Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve written here but I can assure you, I have done plenty of writing during the nearly two years I’ve been silent. I attended Bible College for three semester’s and the remaining semester I was in a different sort of school; a school where classes were daily devotional times and my homework assignments were life situations that required the Lord’s wisdom to navigate. I graduated from the Bible College in southern California a couple of months ago and am now working and preparing to enter into a new season of life. I’ll be moving from California to Washington state in just over a month and getting married in October. In the midst of all of this, the Lord has been working on, growing, and sanctifying me. He has used some very important people in my life as well as some teachings and podcasts to encourage me to begin writing again in order to continue to cultivate the gift He’s given me. There’s so much I could say regarding my time in Bible College but I’d rather avoid getting into that until later and simply dive into writing again. I intend on writing some sermon-type material as well as my thoughts and observations on things that I and those around me hear, see, and do.
As a start to this new (and hopefully consistent) season of writing, there were two recent influences that inspired the return to this experiment.
The first inspiration came from my fiancee. She read my blog, unbeknownst to me, when we were still considering and praying about whether or not to enter into a dating relationship. More recently, I have, as the Lord brings them to mind, sent little devotional thoughts to encourage her. After receiving a couple of these, she encouraged me to begin writing again because others might benefit from the thoughts and insights given in those devotionals. That being said, I hope to write some smaller posts more often that are short, devotional thoughts.
Second, I was listening to an episode of the Nate Holdridge podcast recently (https://www.nateholdridge.com/blog/experience-contentment-within-the-boundaries-god-has-drawn-podcast?rq=boundaries) where he and the host were discussing the idea of living within one’s boundaries. He suggested that God has given each individual boundaries within which they must live their lives. Some of these boundaries are the natural gifts and talents God has gifted to each of us. We are all able to grow and learn to some degree and may not be aware of these boundaries at the moment. But, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we have limitations. In the podcast, they focused mainly on living within the boundaries God has given and being content with that, which is a good thing. I continued thinking about this idea as I also read through the book of Joshua in my personal Bible reading and concluded that there could be a second application to this idea of boundaries.
As the Israelites moved into the land God promised them, they began to conquer cities. However, they slowed their conquest after they obtained some breathing room. Without going through the whole history, it becomes clear throughout the Old Testament that the people of Israel never occupied their full, God-given territory. I believe, as suggested above, that God has given each of us boundaries like He did the Israelites. It would have been wrong for the Israelites to try to occupy territory outside of those boundaries and it is likewise wrong for us to be envious of others’ gifts and to try to become someone God never intended for us to be. However, I believe it is also wrong for us to become comfortable with a small portion of the territory we’ve been given. God gives us talents, gifts, natural tendencies, and interests just as He gave the Israelites the promised land. However, we must then develop those gifts and abilities to live them out for the biggest benefit to His kingdom and to give Him the maximum glory possible.
It’s like God has given you a hunk of rock with some sort of metal in it that is your natural gifting. Now, that metal could become some sort of tool; let’s say a sword for the sake of the analogy. You first have to refine the rock to get the pure metal, then you have to shape it, and then you have to keep it sharp and in good condition. I realize that’s a very general analogy but I believe it does get the point across. You have to take what God has given you in your natural gifting and let Him refine it in you and help you grow in it. He won’t force you to develop your gifts but He will certainly give you satisfaction when you follow His path for your life.
All of this to say, I believe that writing is something God has given me as a natural talent. I have a natural interest in writing and how it works and I enjoy putting my thoughts into a concrete form. However, that alone won’t do. I need to develop this gift and occupy the full territory God has given me to occupy. I need to step into the role He has for me in His kingdom, whatever that may be, to the fullest of my ability. I can’t see what that role is in its completion yet but I want to be ready when I get there. To do that, I believe one of the things I need to do is to develop the skill, practice, and discipline of writing regularly and well.
I’ll be trying to find my own writing voice and style, so a lot of this will probably be rough as I learn and grow. Hopefully, it will get better as time goes on and the Lord will use what is published for the encouragement of His body and His glory. So, please feel free to follow along as I move forward in my writing.
As I said, I’m hoping to publish some shorter, more devotional posts on a regular basis while also working on longer, more in-depth material to post less frequently. I’m not completely sure what will become the norm but the only way I know how to figure that out is to start writing and see where the Lord takes me. The teacher of my Church Planting class, Ted Leavenworth, told us something numerous times that has stuck with me: “God directs a moving ship.” So, I’m going to get moving and do my best to let Him direct where He wants me to go.