The Power of the Written Word

by Casey Hawley

A young Bible teacher called me the other day and was so joyous. She has gifts of prophesy and administration, and as she was in the planning stages of her upcoming study, she was having the best tine. She was truly feeling God’s pleasure as she used her gifts to honor Him and bring glory to God.

God has given me a similar mission through the articles, blogs, and books I write to proclaim His glory, mercy, and message of salvation to believers and nonbelievers alike.  I am sharing a bit about how He gave me this role in His Kingdom because it may help someone who is working to define her role.

The most important and difficult part of my ministry is seeking the Lord about what He wants me to do. He usually gives me the Abraham treatment. He told Abraham to leave and start walking without having the foggiest notion where He was going, and Abraham did. He usually has me start studying a Scripture and taking notes, and I have no idea what the final purpose or document it will be. Will it be a book or a blog? Is it something He is telling just me to help me grow or am I supposed to share it with others? I have no idea when I start studying and writing. Sometimes He gives me an entire chapter or article and unfolds the Scriptures as I go. He says, “Just start writing.”

In my past life when I wrote secular business books, I started with an outline and knew exactly where to start and where I was going to end up. Writing for God is entirely the opposite of that. As I write, I must be praying throughout and be open to being nudged in new directions the Holy Spirit is trying to take me.  So that is one way being on a mission is different from other work you may have done in the past. The mission must be His idea, executed at His direction, and guided minute-by-minute by the Holy Spirit.

Next comes the part of my job I love: sitting at my computer for hours, writing daily, sometimes for seven or eight hours. I am in an out of the Scriptures all day as I write. I lose all track of time and have no clue what is going on out my window because I am transported by spending the day just communicating with the Lord, letting Him teach me, and then transcribing it with ferocious intensity.

The part I like least about what I do is the business of writing.  These are the details and decisions that must be cared for in order to make available to readers what God has given me to share with others. Should I use Amazon or another publisher for print books? If it is not a print book, is it a blog or an online article?  How can I lower costs so that the most people can afford to buy my books for their Christian friends and for nonbelievers? I probably spend as much time on this as I do on writing the book. What art should be used for the cover? What title is best for readers? God prepared me for thiese tasks I dislike by allowing me to publish my secular books through publishers such as McGraw Hill, Random House, and Barron’s.  I learned about the publishing process for almost twenty years before I wrote my first Christian book. What may God be teaching you through your experiences and education?

Finally, like all of our resources, you have to release your work or your ministry to Him to do whatever He chooses. The Lord was clear to me from the very beginning that if only one person had a deeper understanding of Him or loved Him more or came to know Him at all through that first book, that I should be content. Billy Graham was purposed to bring thousands to the Lord. Perhaps His plan for me was to be an instrument for Him to reach just one.  After years of looking at the numbers to be sure my secular books hit their numbers, He let me know I should abandon that way of thinking. I was truly ready to release that first book to Him to do with whatever He pleased, even if it encouraged only one person.  I have been content ever since with whatever has happened.

NOTE: Casey Hawley is the author of Adventures in Christianity and 52 Weekly Devotionals from Everyday Truth.