Thursday, January 18, 2007

Following Your Heart

A question came up recently on a Christian writers e-mail group to which I subscribe. Someone asked, "How do you know when to say 'no' to writing opportunities?"

Here's what I responded:

Since we are Christian writers, I believe we have an advantage over those in the secular market. We have the spirit of the Lord inside of us---He's inside to guide. The best way we can know when to put on the brakes is to follow our hearts. I realize that's an easy statement to make, but I totally believe it. The key is creating an environment that enables us to hear his guidance clearly. How many times have we decided to go one way even though we had this niggling thought inside that maybe we shouldn't, and we find out later it would've been a whole lot better if we'd listened to that nudging? Here are a few practical ideas to help you.

1. Follow peace. Even if what seems like the most amazing opportunity drops into your lap, do you feel a peace about doing it? If not, you would be wise to sit on things for a few days. If the opportunity is from God, it'll be there tomorrow.

2. Pray. Get in a quiet place and ask the Lord for wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault." James 1.

3. Just because a door opens doesn't mean you're to walk through it. It could mean that, but I'd suggest not living your life only walking through open doors. They're not always from God. They could be, but not always.

This is starting to sound like a sermon. But I just want to encourage you all to listen to your spirits. That little voice inside that you think is just you, often is God. He speaks to us through our spirits. That's why the voice sounds like us sometimes.

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