The Author and Finisher

Years ago, when I was struggling against self-sabotaging fears about the worth of my writing and my ability to finish a novel, I labored in prayer. I did not wish to spend a large percentage of my life writing unless it was God’s will. I wasn’t asking for a best seller or even a certain number of five-star reviews to corroborate His will. I simply went direct, as I have for many things which have borne out for me. So it was that I found some rock-solid motivation for writing fiction in God’s will. Sounds pretty pretentious to think one can hear from God on specific matters, I suppose, when you have grown up on the bland diet most churches provide. They teach that God’s will is the ten commandments and maybe the two that Jesus gave on loving God and each other. And these are God’s will, but God’s will is also that we rejoice in His grace, that we walk by faith not sight and stop consulting with what we see, feel, and hear as our primary source of peace and belief. God also has a specific will for each of us, and it can be discerned. (See John 16:13, Jer 29:11, Jn 10:27; the many examples of Paul in the book of Acts including Acts 18:9-11) Oh, that’s just for Paul, he was special. Oh no. not true. But many of us have been unable to hear from God because we trust what our senses have been telling us and not the Word.

In a moment when reading His word as the logos became reading it as rhema specific to me, I understood the verse in Heb 12:1-2 to be adaptable to my situation:

“And let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” (NKJV)

The words rang through my mind, as the Holy Spirit spoke to me about my writing: Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of my books! I may be the author but what I write are the books He’s shown me to write from start to finish. It’s my job to keep consulting with Him. I have many ideas on what to write. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. However, I know I must write only what He has shown me to write. As the process of writing this book brought me to this place of hearing from Him, I prayed this scripture over my novels. The Lord led me triumphantly through numerous revisions to publication.

If you think about it, IF Jesus is the author and finisher of one’s faith, that means he is involved in every detail of our living it out. And since one of those details for me entails writing novels, then it can be reverently and respectfully applied to writing my novels, too. The play on words is absolutely wonderful, since author is so very applicable to the writing of a book.

You can do this with any activity the Lord has called you to, and I highly recommend it. Find a scripture or scriptures that apply with modern relevance to the work, pray them over your work as you are doing it, and it will give strength to your endeavor. I wonder what scriptures Paul would have chosen as he sat side by side with Priscilla and Aquila, making tents while staying in Corinth? I am not a betting woman, but if I were to bet, I would wager there were a few that the beloved apostle would have used, when he wasn’t writing the books of the new testament in his head, of course.

My verse is not a formula, some mantra I began to say before and after every writing session. It is far more. It is a meditation of the heart. And as I meditated on its truth while writing, the voice of God spoke to me through it. He showed me how to write, led me to resources I could learn from, directed my time as I allowed Him to.

Nor is my verse meant to imply that my books have the validity of scripture, with me as the amanuensis and Jesus dictating them. No no. In the same sense that He is the author and finisher of our faith, and the working out of it, so is He for my novels. Neither my walk nor my books are perfect, but He will make them beautiful, and He will use them. I have faith in this! Not in the books or in the other things I do as I am led to. It’s the same use of the scripture, applied specifically.

Gathering it firmly in my mind the truth that Jesus is the author and finisher of my novels helped me to rest in His guiding hand over my writing sessions. I could create with joy, in a rich flow of His Spirit. As the revisions mounted in number, so did I place my faith on the great Finisher to guide me on putting the finishing touches upon the story. Meditating and adopting this verse lets me rest in His timing for my books to find their way to the people who need them.

I haven’t met a lot of Christian authors who have adopted scriptures as a lifeline for their writing. Then again, I haven’t met a lot of Christian novelists with anything of substance who have placed their writing on the altar of God’s will, either. For this field, just as any other dubbed “christian”, including most churches, is a vast wasteland of those seeking first not the kingdom of God but the top marketing niches and numerous high ratings. They have not even considered whether their books are a heart’s direction derived from hours in the throne room of grace. They remind me of a line in one of Becky Wade’s novels Stay With Me, “But just like a set of keys you can’t find right when it’s most urgent that you locate them, she’d misplaced God somehow.”

There have been exceptions which I’ve come across; I’m sure there are others. Some started out that way and waned, others discovered God could be the Lord of their writing along the way. There is always redemption available. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for awards and feedback and all the accoutrements of developing one’s field of influence. It’s just that for the Christian, above all else come the springs of grace from within the heart of the novelist, flowing through the novel itself. “For ye shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…” The knowledge of God that only comes with time in His presence and the Word.


The creation of seasons in nature reveals God’s pattern for all of life. “To EVERYTHING there is a season… .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Each of the great covenants handed to us by the Creator has been a season. And each of us goes through many seasons from birth to passing into eternity.

The world will define personal seasons according to its carnal way of looking at things. A person over 55 is termed a senior, those in their 80s, “elderly”. A person in their 20s may be deemed immature or “not ready”. If you’re not careful, you’ll buy into all this. In truth, an old eagle can fly stronger and higher than a young one. Caleb was ready and able to take his mountain in his 80s. David defeated Goliath as a teenager who couldn’t fit into a warrior’s armor. A widowed Ruth left country and family to follow the God of her mother-in-law and wound up with a new husband, giving birth to a child who would become Jesus’ great grandparent. What do these have in common? They had heard from God and had the faith to carry out His directives. By doing so, they each entered their next God-ordained season.

