I sat with Jon and Cheryl, my late husband’s and my best friends for almost fifteen years. Now they continue as dear ones to me, and I to them. As we ate at our favorite local watering hole, I updated them on the latest news regarding my first book’s publication.
“I love this book!” I said with all humility because I know God superintended the story and its writing. It’s the riveting memoir of a pastor I assisted for seven years—a pastor (Marshall Brandon) who used to be a black nationalist.
“You know, Lisa,” Jon said, “we’ve heard about this book for as long as you’ve been writing it and finding an agent and so on. But we haven’t read one bit of it.”
“Really?” I looked at my friends and thought, All this and I haven’t even shared with them this important part of how God is using me?
Jon, a seasoned art director, continued, “If you want me to read it with the eyes of someone in the general public, you should send it to me.”
I didn’t hesitate, “Well, sure! I’ll email you the part of the manuscript that’s in the book proposal as soon as I get home.”
And then I got fearful.
What if they hate the book? What if they think my writing stinks? Nah. But maybe…?
I trust Jon and Cheryl with everything of mine, including my life. They’ve been through so much with me and have never wavered in their love and support. Why worry about such things? But I did.
What I didn’t focus on were the ways the Lord will use it even in its unfinished, (as yet) unpublished state! I had just completed the final edits of the first three chapters with my editor and as per normal, I prayed over all aspects of the manuscript, including the intent (to bring glory to God). Marshall’s and my motive is for God to use this book to draw many to Himself.
In my personal war room where I fight spiritual battles on my knees, One reads, “My worth, my value all come from Christ Jesus, not man.” The Scripture that correlates to this dichotomy of wrong (sinful) thinking versus right (righteous) thinking is Proverbs 29:25.
“The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”
Oof, Lisa! Stop it!
And then the eternal implications hit me. My friends are not Christ followers.
O, Lord! Please use this small part of the book to pull them closer to You.
That’s what settled my spirit. I don’t have to worry as much about dotted i’s and crossed t’s as I do about how I reflect Christ to the world. Of course I want it to be as excellent as possible because it is the Lord Christ I serve. Shoddy writing would sully my witness.I don’t have to worry as much about dotted i’s and crossed t’s as I do about how I reflect Christ to the world - Lisa Kibler Click To Tweet
God replaced the fear with certitude that He’s got this and He will use His story in Marshall’s life for the kingdom!
When faced with the choice of fearing man or God, I at first feared man. I am so thankful for God’s patience with me. He is gracious and merciful and, as we reach out to Him in righteous fear, He will take our thoughts captive. He will turn our thoughts to Him and we will, by His grace, focus on pleasing Him.
If you have fear today, is it of God or of men? A careful time of prayer and meditation on the Word will lead you down the correct path. I am praying for you.
Lisa Kibler is an award-winning writer/blogger and international speaker. She has been published in Celebrate Gettysburg, CBN.com, and contributed to Heart Renovation by Lighthouse Bible Studies. Lisa is president of the Kent, Ohio chapter of Word Weavers, Int’l., is a Word Weavers mentor, and is editor of the Northeast Ohio division of One Christian Voice. She has just completed Someplace To Be Somebody, the memoir of former black nationalist, Pastor Marshall Brandon. Lisa is represented by Hartline Literary Agency. Her website is https://www.lisakibler.com.