Friday, July 29, 2011

Why Journal?

I LOVE picking apart scripture.  I use to think that I had to wait until the pastor decided to study a specific reference, chapter or book before I could truly gain the knowledge of living out the Words written.  The I learned that I could read a passage, look at the referenced verses in my study Bible. Journal the verses and then ask God to open my eyes to the truths in the passage.  In hearing and learning the truths then live those out in my walk with Jesus.  Journals that line a big shelf that started when I was 15 years old.  I do have a few more books on my shelves to teach me more about scripture.  The reality is that as we walk close with Jesus, He does speak into our hearts what truths He would have us each learn.  We just have to be intentional with our relationship with him.  A couple of weeks ago I shared an outline I put together on journaling with some girls in a study I am leading. If you have never journaled before, this outline is just a base to get started. There are no hard rules. Just write what is on your heart.

Why keep journals?

    A.Writing out your thoughts to God is your outward process of the intimacies of you heart.
    He wants to know your heart, your thoughts, and your prayers.
Psalms 5:1-3
“1,Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditations. 2. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray. 3. In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”

B. Being able to look back over the pages and seeing how God is showing himself to you personally through the words and prayers of your heart.
Psalms 6:9
“ The Lord has heard my supplication, and the Lord receives my prayers.

C. To understand how  God is using scripture to move your heart closer to Him, and to understand in greater depth how God uses scripture to change our hearts on every day issues in our lives.   As you go about your day, those scriptures you have written out will be easily attained out of your memory, like a Rolodex, to put ahead of situations that will not only help you, but allow you to pour into others.

Romans 12:2
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

D. To develop a habit of relationship with Jesus.  Not having walked with Jesus, like a new friend, we must be intentional with relating to Him. Journaling develops that habit of friendship with Him, and in so doing we begin to see his work in our life daily, and moment by moment and develop a passion to know him more which makes walking with Jesus our lifestyle a wonderful habit of life.

1 Corinthians 6:17
“ But the one who joins himself to the Lord is in one spirit with him.”

E. To keep specific Prayer Requests others have requested or spoken to you, as well as your own. Date them and see how God begins to show Himself in how prayers are answered.
F. Thanksgiving.  Making a daily list of how God shows up in your life.  A list, a very long one that puts words on a page. Developing your heart to see and hear Him through out your day. Once the words on the pages are written, we all begin to write those same thanksgivings in our hearts when away from pen and paper.  Thanking God.  Actively noticing how He steps into every moment of your life.

Do not be afraid to speak the true thoughts of your heart in your journal.  Ask God to show you scriptures that will help you along and He will direct you.  When in church use your journal for taking notes and later go back and reread and write some more.  Do not beat yourself up if you don’t write every day.  As your habits of writing develops you soon see that your habits of talking to God through out the day come during times away from your pages and your pen.  Allow God into your thoughts.

It is not always easy to find that quiet and special place to write.  I admit I have about three different books I write in, and then also use my computer.  Even today I can look back on the pages of last week and see how God shows up in the everyday stuff of my life.  I look back 20 years ago and read things that I would never have remembered.  Things like a young mother crying out to God to be a happy and joyful parent to my son, my first born and reading the passages of scripture, writing them down and knowing that my heart was guided and directed closer to the heart of my Jesus.  Happy Friday dear sweet friends. 

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