Self-Promotion vs. Obedience – Jeremy Austill
Self-Promotion vs. Obedience

This week I have posted a few times about the book I have
written. I shared what the editor said about the manuscript, I asked for
additional followers for this page and I shared the first draft of the book
cover. I will admit, each post has been mingled with tension. Without devling
too deeply into my personal psychology, a heightened sensitivity to
self-promotion has been a necessary part of my journey to increased spiritual
maturity. For a myriad of reasons (remember we are avoiding my personal psychology),
one of the great struggles of my life has been the need for validation found via ascension in my field, accomplishment and outright success. I acknowledge this
is an inferior form of validation, but some truths require grappling with, in
order for them to take hold and become our predominant thought
process. For me, this grappling
took place through pain, disappointment and a measure of failure in my ministry
efforts. To see the tendency for self-promotion and the craving for an inferior
validation subdued in my heart, a journey I shall not soon forget was required.
It took time (several years), discomfort, struggle and even some sorrow. As I
type now, it demands my attention, to identify its subtle attempts to usurp my
soul. Victory over this foe necessitates the grit to subject it to the greater validation…the affirmation of
my Father.

Michelle and I have talked of this regularly in recent
months, especially as it pertains to the book. Through the years we found
ourselves under some teaching, which at the time helped us contend with these
lesser pursuits. However, as we matured in this area, it seemed possible we were
now allowing ourselves to be held hostage by a weakness, which was conquered and actually
retreating in our souls. We had graduated deeper into our faith, and a teaching
that was valuable for one season, was possibly intimidating us in our present
season. Because of this clash, I delayed. The initial manuscript for this book
was essentially written two years before I ever submitted it to a publisher. I wrestled
internally with my previous proclivity for self-promotion versus the dream in
my heart to be an author. This wrestling kept me on pause for a substantial
duration of time. I wasn’t concerned with whether people would like the book or
if the book was “good enough”. I was concerned with matters of my own heart…could
my heart handle this? Would proceeding with the book resuscitate this weakness
in my soul? Could I promote a book without promoting myself? Was my desire to
publish a book vanity? Would God give me the ability to work with words if he
didn’t want me to write? Surely somewhere in me, the desire to write was
imbedded by my creator.

Fortunately, a couple of different friends approached me at
different times with a word from the Lord about writing a book. Neither person
knew about the manuscript. Both affirmed what was in my heart. Another person,
practically a stranger, had a word for me about writing last summer. I’m not
prone to openly receive “a word” from others. I analyze them, submit them to
the Lord and move forward without much pause. However in this instance, I
needed them to unlock my heart. It was clear, and is to this day, “Let Your
Heart Go Free” is not so much a dream as it is a mandate. My willingness to
walk through the process of seeing this book published and public, is a series
of steps in the direction of obedience. This book is from the Lord to me, his
scribe, for the betterment of his people.

Motives are tricky…we don’t really have the ability to
control them. We can control our actions, but under the action lie a labyrinth
of emotions and reasons why. However, we can…

Walk in obedience to what the Lord has commanded.

Walk in obedience to the precepts of scripture.

Then trust Holy Spirit will walk with us to help us govern
our soul in the process.

I’ve come to terms with “Let Your Heart Go Free”. I will
celebrate it and promote it without pause…I will tell of its value and
encourage others to read it…to make it a little more plain, I will try to sell
as many copies as possible…

Why?

Because this is the Lord’s book and he led me to write it. Because the truths within it have changed my life. Because many great people in the faith need to have their
heart truly set free.

Because anyone who writes wants to be read. Because books sold blesses my family and becomes an inheritance
for my children. Because I would like to write a few more books as the years
move forward.

And ultimately, because I won’t allow fear and intimidation to diminish what
the Lord has established in my DNA. I trust the Lord will help steward my soul
along the way.

He has proven quite capable.

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