Members of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook often ask about inspiration, so I hope you Comment below on what inspires you.
While nonChristians await an elusive muse, communicators for Christ count on the same Holy Spirit who inspired the poets and writers of Holy Scripture to inspire us.
No, we’re not writing or rewriting the Bible, but Christian poets, writers, and other ministers of The Word need fresh ideas and insights to elevate the quality of our work in any genre. So, whether you write poems, sermons, devotionals, blog posts, or books, the following tips might help.
Ask God to give you a deeper, wider, higher understanding of The Word and fresh insights into Holy Scripture, including familiar verses and Bible stories.
- Observe everything.
Notice the information your senses provide. What do you hear, see, smell, taste, touch? Be specific. Compare this to that. Observe, for example, the differing details that occur in variations of weather, cloud patterns, flower petals, shop windows, birdcalls, sidewalk artists, street musicians. God gave us good sense and good senses, so it makes sense to use them all to our artistic advantage.
- Take notes:
Keep a pencil or computer close by to write down new thoughts or comparisons that come to you while they’re still fresh. Either a hard drive or a little notebook is almost always more reliable than memory!
- Tie your experiences and memories to something – and Someone – relevant today.
Does the news make you shiver the way you did when you heard war reports as a child? That discomfort with its subtle degrees of fear would most likely speak to other people, too, making a strong connection with your readers or listeners before you even begin to discuss God’s Word on fear.
- Listen to people.
What are your family, friends, and foes talking about, asking about, praying about, or tweeting! Their concerns and joys might help you to see something in a new light – something you, too, will want to pray about and write about as the Spirit leads.
- Purposefully change perspectives.
Inspired ideas can come from shifting your point of view and also your viewing level. Does your outlook skim mountain peaks and high-rise buildings, plunge into caverns and laundry chutes, or just get down on the floor like a pretend puppy or little kid. Seeing the underside of a table or the top branches of a tree will take you outside your ordinary way of looking at things, but you might also try tracking the soles of someone else’s shoes.
- Be open to God’s way of seeing.
How? By really, really reading the Bible – not just a chapter here and there but whole books of the Bible or at least big chunks every day to get a sweeping view of God’s perspective!
With a contemporary reader’s edition (aka a Bible with no footnotes to distract your reading), you can readily read the entire Bible in 6 to 8 weeks – or less! No, I’m not kidding! Since each person reads at a different pace, guesstimate yours by asking yourself how long it usually takes you to finish nonfiction books or novels of 1000 to 1300 pages.
Then, once you’ve read the Bible cover to cover, do it again!
You might vary the routine by meditating on a single verse each morning and, later, setting aside reading times with full books such as the Psalms or Gospels or whatever book God draws you to read.
Regardless of your scheduling preferences, get ready for godly insights and inspiration to flood you with ideas! More importantly, you’ll be better equipped to handle God’s Word rightly as you see the bigger picture and the spectacular, endless landscape of God’s amazing love.
by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016