Are you fighting a battle right now? We have real enemies trying to stop God’s specific purpose for us. Who do you trust in and call for help to fight your enemies?
Today, I am sharing a powerful message about trusting God in the midst of our battles. The battle is not ours, but it’s God’s.
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Who do you trust?
In this training, I want to talk about a topic that I don’t think we often cover. It is the spiritual components of writing.
This is the theme of trust.
Are we really putting our trust in God for our writing? Or are we putting our trust in ourselves and our own efforts?
How many of you know that there are real enemies when we go to write, market our writing or put ourselves out there writing and promoting that book?
You are going to come up against that resistance.
I wanted to share a scripture that has resonated with me lately. It’s a little bit about the story of Jehoshaphat. I’ve been reading the New Living Translation and the One-Year Bible. It is just for this year. I don’t feel any hesitation writing everything on it.
The funny thing about it is we did a musical at church, Fat Fat Jehoshaphat. We didn’t have enough guys to play the roles of the things, and I was cast as Jehoshaphat in 5th grade. I wish I could dig up the picture. It’s so cute. I was in my little robe and my crown. The story means even more because I learned this at a very young age. But God really brought out a lot to me in this passage, and I want to share it with you.
The Story of Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat was a King of Judah. He was a good king and did what the Lord wanted. But he had some ups and downs. He did have some moments where he was trying to do some other things.
He trusted in the Lord in his leadership role. It’s 2 Chronicles 20 that we’re focusing on. On verse one, it says, “The armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat.”
The Greatest Enemy of Mankind
How many of you know we have a real enemy?
The enemy is Satan, the devil. He declares war on Christ-Followers. Sometimes there are the seasons that are harder than others.
I believe that when you’re a Christian writer or an author, there are more opportunities of you facing these enemies coming and declaring war against you. Because you come in the name of Jesus Christ. If you say, God, that’s one thing. When you start saying Jesus Christ, you start living for Him and the enemies start coming out.
The Power of Prayer and Fasting
“Jehoshaphat was terrified.” They’re not trying to say that he was perfect and never had emotions or felt afraid. “Jehoshaphat was terrified and begged the Lord for guidance.”
What was his immediate knee jerk response?
He ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. There is power in unity. Power when we come together in prayer and fasting. There is power in a leader coming and saying, “I don’t know what else to do. We’ve got to pray, we’ve got to fast, and let’s do this together.”
Jehoshaphat stood before the entire community of Judah. He prayed.
I love this part of the prayer in verse 12; it says Jehoshaphat prayed, “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
How many of you have felt like you don’t know what to do? Whether it’s just writing the next sentence or writing the next chapter. Or on how to do all technology related to publishing and marketing a book? How many of you have just felt stuck and say “I don’t know what to do”?
I have felt that many times. But I love Jehoshaphat’s prayer. “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do.” He is admitting his powerlessness and his trust in God. He’s admitting his trust in a power greater than his, right?
“We are looking to you for help.”
[Verse 14] “The Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men.” The man then said, “This is what kind of famous about this story.”
The Battle is not Ours
[Verse 15] “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
How many of you have ever taken on the responsibility of a battle that is not yours to take on?
This battle of publishing your book, writing that first draft, creating an online platform and marketing, it’s not yours. Whatever it may be, a personal battle or something else, “This battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Writer’s, today I want to remind you that there is a power greater than you at your resource. If you are a follower of Christ, you have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
Can I get an Amen?
I think sometimes we forget. We just get into this tunnel vision of, “I’m just stuck. I can’t write this book. This is too hard! I can’t figure out this technology. This is too big! This is whatever.” We forget the resources that are available to us. If we will just trust God and put our trust in Him.
[Verse 17] “But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions. Stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.” Throughout the Bible, God does things differently every time. Sometimes he calls you to fight. He called David to fight many battles.
King David was a warrior. He said with Jehoshaphat, “You won’t even have to fight.”
[Verse 17] “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for,” and this is the key, “the Lord is with you!”
How many of you know that when we have the Lord with us, the Spirit of God on our side, we can overcome any obstacle in His timing, in His way?
Sometimes we want it done in our way, in our timing, and that’s different. We have to give up control too, right? We have to say, “OK, Lord, I am trusting in You, in Your strategy, in Your plan, and Your way.” Maybe it’s not in His plan for you to finish your first draft today or maybe it is.
How many of you know that we have the Lord, our God, with us?
It said Jehoshaphat bowed down low. He worshiped and praised God. It’s a picture of humility.
Pride, will get in the way of God fighting our battles for us. But Jehoshaphat humbled himself. He put his trust in the Lord. He [Jehoshaphat] says, [Verse 20] “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm.”
[Verse 21] “Appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor.”
I love that! In a battle, he said: “The creative ones, the musicians, in battle first.”
[Verse 22] “At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it says, “At the very moment they began to sing and give praise.”
There is power in praise! Even if your circumstances are not looking favorable, you have a huge army coming against you. Those enemies whatever they are.
