“You really shouldn’t be writing devotions Lisa. I’d rethink that decision.” I remember this conversation clearly with someone I respected and trusted. This advice came as a direct result of confiding what was going on in my personal life. I’d been abused and tossed aside. I’d made choices that broke me at my core. It may have looked like my life was beyond repair to human eyes; and therefore, I shouldn’t write about God anymore.
Since as long as I can remember, one of the things I was designed by my Creator to do is write. I process life by using the pen. Writing for me is God inspired and I do it from my heart and soul. Getting thoughts down on paper helps me see life more clearly. Shortly after this conversation, I was told in a phone call that my devotions were not to be printed with the religious sponsor’s name anymore. “Thank you for your services, but they are no longer needed.”
After this conversation, I wept bitterly and sought the Lord with my whole heart. I was confused because I trusted men in spiritual leadership to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. I asked Abba if I should keep writing. His Spirit clearly nudged my spirit with a question: “Do you trust man or do you trust Me?” It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. Psalm 118:8 NLT I told Him I trusted Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) and that I would continue to write as long as He instructed me to.
Later, while speaking with my daughter about this new development, I’ll never forget her response. “These people’s rationale makes no sense. The whole Bible was written by imperfect people who trusted a perfect God. Look at Paul who wrote much of the New Testament. He murdered Christians in cold blood before He trusted Jesus. David was an adulterer and murderer, and he wrote much of the Psalms.” I took her thought further. Abraham lied and Isaac was deceitful. Moses was a coward, and Noah got drunk. Rahab was a prostitute and Ruth a Moabitess. Yet, God used each of these folks and many more to tell of and participate in His story of redemption and grace.
Although I don’t represent an institution anymore, I do represent Jesus Christ. I’ll keep writing until the Lord makes it clear I should stop. Holy Spirit and the Word are my inspiration. I’m a daughter of King Jesus. I put my hope and faith in Him alone. I know He loves me and has my back.
Lord, You’re still telling Your story to the world today. We have Your Holy Spirit inspired Word and we have testimonies of faith in all generations showing how our messes can become Your Message when we trust You for the outcome. Thank You for being close to the broken-hearted and helping us in our time of need. You are a Good Father, ALL the time! If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18 MSG Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3 NLT
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7
Lisa M. Neal