Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shaping the River into Words

Shaping the River Into Words
Worshipful Writer Series
Net's Notations Tuesdays

My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness.
I pour it out in a poem to the king,
shaping the river into words:
(Psalm 45:1 MSG)

Let praise cascade off my lips;
after all, you've taught me the truth about life!

(Psalm 119:171 MSG)

Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the brothers who are producing films from Sherwood Baptist Church (Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous) have said this about their movies: “In our movies, God is the Hero. He gets the glory.” (my paraphrase from an interview I watched)

That’s what we want to express in our books, at least at some level. We’re Christian writers. Our hope in Christ is an element readers may not see anywhere else. (I can think of one secular book where God was so humbly honored I couldn’t help worshiping while I read.)

Now, I understand we fiction writers have heroes and heroines in our novels. And here I am speaking of honoring God as Hero. As you’re writing, ask yourself: How is God portrayed in my book? Would readers be attracted to Him?

Why let God remain a secondary character? Even if He is only included in a few scenes, ensure He is glorified. Make readers want Him.

Writers have a God-given gift to “shape the river into words,” to “let praises cascade off their lips” or fingers. I love this imagery because waterfalls have always captured me. The beauty of the water rushing over rocks, down a steep cliff, fed by an unseen source—manifested power and provision.

These verses also speak to our dependence upon God for the right words at the right time. Has God shown you your dependence upon Him for words? I’m not talking about a right way and a wrong way. I’m talking about anointed words versus words which didn’t come through prayer, surrender, dependence, humility. Words which are inspired by the Holy Spirit will carry His power, they will draw people to God.

Jesus explained to His disciples during the last hours before His arrest that without Him we can do nothing. He also said He would send the Holy Spirit to testify of Himself. That’s the connection we want to have when we write. The Holy Spirit infusing our words with power to change lives, to uplift hearts, to encourage souls, to woo people to the Lord.

By being a vessel for this “cascade of praise” and "shaping the river into words," we are serving as worshipful writers.



  1. Wonderful! I so agree and it is the prayer of my heart to have the Holy Spirit shape my words to be of use for the Kingdom.

    Thank you for this post.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Jan. I believe God will bless that desire to have an eternal impact. Thanks for reading. :)



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