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From Stubborn to Successful
by Tonja Taylor
12/28/2019 / Humor
“Boy, are you hardheaded!" the LORD told me firmly but gently a few years ago, when I was praying for His will be made clear.
My literary intention was always to advance the Kingdom--as far as I knew--but it took Him months (years?) to teach me that, even though I was doing some writing, I was actually in rebellion of partial obedience. Greed and unbelief were mixed in as well, as I tried to make the wrong type of writing my mission.
God is, praise Him, a God of grace and mercy and almost unlimited patience with us. He remembers that we are dust, and knows that we have a tempter who works to distract us from the pure reason we are on the planet. As I have been guilty of, we can be doing many good things that are actually in the permissive will of God. But we want the perfect will, for that is where we will be the most satisfied, prosperous, and influential for the Kingdom.
At that time, I had published many works that glorified God, but the books-to-be and many more potential pieces (i.e, articles, songs, tracts) were still in paper piles; embryos awaiting my attention, my help to be birthed and grow into their destinies.
I told myself I would get to them, when the time was right.
So, while working on my first (completed) book, about the importance of speaking the Word of God over one’s children, I decided to be “even more effective” for the Kingdom. I would become a commercial writer, make lots of money for less work, have more to give to missionaries, and thus more time for what I really wanted to do--take my babies and grow them.
Good idea, I thought.
Exactly. But not a God idea.
I worked hard, and did everything I thought I was supposed to. I was working to be fully approved as unto the LORD (2 Timothy 2:15). However, about a year later as I lamented over Isaiah 49:4, I knew commercial writing (copywriting) had not been a God idea.
More wasted time and effort. But I determined to learn from this.
But my book was a God idea. I knew that, at least. For one thing, it was full of Scriptures and instruction about how to utilize the privilege and power of speaking over one’s children the life-changing Word of God.
So I started on that journey, all while working full-time as a secretary.
Then I had another good idea: Help the United States government with, as the representative that spoke at the business meeting said, “all those voluminous paper changes.”
I knew the government paid an excellent rate, so I signed up for a contractor’s number and more, and even while I sat at the computer that night, my patient Father God said, “The Government is on His shoulders." (Isaiah 9:6)
Yes LORD, I hear You.
Sigh. So I forsook that. Someone else would have to earn all that money making those voluminous paper changes.
Meanwhile, I did the final rough of one of my books. One night, I decided to work on sorting through the piles of handwritten papers I had collected to be part of the book. As I read, verses I[d written, insights, personal experiences, and more, I worshipped and prayed, amazed. I also remembered that the book was literally birthed from a 6-week class I had taught to young moms-to-be at the local crisis pregnancy center. (It took the LORD a few months to get through to me that I was supposed to teach the class, and I had not dreamed a book would come out of it.)
I thought about how I’d taught the ‘tweens at church that people in many other countries cherish scraps of paper on which are written verses, and in places like China, many believers would bring their separate verses and put them together in their underground churches, then the pastor would preach from the passage, because they were forbidden to have Bibles. Or they would have a single ragged page of the Word, and it would mean more to them than life.
I thought again of the partial obedience thing, and how I had explained to my daughter just days before that partial obedience is really disobedience. And gently, unmistakably, understanding blossomed: the scraps of paper I held in my hand were divine, for they were revelation. People needed them. And instead of being overwhelmed with the staggering amount of writing the LORD had given me, and fighting condemnation because I had not truly done my best to polish these pieces and get them prepared for people that needed them, I asked the LORD to help me start mining the wealth.
Truly, Elohim is the Author, and I am a willing and thankful scribe, like the LORD showed me in Matthew 13:52. What an honor! And He showed me also (and this may seem elementary to those of you reading this, but it became a deeper revelation for me) that the same Holy Spirit that wrote the Bible has chosen to write through me! Glory Hallelujah!
As my pastor pointed out, God used words to create the world. And it is His living written Word that, when read and spoken, creates life. So when we ask Him to write through us, He overshadows the work and brings life that creates a lasting legacy. Again as my pastor and others have states, it is not about us. We are just the vehicles--the available mud--that God uses.
There have been other distractions through the years, and I’ve had to realize that, while we are to use the power God has given us to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) and we are workmen worthy of our wages (Luke 10:7), we must be sure that we are correctly hearing from the LORD and writing what He wants. When we read and study His Word and spend time with Him in prayer and worship, He will give us wisdom if we ask Him (James 1:5), and lead us in His paths (Psalm 23:3), and correct us as needed (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6).
It has not been a fast process, but God is always with me (Matthew 28:20), and loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). I have written more for Him, and He has still (and always will, as needed) had to correct me in my writing career. I am thankful that He has chosen to work through me.
So we (God and me, for I can do nothing apart from Him! John 15:5) are making progress. He has been faithful to give me encouragements along the way with people letting me know that my words are making a difference in their lives. He has also provided excellent vehicles such as FaithWriters so I can share much more of His Words and change lives!
I recently was stirred by the LORD to update LEGACY and create is as an ebook. After hours of perfectionist (probably) revision and tightening, I finished and was rejoicing. The Holy Spirit spoke, and I heard joy in my Father’s voice: “See what focused Light can do?”
Yes, LORD. Thank You!
Once, when I was at the public library in the kids’ section, and complaining to Him about how most of the books seemed to be on the dark side, about murder and ghosts and vampires and zombies and sexual misadventures He said immediately, “There’s so much darkness because you haven’t brought more Light!”
Ouch. He is right (The I AM always is!).
As with other major areas of humanity, we believers have let (demonically-inspired) prolific writers and artists keep putting their life-stealing works out there. Even in Christian bookstores I have seen things that I don’t think were purely God. However, I agree with the LORD--if we want to have more God books and music and movies and more to choose from, it is our responsibility to create it and make it available, to promote the legacy of the Word of God.
I have let many, many things distract me through the years, and should have had at least 10 books and dozens of songs and multiple tracts published by now. But I refuse condemnation, and just like when I have to correct my (almost 18-year-old) daughter because I love her, and because I can see much more of the “big picture” than she can, it is not my will to have to bring up negatives, but it is necessary to help her understand and fulfill her potential.
So it’s the same with me. I ask the LORD even this moment to do what King David asked Him: Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me, so I will help sinners turn to You and be saved, and the rest will be drawn closer to You (Psalm 51:10-13)!
I choose this day, by the help and grace of God, to receive my loving, faithful Father’s forgiveness, thank Him for working through and with me in this wonderful calling, and do more to use my words to leave a lasting legacy for Him!
I also choose to be thankful for Father God’s patience, and sense of humor! He loves us, no matter what. He knows all about us, before the world began. Praise Him!
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, via River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.
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