Many times after I write a post based on an insight that the Holy Spirit has given me, people will mention another aspect of the insight that I didn’t explore. Or I read posts that describe beautiful, God-given insights, and I will discover a different angle based on their research. It seems that no matter what I read or write, there is always more to it.
People who write about godly insights offer up their efforts only to realize that they’ve come up short. We will never be able to describe the fullness of every God-given insight. There will always be a different angle, a different aspect, a different interpretation, a different application and a different relevancy. This realization can cause writers to shirk back or give up. Why would we continue writing on matters that we will never be able to fully explain? Why do we willingly risk getting attacked, condemned, criticized and humiliated?
I’ve come to a few conclusions that help me claim Writers’ Grace.
First, the Word of God is living: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4.12 NIV).
God’s Word doesn’t change, but I believe that it is organic like a beautiful tree. Its roots run deep, its branches stretch wide, its limbs reach high, each leaf is unique and each fruit tastes different! Therefore, when I describe a God-given insight, I’m only able to write about what I could capture. The tree is too much, too powerful, too awe-inspiring for me to do it justice, but I can explain the little bit that the Holy Spirit has given me.
I love the book of Job, especially in chapters 40 & 41 when God finally speaks up after remaining silent for so long. God gives Job a glimpse of His magnitude, and Job is overwhelmed. Job replies, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42.3b NIV). Even Job who was “blameless and upright,” felt inadequate to understand the works of God (Job 1.1 NIV). So I’ve decided not to worry about having the fullness of God’s knowledge because it’s not possible. I just want to make sure that I get all the insights that God has prepared for me.
Second, if we knew everything we wouldn’t need God. God gives us tidbits of His yummy insights as we draw near to Him. The more we eat of God’s Tree of Life, the more we crave it. Yet, we will never be able to consume the entire Tree. So every Christian writer needs to wave a white flag and admit that she doesn’t know everything and she never will. Also, we need to give each other some “plate room.” We look at another Christian’s plate and complain that he is consuming different leaves than we are, so somehow his spiritual food is wrong. However, many times the leaves on his plate were plucked from the same branch that we got our leaves from.
Third, our lack of understanding keeps us reliant on others. It’s easy to feel super-spiritual when we are by ourselves; though, once we are around people for a while, it becomes painfully obvious that we still have a lot of growing to do. God wants us to learn from each other; otherwise, He would have ended the commandment at “Love the Lord your God” and not have added “‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22.37-39 NIV).
I imagine Christians who seek godly insights as collectors of the Tree of Life. They each have their arms loaded with different leaves, fruits, bark and soil. When I learn from them, I acquire all the treasures that they have found. I enlarge my image of the Tree. As long as their treasures come from the Source, who am I to judge if their leaves come from a different part of the tree than mine? In fact, the broader my collection spans, the better understanding I will have of the Tree’s greatness.
I love the story found in Mark about the disciples who ran to Jesus to tattle tale on an unknown man driving out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus’ reply was interesting: “‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said. ‘No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us'” (Mark 9.39-40 NIV).
This story is where I found my Writers’ Grace. If we, as writers, are driving out the Enemy in people’s lives and bringing them closer to Jesus, we are on the right track. If we are sitting with God and gaining His insights, it doesn’t matter what side of the tree they come from. No single person can know the breadth and depth of God’s knowledge. No single person will have the end-all to one insight. What a relief!
So before we go criticizing others who are willing to expose themselves as fools for God, we need to ask ourselves this: “Is this insight rooted in the Tree of Life? Does this insight point to Jesus? Are people being drawn to Jesus because of this insight?” We can apply this same standard to individuals, churches, ministries, etc. They might not be a part of our little circle of influence, but they could be a part of God’s unending circle of influence.