Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Grinding Wheel

Nonstop from earlier today:

I’m out of fellowship. I don’t know why. I think it’s because… I don’t know. I’m feeling very small and insignificant. Things are hard. The book is hard. It’s not going right. I think about the criticisms sure to come, the fact people just aren’t going to like it because it’s not what they are expecting.
They like those short stupid books I don’t like. So I’m not going to write one of those short stupid, nondoctrinal books that I don’t like. I’m going to write a book that’s not short, but still stupid and hardly any doctrine because I don’t know what I’m doing. This is frustrating. Is it because I’m not writing what I care about? No. Because I had this same problem with …

It was reading that article by Koontz yesterday! Now I’m down in the… no there’s tons of stuff besides that. The hope has fled. The book sucks. I can’t get it to be better than sucky. So I don’t want to do anything.

Father I need help. What do I think about? You called me to do this. You are, in fact, doing it through me. Then let me see something. Let me see...

I got distracted and now I’ve used up my time playing with my keyboard and I can’t type and…

Where was I? God has assigned me this task. To write this book. He will do it through me. I can only do the best that I can do and if it seems terribly lame, oh well. It’s got to be what He wants because He chose me and assigned me to do this.

Thinking about what others are going to think is totally wrong. Caring what people think of what I’m doing is wrong. And that’s what I’ve been doing here. Caring what people think. Thoughts of critics of Koontz come in. I don’t feel safe. I fear the criticism and … yet…. Of course. It’s in man’s nature to be critical and to find fault. You have been told that you are foolish to care what people think. You have to capture those thoughts.

Father, I need a clear path. Jesus… you didn’t care. You didn’t entrust yourself to them. How? What’s the line of thought I need here?

Feel bad because you're worried about what people think? Name that. I’ve been told not to do that. I’ve been told to care what God thinks. And what does God think? That I’ve already won it all. I already have everything in Him. He is seated at the right hand of God, master and ruler of the universe and I am in Him. So… why do I care what a grasshopper thinks? Which is pretty much what we all are compared to God.

The master of the universe, the creator of everything loved me so much He sent his son to die for me, so I could have everything, so I would not have to concern myself with what people think. For me to do so anyway… is gross.

Yes, the battle is intense. Sometimes I’m right in there. Sometimes I can see it clearly. I can see the reality of the word, the substance of the truth. But other times... I doubt.

What did Scott say about my work? NEVER DOUBT YOUR GIFT!!!!!!

And here you turn right around a week later and you’re doubting it. Totally. You think you’re all done, all washed up. That nothing is going to happen. That everything is going to crumble into nothing. RotGK is going to go Out of Print, and then the rest of it is a waste and… no one cares, no one likes it, it’s so hard, it’s not making any sense, I can’t even see the importance of it.

All I seem to hear in my head now is that it’s irrelevant. Why am I messing with Nephilim? The book should be about mystery doctrine! I’m not getting any good spiritual stuff in it at all, because the … because I can’t… because…

I think that’s what’s bugging me the most. There’s no spiritual value here. It’s hard. It seems wrong. It’s frustrating. I don’t know why. Why is it so hard? Shouldn’t it be easy? Lord you said you’d do it, so why aren’t you? Or if you are… could you give me a glimpse or something? If you want me to keep slogging in what seems to be a circle of going nowhere. Hard, hard work that’s just going to be eaten up, taken away. I’m just a slave in one of those pushing wheels. Where you go round and round and it grinds the wheat or whatever it does. I’m thinking of Conan the Barbarian in that wheel of pain thing. And…

And the Lord says, “But that is what made Conan strong.”

[Silence. Wonder. Amazement.]

Then I had a big crying-jag meltdown. Because I don’t feel strong. I feel like all I’m doing is blowing it. I’m doubting. I can’t make application. I can’t make myself work. The time shortens. I’m failing constantly. What I want to do, I’m not; what I don’t want to do, I am.

There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. My yoke is easy, My burden is light. Why are you condemning yourself all the time? Why are you finding fault with the work and yourself all the time?

Didn’t your pastor just say, hasn’t he said repeatedly, "Stop focusing on your performance and what you’re doing? Stop trying to do better and focus on HIM. Stop looking at the problem. Look at HIM. The solution. What He did." He died so I would not have to live in bondage and condemnation. There is now no condemnation. Who is he who brings a charge against God's elect? Who is he who condemns? God is the one who justifies. Why are you condemning, when God has pronounced you justified and righteous?

No one really understands what you're going through. Well, God, yes, but not ... And look what happened to you this weekend. All the stuff that went on, the problems, the difficulties. The mishaps. You serve and wipe yourself out, are all beaten and battered and sore from standing and Quigley, and all that… and there is this… deadline. This task. This thing…

Ah. Yes. Don’t think of that. When you are at the grinding wheel you are just moving around in a circle. It’s hard, you can’t stop, but there’s not a lot of distraction.

So correct thoughts here are… I am already one hundred percent accepted in Christ. God sees me as perfect, as righteous, as justified, I’m living with Him forever. He sent his son to die for me – so I can live in freedom and peace and humility NOW. It’s arrogance that thinks you should do better.

Grindstone. You can’t see what you’re doing. You are putting out all this effort and the wheat is being ground, but you can’t see it. You don’t know what’s happening. And then the flour is taken away. And you don’t know what happens to it. It’s used to make all sorts of different things, that feed people, nourish them, make them happy, satisfied, build them up, give them strength…

But even that doesn't matter. My job is to focus on Him. To do this task with my eyes fixed firmly on Him. Maybe I am walking around and around in a circle. But I have to trust that this is where He’s put me, and that He will make something beautiful out of it in His time. He will do it.

I know I can’t see if the book is any good at this stage. I’m way too familiar with it. So just stop anguishing about it all and keep pushing forward, around and around and around... Til it's done.