- Being a human is hard.
2. Being a human with a family and a job is harder.
3. Being a human who aspires to be a published author can be downright discouraging!
You could fill in lines two and three above with almost anything and make the comparison work. No matter what words you choose to put there, I’m here to assert that you do not have to surrender to defeat. Whatever your endeavor or chosen struggle, don’t let fear, shame, regret, failure, or any other enemies keep you from completing your story in a way that glorifies God, the Creator of your story.
In the words of Louie Giglio at Passion 2020, defeat is safe, confining and utterly self focused. It keeps us comfortable because victims aren’t required to do great things. They aren’t even expected to accomplish small things. There is no pressure to perform.
When we refuse to accept defeat or attempt to rise up out of it, expectations rise. These expectations come from without and within. We expect more of ourselves, thus we risk letting ourselves down. Others expect more from us, and in doing so, place added stress on our performance. If we are rising up on our own, these stresses may overwhelm us. They may push us back into the bed of defeat. We may throw up our hands and say, “What’s the use? I can’t do this.” And, we may be right.
We were never meant to do the rising. That has always been God’s job. We are called to accept the victory Jesus provided when he submitted to paying our debt to sin and death on a Roman cross. God raised Him up, just like He will raise us up. Our job is to accept the receipt held out to us. Our job is to take hold of that slip stamped in red letters, PAID IN FULL!
But, perhaps, most of all, when we accept Jesus’ victory, we need to get out of the way. The story God has in mind for each of us may not be the one we envisioned for ourselves. His story may involve risk. It may involve tapping into a spirit of boldness that we never had before. It will most certainly involve trust and perhaps patience. We will need to diminish to allow Jesus to grow in us.
As an author who has written five novels in various stages of completion, and who stepped into this profession as a response to a calling from God, my ability to trust and capacity for patience have been tested. At first, I believed publication would come rather quickly. That was before I realized how much growing I had to do.
Six years after I began intentionally pursuing publication, I am still waiting. But in the waiting, I have learned to trust more deeply. I could have let fear or anger shove me back into an attitude of defeat. Instead, I choose to believe that God has plotted the outline of my story. The waiting will bring positive results. My stories have improved, and, when the time comes, I am convinced they will have a greater impact on their readers. Perhaps even leading them to contemplate God in a new and profound way.
To accept and step fully into the victory of the resurrection, to turn the page of our stories of defeat onto newly-birthed stories of victory through Jesus Christ, to make room for those stories to develop within us, we must humble ourselves to the sovereignty and power of the Savior. If we stop telling Him what to do and begin asking what He would have us do, the story can shift drastically from one of endless defeat to rushing, mind-boggling movement toward a best-selling adventure of excitement and significance accompanied by a soundtrack of grace and truth.
Defeat is not the story you were born to live. Find your part in the greatest story ever written––claim the resurrection as your story. Become less, so Jesus can become more and watch as the power of the Holy Spirit roars in your life.