June 30, 2015

On Knowing God's Pleasure by Susan Barclay

When I first considered this month's theme, I struggled. When did I feel God's pleasure when I write? I wondered - did I feel His pleasure at all?

I finally concluded that while I may not be aware of His pleasure, God is pleased when I write to encourage others, when I write to share the gospel of Christ, and when I write about difficult, even controversial, subjects, in a way that reflects His love, mercy and grace. He is pleased when I don't sacrifice my faith on the altar of showcasing my work.

Well, that wasn't going to be enough for an entire blog post, was it? :) Therefore...

I recently read the Mark Batterson/Richard Foth book, A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life into the Adventure of a Lifetime. There's a lot of food for thought and impetus for personal transformation within the book's pages. I think God took great pleasure as He watched Mark and Dick put this together, and I want to know that He takes that same pleasure in my writing.

A few quotes from Mark, and my response:
Whatever you don't turn into praise turns into pride. When I write, I shouldn't do so for my own glorification, but God's. He will never share His glory with another, and is worthy of all my praise. I need to put the spotlight on Him, not on me and my own brilliance, which, if any, is His gift to me and not anything I have independently. If I do my part, I will know His pleasure.
I want to go after dreams that are destined to fail without divine intervention. I am small and He is big. What is impossible for me is within His ability to perform. When I go after dreams that depend on His power, whether that's to write a bestseller or to change lives through the words that flow from my pen, I will know His pleasure.
It's not until you say to God "whatever, whenever, wherever" that you begin living out the adventure God has planned for you. It may be difficult to say "whatever, whenever, wherever" when you have no idea what the outcome will look like - it's called faith for a reason, people! - it is easy to say this when you understand that God is trustworthy and that His plans for you indeed are good (Jeremiah 29:11). When I leave the nature and outcome of my writing to Him, I will know His pleasure. [Note to self: try saying "whatever, whenever, wherever" when facing a blank page/screen]
And finally, a quote from Martin Luther, which was also in the book: 
Preach  as if Jesus was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is returning tomorrow. Change the word 'preach' to 'write.' How would I write differently with this mindset? I think there would be a greater urgency and a greater faithfulness both in the doing and in the content. And I would better know His pleasure.
I know His pleasure when I write for Inscribe :)

For more of my writing, please visit www.susan-barclay.ca or www.susanbarclay.wordpress.com


  1. A lot to consider from your informative and encouraging post :)

  2. I like your honesty right from the start, Susan. Sometimes it isn't easy to feel God's pleasure when we write. Recognizing God is at the helm when we write something that is meant to encourage others is truly wonderful. It reveals our ability to allow God to use our writing for his glory. Thanks for sharing a few quotes from the book you read. Very inspiring and thought provoking!

  3. Thanks, Susan. I have written down your motto of "Whatever, whenever, wherever." That I too will pray for all of us, myself especially, that I will be ready to turn my writing over to God and use my self-discipline to try to keep up with that. I am slow responding to your blog, as we are still unpacking boxes after a move.


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