Seeking acute awareness of Christ’s immediate presence — the-OneThing.
I’m happy to announce my editor approved my detailed summary (a little under 20,000 words) last Friday. So, I thought it might be the perfect time to give you a sneak peek into the protagonist’s heart.
Emily Rayburn has an old idea buried deep in her soul that’s holding her back and she doesn’t even know it, but the evil one does. She will need spiritual transformation led by the Holy Spirit to survive the devil’s scheme against her.
According to Dallas Willard, author of Renovation of the Heart…
“Two of the most powerful facets in the realm of thought are ideas and images. Ideas are ways of thinking about and interpreting things. They are so essential to how we approach life that we often do not understand when and how ideas are at work. Our idea system grows up with us from childhood out of the teachings, expectations and behaviors of family and community. People are often so far in the grip of ideas that they can’t be bothered to think. They don’t know what moves them, but ideas govern them and have their consequences anyway.” — Dallas Willard
Pretend you’re sitting on your front porch after a stressful day at work. A soft breeze touches your face. You close your eyes and breathe in the cool air, holding your breath just long enough to enjoy the muscles in your chest and rib cage stretch out. Gently you exhale slowly, with control, release all the pressures of the day.
A loud crack from across the street jolts you upright. A stranger is standing on your neighbor’s front porch. His face red. He turns away from the front door. Pauses at the edge of the porch to tuck his tousled shirt into his pants before leaving the porch. He clomps down the stairs, one heavy footstep at a time. Determined, as he aims for his car parked in the driveway. You hear the beep-beep sound as he reaches the car door. He looks right. Then left before he opens the door and gets inside.
What happened fifteen seconds before you heard your neighbor’s front door close abruptly?
There are over 2,000 subscribers to this newsletter. I imagine that if we all answered this question in writing, the variations on what went on in the neighbor’s house before the stranger shut the door could add up into the hundreds or even a thousand different speculations. That’s because we all bring unique ideas, developed through years of life experience, to every situation we encounter. Conjecturing is a natural, almost autonomic function. Imaginations, which naturally flow from the governing ideas developed over the years, many of which we may not even know are at work in us.
Back to the vignette above. A conversation with our neighbor and the stranger would help us find out what really went on in that house before we opened our eyes. The facts, if we believe them, will most likely modify our original idea, which will change our conclusions.
But, what if we took action as if our speculation was the whole truth?
That’s exactly where the main character of my newest book will find herself.
She has spent a lifetime honing her intuition. Her insight has sharpened to the point of premonitions that come in dreams or sometimes daydreams that alert her in the nick of time to protect an innocent person or expose the evil lurking around in someone’s life that she cares about. In the last few years, her conjectures have proven to be accurate over and over and over again.
So much so, that Emily has begun to trust herself instead of Christ for outcomes
And that’s her problem.
A governing idea, “it’s my responsibility to make things right” and the consequential line of thinking, self-blame, when things go wrong, “it’s my fault,” needs to be set right. Redeemed. Restored.
Emily Rayburn needs an idea shift, but she doesn’t know that just yet.
Her struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
She must learn…
… to see the noble gifting that lies within her the way Jesus does at any cost.
… to see through the obvious outward circumstances into the war being waged for her heart and the hearts of those she wants to protect or rescue.
To do that, Emily needs divine intervention. An idea shift. A point of surrender, releasing her from the guilt and shame she’s carried so long and unleashing the powerful gifting God knit inside of her through Christ alone — the-OneThing.
Until next time,