Thursday, March 24, 2005
How I Got Here, Part 20
Sorry this post is so late in the morning (Pacific time, that is). I’m a little worn out from Mount Hermon 2005.
Backtrack to Mount Hermon Conference 1999 . . .
Editor A asked, “Do you have any suspense?”
I blinked. Blinked again. My brain did this little rev thing—how am I supposed to answer? Sure, I had a suspense manuscript. All done, in fact. One I’d promised God I wouldn’t try to publish, because it didn’t honor biblical principles.
In that little rev moment, God sent a strong impression to me—say yes. So I did. Then spent some very nervous moments clarifying. Um, it wasn’t really for the Christian market. And, uh, my agent didn’t even know it existed. And I’d promised God not to try selling the thing. But, hey, other than that—no worries.
I can’t remember Editor A’s response. Doesn’t matter. By that time I was too busy listening to God’s voice. (I’ll pick His over anyone else’s any day—even an editor’s.) For the rest of that conference the understanding began to birth within me. Maybe there was a way to rewrite that suspense. Maybe it, too, could be redeemed.
Meanwhile at the conference I met Editors B and C, who also had Cast a Road Before Me. All were good meetings. I was flying pretty high by the time I got home. Daring to think big thoughts like—maybe after 9 ½ years, I’d finally sell a novel. (Is that too much to ask, God?)
So I got home, all wound up. Couldn’t stand to sit around, waiting for responses. It could be weeks. I was praying like crazy over the suspense manuscript. It nagged at me. So one day I went up to my office and opened that drawer . . .
Have you experienced the truth that you can’t out-give God? I have, many times over. One of the greatest of these experiences centered around that suspense manuscript. I loved that story. I still do. I knew it was a complex, page-turning tale. But God had so changed my heart that, even after years of working on it, and then trying to sell it—going through two agents—I’d had no problem laying it aside, because I knew at the time that’s what God wanted me to do. Now I look back and wonder why I didn’t throw the manuscript away. I guess God was just looking out for me. He saw down the road when I didn’t. I didn’t bother to burn the manuscript and throw away all electronic files. I just let them sit and went on to other things.
But in the days following that conference, God began to quickly show me how He wanted that suspense manuscript. How it had been His from the very beginning. That’s why it had never sold—He’d closed all the doors one by one in the secular market. He saw the finished product the very day I wrote the first line. As the Bible verse says, “His works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
At God’s prompting, I began studying visions in the Bible. Began to see the vast difference between the visions of a psychic and visions sent by God. Over and over again, in the Old Testament and the New, God sent His people bits of supernatural knowledge—always for a very specific reason. The Bible makes it clear. There are two and only two sources for supernatural knowledge. Bottom line, if it ain’t from God, it’s from Satan. A human by himself/herself does not possess supernatural power. This is why the Old Testament was so firm in telling the Israelites not to mess with mediums—because Satan lies behind that power. And we know Satan is a liar, even as he might masquerade as light. At the same time, prophets like Samuel and Daniel and Elisha were given supernatural knowledge—for the good of God’s people and kingdom. And in the New Testament, visions continued with Peter, Paul, John and others.
And so, as I studied, I heard God’s prompting to rewrite my suspense story. Tell it from a Christian perspective. Keep all the tension and drama. But weave in teaching about the difference between God’s supernatural knowledge and Satan’s. “Okay, God,” I said, rather shaking in my boots. “I’ll do it. But I’m sure gonna need Your help on this one.”
I sat down at my computer and opened the file.
Read Part 21