Sunday, May 7, 2017

Write a Book, Go to War: The Reality of Spiritual Battle for Writers

by Danetta Kellar 

He climbed over a smoking heap of debris, his head dripping with blood from the gash in his scalp. Over a shoulder he carried his best friend, unconscious and missing a limb. Nothing would stop him from getting out. Nothing. He had been trained to undergo enemy fire, and knew what to do. The sound of his grenade exploding echoed off the buildings as he created a momentary breach and raced through to safety under cover of smoke.

The soldier and his friend survived, later receiving the prestigious purple heart award for the war wounds they received at the hands of the enemy. Like the honored bronze medals now adorning their walls, their story of courage that day will always ornament their hearts like a combat decoration.

Okay, this a dramatic way to open. But these events really happened, and I had the privilege of hearing the story firsthand. All because my friend was prepared for battle.

In recent months as I burrowed deeper into the writing of my first book, I often thought of my friend and his preparedness. I wondered, was I prepared for the battle I would face when I stepped out in obedience and began to write a book? What might a combat trainer’s manual say to a writer like me, green and ready for the challenge?

We writers have a combat manual, and it is the Bible. I searched it and found quite a few clear instructions for how to survive enemy fire. Here are three of my favorites.

Submit to Your Commander before You Go into Battle
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:15, NIV

It is never too late to stop what we are writing and get on our knees. In fact, I try to do it daily. Taking pause quiets our souls. It reminds us who the crafter of our words really is. In that posture we hear instruction that may be completely different from the direction we were initially headed. Submission to the Commander leads to hearing His guidance clearly. For more on this, read the rest of Joshua chapter 5.

Station Help at the Exposed Places
Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. Nehemiah 4:13, NIV

Don’t go into battle alone. Rally your own brigade of mighty warriors to pray for you as you write. Be honest with them about your exposed places, the places of weakness where you struggle. I often wrestle with balancing my family and my writing. My prayer team knows this and they stand in the gap for me. Stationing help in the areas where we are weak gives us an extra layer of protection from the enemy’s schemes.

Stay Alert and Work On
Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. Nehemiah 4:17-18, NIV

I tend to be like the young teenage soldier in the Civil War who froze in fear at the sound of the first real cannon blast and was in imminent danger of being hit. Don’t freeze; do the work. Carry your weapon in one hand, and press on. Do the work, day after day, word after word, obedience after obedience.

The U.S. Army Warrior Ethos and Combat Skills Handbook (Department of the U.S. Army) says, “Climb with your weapon slung over your firing shoulder so you can bring it quickly into a firing position.” 

One morning I was laboring over a chapter deadline and the words would not come. I could not think. Self-doubt and shame immobilized me and my stomach churned. Finally I stopped and began to pray. I sent a quick SOS prayer bulletin to my prayer team and as their prayers poured in, the change was almost immediate. It was clearly a spiritual battle that particular morning, and we won in Christ’s name.

The battle is real and fierce. The enemy is real and aggressive.

Some days I feel like my friend at the beginning of today’s post, carrying my broken book idea through enemy territory, determined to save it. Other days I feel like the wounded soldier he rescued, fellow writers and supportive friends carrying me with their prayers and encouragement, breaking through the wall that looms unscalable before me.

Every day I remind myself that there is One who fights for me (see Deuteronomy 20:4). He is an Author, and a Finisher (see Hebrews 12:2). He understands the end from the beginning, and He will bring me through victorious. It is, in the end, His own battle (see 2 Chronicles 20:15).

Lord, prepare me for battle and make me courageous to finish the writing task you have given me to do. Carry me when I can’t seem to break through. Let me stand before you and bring you honor in the end. Amen.

Write a Book, Go to War: The Reality of Spiritual Battle for Writers - @DanettaKellar (Click to Tweet)

Danetta Kellar is a writer, blogger, and speaker. Her interesting life has taken her around the globe, where she has had the privilege to witness firsthand the transformation of women from all walks of life and culture as they exchange lies for the Truth found in Christ. 

Her writing flows out of this rich experience and her own continual search for treasures in life’s darkness. Connect with Danetta online through her blog, Riches Out of Darkness, and on Facebook, or Twitter. 


  1. thank you, Danetta, your post is so timely. I've been hit with heavy criticism (both in my story itself and with my covers) and feeling overwhelmed with my deadlines! literally felt like quitting just a week ago. but I know Father has brought me to this, and He will carry me through - and your post is so encouraging to me.

    1. Robin, thank you for reading. I will pray for you as you walk through faithfully with the work God has given you to do. Deadlines are so overwhelming. It helps me to keep my original vision in my mind when the criticism comes. Blessings to you today.

  2. Well said, Danetta. Your prose is rich with color, detail, and, most of all, hope and encouragement. 'Tis true that when we pick up our pens, we enter the battlefield. Even this afternoon, I spent hours formulating a response to a man who claims to have turned his back on his faith. May God empower our words with His Spirit. Blessings to you, Lori

    1. Thank you Lori! I am so glad the hope and encouragement shone through. You have encouraged me by affirming that they did even on such a tough subject. Have a lovely day.

  3. Replies
    1. Kelly I appreciate you reading and taking a minute to post a comment. I hope you are given all you need today to do the work you have been given to do. Blessings!

  4. Wonderful analogy, Danetta. And a beautiful way to express the need to and benefits of relying on our Father, God. Only He knows the outcomes before we start. Only He can show us the best path to take. Only He can overcome the attacks of the enemy. Great job.

    1. Well, Bruce, we know you could write a lot about this subject. You are a seasoned warrior yourself and an encouragement to many. Thank you for reading and encouraging me back. Blessings to you.

  5. Absolutely true. That verse from Nehemiah is one of my favorites. If you're a Christian and a writer, writing is a ministry and attacked as such. Thank you for this timely and encouraging post!

  6. Thank you, Danetta. It's so good, refreshing, to be reminded that God wants to shield us, and be in the battle alongside us.