I am extremely humbled to have the opportunity to blog with the many great and creative authors at Christians Read. For my first post here, I thought I would share my story about how I became a non-fiction author.
In 1983, with a past tainted from the experience of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, God awakened my spiritual eyes to reveal Himself through Jesus Christ. He gently began to lift me out of darkness and show me glimpses of His glory and Kingdom. However, for many years the influence of my past continued to bombard my thoughts, especially those concerning myself, my value and my purpose for living.
It was many years later before I really grasped that all the good, bad and ugly events I had lived, God could and would use for good (Romans 8:28-29). I began to accept God’s sovereign love as a reality in my life. I acknowledged the price He paid to free me from Satan’s rule, and I began to understand just how valuable I was. After all, the greatest price ever paid for any item in the world, at any time in history, was paid for me. How great is His love and how valuable His life given has declared me to be! The same is true about you if you are His child. Our past mistakes, our sins and the sins done against us can all be used for the glory of God. We can live free from shame and glorify Him. He has set us free!
With this realization came power to embrace who I was in Christ, a new creature with an eternal purpose and value.
I wanted to live for His glory and help others to do the same. I began to seek God and His specific will for my life while doing my best to be faithful to whatever He set before me. I found myself ministering in biblical counseling settings time and time again; and I discovered that there were many dis-satisfied people in the Kingdom who were in a search for their perception of the abundant life of John 10:10.It is no wonder that this is the topic that God called me to address in my first writings.
It wasn’t until my late 40s to early 50s, through a series of events, that I felt God was giving me an assignment to speak and write for the purpose of encouraging and equipping others for their journey of transformation. I thought it was strange for God to set me on this path at such a late age with no prior experience in these areas. But He did. Like most others who accept God’s assignment, I was concerned about my ability; but He has led me all the way.
My first writing assignment was inspired from 1 Timothy 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” As I pondered this Scripture God began to show me that the key to living a joy-filled, satisfied, and abundant life is summed up in this tiny verse. We all have the opportunity to learn, as did the Apostle Paul, to be content in every situation whether prospering or being abased while allowing God to change and move us from one place of glory to the next. What great news it is that we can learn contentment. What hope we have in Christ who enables us to do all things. However, we must come to a place where we trust God. Otherwise, we will continually second guess His responses to the circumstances of our lives, which only breeds dis-contentment.
Another important truth to grasp is that you and I as God’s devoted children are godly, not because we are perfect, but because God has declared it. He calls those godly who have devotion towards Him even though they are still under construction.The journey should not be one filled with anxiety resulting from failed efforts to live uprightly before Him. Freedom is realized as we learn to rest in God as we walk towards perfection. We can relax and enjoy the journey. He is sure to perfect us as we keep our focus on Christ!
I have shared these truths along with many others that have been life-freeing, life-changing principles for my own life in Experience Real Satisfaction and Experience Godliness God’s Way both published by God’s grace in 2010. Together I refer to them as the “Abundant living Package.” Both of these books are great studies for the individual as well as for group studies. Discussion questions are included. Early 2012, I will have another new release. I am excited God is giving me books to write. Books can be read even when I am long gone and hopefully inspire and encourage the readers to be all they can be to the glory of God!
I want to close this post with a word of encouragement. Like me, living in a fallen world with fallen people to include our own fallen natures, may have had a negative effect on your perspective of life. Are feelings of insecurity, rejection or shame holding you back from moving forward into the place God desires to take you? Do you question your value and ability to be used by God or to contribute anything of worth to impact the lives of others? I want to encourage you to take control of your thoughts and bring them in line with what the Word of God says about you (2 Corinthians 10:5). It wasn’t until I made a decision to control my thoughts that my life really changed. And remember, God doesn’t waste anything. He has a purpose in everything He allows in our lives (Romans 8:28-29). Besides, it is through the painful trials of our lives that we are able to know the comfort of God. We are told, “He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God” (2 Cor 1:4 GW). Your life may be a story that needs to be shared with someone in your midst.
Ask God to open your eyes today to the assignment He has for you. It may be to write or share from a platform. It may be to mentor, encourage or befriend another. Whatever it is, you are able because God will equip you for what He calls you to do.
Please feel free to visit me at http://www.sarahgoebel.com. There you will find short video teachings and one minute audio devotions. Register for the mailing list and check out my interactive blog. I hope to see you there. Meanwhile, enjoy God, find your satisfaction in Him, and enjoy relaxing while God grows you spiritually with great fiction and non-fiction Christian reads.