About a month ago, I heard a beautiful story that dislodged my calcified mindset and released my heart to dream again. The storyteller was a masterful communicator who easily recounted his adventures, spoke colorful words to paint portraits of his characters, and painted portraits of his characters that spoke even louder than his words. He is an artist. His name is Brian Peterson.
The Lord has given him a dream for the city. He shared his dream with us and described the fruit of what has transpired since. His dream has become The Faces of Santa Ana. If you don’t know Brian’s story or have not heard of his ministry, I highly recommend that you flow the link to find out. He is an inspiration.
Brain painted as he shared his story. With real humility, he apologized for turning his back to his audience. And, with rhetorical skill, he shared a thought during his introduction that he would later revisit to deliver a powerful punch: His paint brush—made of wood, metal, and even strings (the hairs of the brush)—was his guitar; it was his instrument of worship to the Lord.
A Word from God
When Brian had finished his message, and identified the person he had been painting, our pastor at the Anaheim Vineyard, Alan Scott, asked him to pray for us. Before he prayed, Brian shared a word of encouragement with us who had come forward to receive an impartation of his anointing. He felt that the Lord wanted to release an understanding for each of us there to identify our own, personal “instrument of worship.” I received this word into my spirit and am now writing with a renewed understanding of why I write.
As a final prayer for the morning, Pastor Alan encouraged us to see this calling of the Lord on our lives as holy. He encouraged us to declare that the desire within our hearts was holy. I turned to the person next to me and made that declaration. In that moment, the Lord blessed the desire He had already placed within my heart (Ps 37:4).
As I continue to lean into the revelation that my ability to write is holy and an aspect of my worship to God, my understanding grows. Like any true revelation, this word has begun to increase my capacity, my ability, and my joy.
I offer some of my reflections through this process with you now.
Writing, by nature, is a solitary endeavor; it can become difficult to continually pursue alone. As I offer my writing to Him as an act of worship, I partner with the community of the Godhead and find myself present with Him, writing what He puts on my heart.
I have entered into a creative conversation with the Trinity and have been rewarded with just the right words to say what I mean.
Writing as an act of worship invigorates my writing, filling my words with the presence of the One who is with me as I write. His Spirit allows me to proclaim truth with my words, and I am assured that His word will not fall to the ground without effect.
Indeed, writing as an act of worship validates the purpose of my writing. As a writer who worships Him, I know I am not acting selfishly. That is to say, I believe the time I take to write will bring me closer to my Father. I can trust that He will neither leave me dry, nor lead me into meaningless distraction.
Writing before His throne keeps me honest. I hope I’m not the only writer who has been tempted to write more than I know. I sometimes need to resist writing beyond what I have experienced, fabricating an account of the potential reality I hope for but have not yet lived, granting myself license to promote my own ideas of what I think my experience should be.
Writing as worship reminds me to be careful to only write what I know, to value my own experience as sufficient, and to allow the Lord to inhabit my humble praises so that He might exhibit His extraordinary promises of faithfulness to those who read what I write.
When I write what I know, I become vulnerable. I place myself in the hands of a loving Father and I trust that His grace for me is sufficient. My willingness to assume a position of openness to His intentions, prepares my spirit to receive the thoughts He wants to express through me.
Furthermore, I have found this to be the place where I become surprised by joy.
A Kiss from God
The Lord gave me a token of His love to validate this work He is doing in my life. He brought back to my attention something I had written years ago. I used to lead worship in a Vineyard kinship group in Salinas, California. During that time, the Lord gave me a song to write. I cherished this little chorus above all others but had since forgotten it.
Recently, a dear friend sent me a copy of this song with a note describing how the song had blessed her over the years. I would like to share it with you. Even though this was written as a song of worship, it describes the posture of our hearts when we write anything as worship.
I come to You broken, You’re the Maker of men.
I come to You empty, come fill me again.
I come to You captive for You’ve proclaimed my release.
I come to You boldly approaching the throne of Your majesty saying, “Lord come to me.”
Father of hope fill me full of Your joy.
I believe there is peace in You way.
Perfect me in holiness, power, and love so that I might walk with You all of my days.
From the moment I heard Brian’s story, I began again to look forward to discovering the secrets of His heart that my Father has hidden for me to find as I write.
I hope that you will encounter the joy of the Lord as you write saying, “Lord, speak through me.”
I invite you to share in the comments what you have discovered of His goodness as you have pursued your own writing.