A Dream Come True

Dear Friends,

You'll know from my blogs that I love to write. I love to share with you the things I've been learning from God. And I love reading and digging deep into the Bible to uncover wonderful truths and treasures. 

A few years back I believed God was calling me to write a book. So, I compiled a selection of devotionals from this blog. I spent time researching the market, and gaining advice and help from others. 

Despite sending my book proposal to several publishers, no one was interested in my book.  It was hard to keep receiving rejections. I was convinced this was what God had called me to do and yet no doors seemed to be opening.

I kept persevering. But, I was told on more than one occasion, that getting a devotional book published by an unknown author was difficult. After more time, I decided to go down the route of self-publishing. And after two years of working towards it, my devotional book "Dear Friend...52 weekly devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is now ready and available to the public. (You will find it available to buy from Amazon if you are interested.)

The desire for me to write came from a place deep within me and it would not be shaken off. Yes, there were times when I felt like giving up. Yes, there were times when I questioned whether I was right or not. But that desire to write never fully left me and I don't believe it ever will. 

I believe that when God gives you something to do, when he calls you to something, whatever that may be, the drive to do it, the passion for it, will always be with you, stirring you on.

I believe God created each one of us at a particular time and in a particular place for a reason. None of us are here by chance. I believe that he created me for such a time as this. He created you for such a time as this. A time when so much technology is available at our fingertips making it possible to reach others outside our immediate sphere of connection. 

One of my favourite characters in the Bible is Esther.  Esther was a Jew who was chosen by the King of Persia to be his Queen.  He was not aware that she was a Jew, and he was tricked by Haman, one of his men, into making a decree that all Jews were to be killed. Mordecai, Esther's cousin, believed that Esther had been made Queen so that she was in a position to stop this from happening and he sent her a message which read:  "Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14 (NLT)

God has blessed me by giving me the desire of my heart.  He has fulfilled the dream I had of writing a book.  It may not have happened in quite the way I had expected it to or as quickly as I would have liked.  But God often does the unexpected - his ways are certainly not our ways, and our thoughts do not compare with his thoughts.

I am so grateful to God, for giving me the desire and for making it happen.  I am so thankful to him for giving me the endurance I needed to see it through rather than give up when things were tough or looked impossible.

Yet, even with the excitement of having my dream become a reality, the Devil still seeks to sow discouragement and bring me down. I've entertained thoughts such as "I'm not really a published author. It's only happened because the route I went down was self-publishing. No actual publisher saw any worth in my writing otherwise they'd have accepted my book proposal. I just don't meet the standard. I'm below par." Etc. I know these kinds of thoughts are the ones the Devil wants me to believe. He wants to steal my joy. He wants me to believe his lies (and he's so good at making his lies sound like the truth). He wants to kill any desire I have to use my gifts in service for God. He wants to keep me from aiming for whatever God has planned for my life. We are told in John 10:10 "The thief’s [the Devil's] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy." (NLT) Whereas Jesus' purpose, as mentioned in that same verse is to give us "a rich and satisfying life."

Why have I shared this with you today?  For two reasons:

First, if you have a dream, a desire that God has placed within you, I want to encourage you to keep pursuing it. Don't give up on it when it's tough or when it looks impossible. Keep trusting in God to make it happen in his time and his way. Ask him to give you the strength to endure, to push through. Don't listen to those who tell you it's not possible, or that you're not qualified, or that you're only going to fail. Don't let the opinion of others stop you. You may experience frustration and discouragement along the way but don't let that stop you. If God has called you to something and if he has given you the desire then he will be true to himself and he will make it happen. God is faithful.

Ephesians 3:20-21 are two great verses for us to hold on to.  I particularly like it from the Amplified Version: "20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen."  So worth an "Amen!" I'm also thinking I need a copy of those verses printed out as a daily reminder for me.

Secondly, whenever you step out in faith and do what God wants you to do, the Devil will also be right there doing his best to stop you. He will do whatever he can to prevent you from living out an active faith. He will use all the tactics and strategies he has at hand to stop you or slow you down.

We don't need to be afraid of the Devil, after all, he who is in us (Jesus) is greater than he (the Devil) who is in the world. But we do need to be aware of what he is trying to do.  We need to be alert to his tactics and strategies. "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT). We need wisdom from God so we can discern the thoughts, fears, doubts etc. which are coming from the Devil. We need to know the truth of God's Word for ourselves.  (I say we, but I also mean "I" because I am aware of how much I need to apply this in my own life.)

One final verse of encouragement:

"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."  Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Or as the Amplified Bible puts it: "Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in."

To Think About:
What has God placed on your heart? What dreams and hopes do you have? What has God gifted you to do? If you're not sure what it is, take some time alone with God and ask him to reveal it to you. 

Will you take that step of faith? Will you pursue what God is calling you to, even though it takes you out of your comfort zone?

Have you already made that step of faith? Have you got discouraged along the way? Do you feel like giving up? Do you feel like it's taking too long and you're running out of time? Can I encourage you today to keep persevering. To keep God ever before you and focus on him. And trust in his promises.

Vicki

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