Power of Gratitude
There is power in gratitude, thankfulness, and praise. Prayer and fasting, humility and worship, I believe it just activates God. He began to act immediately at the moment they began to sing and praise.
God isn’t a vending machine. It’s not a transactional thing with Him. It’s not like, “OK, I give this to You God, and You give me that!” There are principles in the Kingdom. It comes down to our heart. Not just to do the praise, thanksgiving, and gratitude.
You give thanks not to get from God, like a vending machine. It has to come from our hearts, a place of trust and surrender – knowing that He’s got us and that He’s bigger than anything facing us today.
With Battles comes Blessings
[Verse 24] “Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.” The warriors from Judah and all killed each other. Jehoshaphat didn’t have to do anything.
This is interesting. I just want to finish the story with this point. It says, [Verse 25] “They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days to collect it all!” The people praised and thanked the Lord there. They called it the Valley of Blessing.
I just want you to think about it. Sometimes on the other side of this battle, there is a huge blessing waiting for you. It’s not always, but I have seen it when I finished my book Broken Crayons Still Color. It was the hardest book to write. It took me five months. I’m not a person who gets depressed, but I felt it the whole time. I had my prayer team praying for me, and yet it was hard!
God gave me the gift of art when I was writing that book. He led me to illustrate coloring book pages. I was going to hire someone, and I sensed God saying, “you do it.”
I received this incredible, amazing gift of art. Would never have received had I not pushed through and trusted God with that book. Not only that, the book is selling well, and it wasn’t even my idea.
A Power Greater Than You
Wherever you are in the process of your book, in the beginning, outlining and coming up with the topic, remember Jehoshaphat. Whether you’re writing the first draft, in the editing phase, publishing, marketing or whenever you feel stuck and there is resistance, remember Jehoshaphat.
Remember that there is a power greater than you. The battle is not yours, but it is God’s.
If He has called you to create, write, market this book, He will provide! He will give you the God ideas and cross the finish line. He will provide people to help you do the things that you need if you will trust Him.
Forming a Prayer Team
Who is your enemy right now related to writing, publishing, and marketing your books? What is your typical response?
I teach this all the time, and I want to say it again. Like Jehoshaphat, he called Judah to prayer and fasting. I recommend every Christian writer have a prayer team, even if it’s just two or three people. When those obstacles, resistance come or sit down to write, you can call on them to pray.
If you’re going to write today and haven’t asked anyone to pray for you. Go talk to someone right now. Message someone today and say “Hey, I’m going to be writing today. Please pray for me.”
Take time to form a small prayer team. I know it was the prayers of my team that got me through writing my book Broken Crayons Still Color. I’ve written over 40 books and never felt the resistance I felt with that book. I know I wouldn’t have finished it without them.
Trust and Surrender to God
What is your first reaction when that resistance comes? Are you willing to surrender like Jehoshaphat?
My mom is a Christian counselor, and she says, “Typically, every major turning point starts with that surrender.”
When you come up with resistance or obstacles in things with your writing, are you willing to surrender and to trust God? And say, like Jehoshaphat, “I don’t know what to do, but I am looking to You for help.”
Take a few minutes. Ask the Lord, what does this message mean to you today? This message of trust and surrender regarding your writing and your marketing. What is God saying to you in this?
The battle is not yours, but God’s. I want you to take some time to journal that out. Ask the Lord, “What does this mean for me in my writing right now?”
And, let me just pray for you.
God, I thank You for every writer.
I thank You for every person that is reading this.
I pray, God, that You would help them to overcome whatever enemies that are coming against them.
In Jesus’ name, I pray for a Spirit of surrender and trust.
I command any self-sufficiency to leave in Jesus’ name.
Lord, I just pray that we would press into You for Your ideas.
You would write the book through us. You’re the author, we’re just the pen.
Lord, that you provide for us what we need financially and the people that we need to help us.
Lord that we put our trust in You, not in our own efforts or own ways, and not in the ways of the world but in You Lord.
I pray for a breakthrough, right now, in Jesus’ name.
Lord, barriers coming, crashing down right now in Jesus’ name.
That resistance being overcome in Jesus’ name.
I pray against any fear, procrastination or perfectionism, must leave in Jesus’ name.
Doubt, you must leave in Jesus’ name.
God, I pray You would raise up faith in each one of us.
Faith in You and in what You are going to do in and through us.
I just pray this in Jesus’ wonderful name.
I was talking with a friend on Monday. I was praying for him, and he said, “Shelley, I just got a vision for you. I’ve got a vision that you’re a hammer.”
I was like, “OK God, is this a pink hammer? A good hammer?”
He said, “I got this picture that you’re a hammer, and there’s this glass. You hit the glass, and through it came shooting a rocket.”
I said, “OK, I think there’s going to be some rockets that need to be taken off today. God is going to use me like a hammer. To help you overcome that resistance and obstacle. The glass ceiling is things that hold you back. He’s the one that’s going to give you the increase and do it through you. I believe He can do it! Exceedingly, abundantly, above what we can even think or imagine, He can do it!”
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