By James N. Watkins
As an author and speaker, I’m convinced writers are a particularly-prized prey. An individual may share their faith with dozens of family members and co-workers. A pastor may reach several hundred on a Sunday morning. But a writer reaches hundreds of thousands of readers with a message that threatens the very gates of hell. And Satan ain’t happy!
Remember the Bible warns, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
I sensed the enemy’s hot, foul breath as I pitched and then wrote The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil. The struggle was intense. While writing it, my wife lost her job, our main source of income; a friend died of cancer; another friend ended up in jail due to a paperwork error; and the Internal Revenue Service came after several thousand dollars due to a reporting error. After submitting my manuscript, the design and layout were delayed when floods swamped the Houston area where the publisher was located. Once it did go to press, the California printer was threatened with wildfires. And now, apparently, I have offended the Google gods so that my book is invisible to the mammoth search engine!
Maybe you’re facing similar spiritual oppression as you pitch, write and market your book like I did. Here are some things that helped me. This verse was most helpful, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
The world says, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” But I knew I was responsible to suit up through daily time alone with God and then to “stand” because God says three times in Ephesians to simply stand because “the battle belongs to the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:47).
From the very beginning of my writing and speaking career, I have always had a prayer team whom I have kept informed about my projects and what specific needs I’m facing as I write and speak. In Ephesians 6:18 it says to “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers”.
This is God’s battle, not ours. It’s my job to write the best book possible with the time and talents I possess. It’s my responsibility to send out books to influencers, guest post on appropriate blogs, send out news releases, have an attractive website with book excerpts, endorsements, and—of course—links to booksellers. But it is God’s task to use the book to change lives and open the doors. “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies” (Zechariah 4:6).
As writers, we have a target on our backs from Satan, but we are also assured a trophy from God! This is verified in the Bible with “You have already won a victory . . . because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” (1 John 4:4).
So to answer the question, The Book Battle Belongs to the Lord and our part is helping each other get the word out.
James Watkins is an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles as well as conference speaker. He has served as an editor and taught writing at Taylor University. His website, www.jameswatkins.com, has been honored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for its creative Christian message. The author of The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil, The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today’s Language and others. Jim tries to provide encouragement and entertainment with his writing and speaking. Social Media Links: http://www.jameswatkins.com/