As Australian readers we have fed ourselves on a basic diet of US literature, with an occasional book from somewhere else as a side dish. With the advent of Word Writers Fair, CWD and other writer networking events, we have now feasted on Australian books. That is, we, the passionate writers, have. Most of Australian Christians don't know we even exist.
As a reader I seek a good strong story. I'm choosy about what I read. I was an Aussie who mostly read books from well known Americans, because I could choose an author I was confident about.
About a year ago, I realised that if I want my book to be read, I better see what is out there in the Australian market. Not all books are my chosen genre, but I've discovered many really good reads. I've also read some that have made me cringe because they aren't well written or edited. So how do we lift the profile of Australian Christian Authors?
Many of you are working very hard on building an on-line presence, finding speaking engagements and signing books. All this is making a difference. And together we are encouraging each other to polish our work to very high standards.
This is good, but have we really assessed the battle we fight. Have we identified the enemy? Are we fighting American authors, Australian apathy and ignorance or the difficulty to penetrate the larger book stores?
Is the problem with our stories or the standard of our writing? Is it our publishers or editors? Or is there a bigger enemy?
Aussie authors have an important story to tell. God is planting within us a new level of revelation. We are on the cusp of the move of the Holy Spirit that was prophesied over Australasia, firstly by the early explorers and then by prophetic voices a hundred years ago. God needs skilled writers Downunder! Writers able to present His message to the rest of the world. He needs good publishers, thorough editors, and brilliant illustrators. He needs you.
So what is the enemy? Or who is our enemy? I believe our struggle is not against flesh and blood (or mindsets and prejudices), but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph 6:12)
It is logical when you think about it. Why would our enemy sit on his hands and let us build our profile unhindered. So look around your life. Can you see the dirty paw prints of an accuser, a liar, a thief anywhere? Has he planted a hand grenade of hopelessness, or discouragement in your family or business – or in your heart? Has he discredited you in the industry?
How, then, do we fight the hidden guerrilla warfare that Satan delights in? I know you guys follow these principles, but allow me to list them.
· Believe that Jesus paid for all our mistakes, imperfections etc
· Remove all unforgiveness
· Confess all sin aloud so the enemy can’t use it against you
· Worship & read the Word
· Practice the presence of God
Then get out your big bazooka and blast the enemy off your playing field. The Lord taught me to do this, once again using Ephesians. This is the way I pray.
I ask that the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for me because I believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Because of that power within me, I negate the work of Satan in my life, the life of my family, my business and my book. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Hallelujah!
(Eph 1:17-32, Isaiah 54: 17, Phil 3:13)
Maybe you would like to join me in making a way in the Spirit for the Christian book industry in Australia. Pray aloud and pray with passion. Let’s turn the tables and become hidden soldiers scattered around this country, pushing back enemy strongholds and releasing the good news of Jesus!
Jo Wanmer is excitedly awaiting the June release of her first book, 'Though the Bud be Bruised'. She is a passionate speaker and is available to speak in any state on topics such as 'How to protect your child from sexual abuse' 'You can create your world', 'Victory over darkness', 'Should we forgive the unforgivable.' Jo can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.