from Jennie Allen which she focused on her recent interview with John Piper. My heart skipped when I saw that she had questioned Piper with almost the exact same words I had used in my prayer. Then it skipped again when he answered with words that I felt were straight from God to my heart about this issue. Piper said, “If the fight for my affection was going to be everywhere, I decided to fight in the place I loved. I love to write. I don’t know why, but I love it. So I am going to fight this war here. We aren’t alone, Jennie. The apostle Paul even fought it. We all are fighting to love God most.”
I had never thought about the “Fight for Glory” this way, but that is exactly what it is. It’s a fight to always make sure that God is the one who receives all of our love. We are going to fight it no matter what path we take in life. I choose to use the talent God has given me. I choose to write. But in the midst of every word that I pen, I will wrangle my will to focus on the glory of God and seek at every turn to be sure that He receives all the praise for the work he has done in and through me.
(Read the whole blog post from Jennie Allen.)