Before I go on, I must add that if you are in a season of overcoming ill health, there are spiritual laws that promote health which are clearly outlined in the Bible, corroborated by many such as Kenneth Copeland and Dodie Osteen, Andrew Wommack (who is a youngster compared to those two), and many many many others of lower profile (to us, though not to God). Investigate these ministries and you’ll find the testimonies of living people who are enjoying the good, abundant and healthy life Jesus paid dearly to purchase for us, against many attempts to rob them of it.

But I digress.

What I’m really led to write about today are these seasons which extend from birth to our passing into glory. Now, even if you die young and broke, God is going to welcome you who trust in Jesus with open arms and dry every tear. But there is victory in living supernaturally that the world has no idea is possible and hopefully this will inspire a few people to stop settling for less. More to the point is that we respect that we are all going through different seasons, and that we do our best to honor each other where we are at. The important thing is to be asking God, and always checking in, with regard to His will for your life’s seasons.

From a divine perspective, there are seasons in a human’s life never understood or thought about by those who are not spiritual. The seasons of slaying dragons, moving mountains, going through a wilderness, seasons of learning how to wield the sword of the Spirit and how to walk by faith, of sowing and reaping, receiving and resting. In fact, there are too many to mention. No one person will live every possible season available to the human spirit, however, we are all meant to live a few, for we are going from glory to glory in this life.

For everyone, there will be change. Billy Graham, one of the greatest preachers who ever lived, had a season of retirement before he died. There are numerous people now in the ministry who had seasons of preparation and regrouping before they answered the call to ministry. And there are those who begin in one ministry and segue to another. Young worship leaders often move into preaching or teaching, for instance. Moses had to leave a pharaoh’s palace to get a fix on who he wasn’t so that God could help him understand who he was. That had to be an interesting transition, to say the least. In the same way that autumn begins to be felt at the end of summer, or spring overtakes winter, we might notice these shifts for ourselves. If you keep your ear to the ground, as they say, you will hear from the Father how to navigate the new terrain.

Our Lord Himself would do nothing without hearing from God about it (Jn 8:38, Jn 12:49, etc) and then He instructed us to abide in Him (Jn 15) so we could do the same. If it was important that Jesus listen to God, how much more so that we do? A study of the book of Acts will show how Paul consulted the Lord personally over his itineraries, even going against a prophetic warning (Acts 21) after he’d gotten the clarity he sought. (I’ve heard it preached that this was Paul being pigheaded, an example of an error in judgement. They base this on Paul’s escape from Jerusalem many years earlier and on the fact that Paul was repeatedly thrown out of synagogues in many cities. Actually, persecution is not proof of disobedience but obedience, as confirmed by our Lord and many scriptures. In fact, would we not see Paul’s message to synagogues as his way of following the pattern Jesus Himself set forth, proclaiming the gospel “to the Jew first.” There is also the fact that every time he preached at a synagogue, “some believed” despite his being kicked out, and of these, a few became fellow messianic Jews who accompanied Paul on his journeys. Paul refers to how much their support meant to him, mentioning them separately from the Gentiles on his ministry team. Unfortunately, I don’t have space here to reference the multitudinous other scriptures which directly and in principle confirm that Paul was almost surely being guided by the Holy Spirit in this visit to Jerusalem late in his ministry. As one more piece of the puzzle, before I move on, consider the prophetic warnings themselves, which never said, “Thus saith the Lord, Don’t Go!”, they simply said there would be bonds awaiting him. There’s a huge difference! But, let’s be honest, while the important points of our faith are well defined in the Bible, exegesis of this particular point will always amount to speculation by sanctified imagination. Nothing fully states Paul’s motives or God’s will concerning this visit by Paul. All we can say is “probably” to an interpretation of the event. Given the evidence of scripture as partly outlined above, it’s more likely that Paul’s determination to continue on his way to Jerusalem was probably not hubris disguised as nobility, but rather grounded in the leading of the Lord Himself.) To wit in regard to the current discussion, the scriptures show us with many other examples and teachings beyond any doubt that following God’s leading is vital, that we are each responsible to gain direction from Him, and that sometimes it will fly in the face of what others, even other spiritual people, might think or advise. If so, it’s not necessary or even advisable to argue. Stay in love, but stay the course God has called you to.

Your spiritual connection with God is inviolate. No one can tell you what God is telling you to do. There is much to learn and practice when hearing from God for guidance and direction. This becomes clearer when one starts living one’s life by it, rather than a one-off. Anyone can catch a worm if they dig enough ground up! Like any other gift, practice strengthens and refines it. Prophetic words of wisdom and knowledge given to you should resonate with what you have received from God. Similarly, your spirit, now indwelt by God’s Spirit, will not contradict the Word which is found in the Bible. We are all of a piece with Jesus!

Seasons are real, and as long as they are God-given, they will bring great blessing, understanding, peace and provision.

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

“She offers you long life [and length of days] in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying [peace].

“Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.”

Prov 3:13-18 NLT