An excerpt from the new book,  One Bloody Road: The Glorious Way of Discipleship:

“Sonship is the place in which we are established in our eternal connection and covenant to the Lord, and where we learn the Father and his heart for us by experiencing life with Him. Sonship is not just knowing doctrine or practicing religious rite. Sonship is our life in the Father’s lap. This happens daily, it happens unrehearsed, and it happens to all who willingly open their heart to the reality of the vastness of his love for them.”

Chapter 4: Sonship

THE SPIRIT PRODUCES ETERNAL THINGS

Up to this point, anything I ever wrote came with pressure. When an idea or a title would flash through my head, I would immediately feel this need to make something of it, and fast. If I didn’t someone else would first, or I would forget it, or I would just miss the opportunity and never get it back.

This time was different.

Over the course of about a week, what started one morning in church had cemented itself into my soul. The content of what I would write was a part of me for years since having taught it in Tanzania, and the reality was this discipleship message was the pursuit of my whole life and ministry now. The theme—the bloodiness of a crucified life of continual surrender, and the heavenly life it produces—had finally materialized for me by the inspiration of the Spirit. No one else could write this book. Even if they did, it made no difference to me because it was now anchored to something God said. It was a part of who He had shaped me to be, rather than a well-articulated opinion and the need to prove what I could do.

I sat down to actually write about a week later, after I had asked a few people to contribute to parts of the book. I was confident because my source was the Lord, and confident enough to ask others to jump in. In five days or so, I penned about 5,000 words. And then I got another phone call from my author friend. He had just finished his third manuscript and asked if I would proofread and make content edits before he sent it out to start the official production process.

Once more, I laid writing down. I couldn’t possibly write for myself and edit for him effectively. I wouldn’t be able to wholeheartedly do both at the same time. But it was an easy thing to do. I had learned to finally have joy in others’ success and helping my best friend accomplish what God was doing in his life was an easy decision. For the next few weeks I didn’t write anything other than markups in the margin of someone else’s work. By the time we got through that, it was time for my family to hit the road and we spent about six weeks traveling and ministering across the country. In that time I got out about another 1,500 words. By May of 2016, what the Lord spoke to me in January had produced something in the ballpark of 25 pages. But this “delay” meant nothing to me. I knew the foundation was laid and I knew what God had spoken would bear fruit in its time.

One of the beautiful things about walking with the Lord, about being a disciple of Jesus, is that it actually involves doing things together. It’s great to serve Him. I love to accomplish things for the Lord. But the truth is that nothing is real or lasting unless it is done by Him. Getting to finally write a book has been amazing. Writing a book with the Lord has been life changing.

In another time, even the pace of writing would have caused great frustration in my life. I would have lost faith in myself and seen my past flameouts as indicators that this book was just another failure of my own ego. But the way the Father walked me through the process of writing One Bloody Road is in itself a testimony to the process of discipleship which the book describes. The stillness of the experience—the unwavering joy that governed it—didn’t come from seeing the book materialize, it came from the dynamic of intimately interacting with God through the process. I was genuinely enjoying hearing Him lead my heart and watching Him create the circumstances in which the book would eventually manifest.

This post is part of a series titled, A Written Redemption: The Breaking of a Writer. (Links below)

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