Last year my husband and I were given a wonderful opportunity. We were asked if we would like to go on a trip to the Holy Land; Israel, God’s land, and God’s people. We worked through a couple of scheduling conflicts and said, “Yes!”
The trip began with wonderful sights and archeological findings that each had biblical applications. I knew from the beginning that I must write down what I was taking in or when the trip was over in ten days I wouldn’t have a clue what I saw, and especially what I had taken pictures of. Let me just say that when you take a thousand pictures you had better have a plan to help you document what you saw.
Usually I journal on paper, in a book, but this trip was different. I didn’t always have access to what was needed. But, the thought came to me to use the notes app on my phone. So, that’s what I did. It was convenient and I could keep it with me 24/7.
By the end of the trip my brain was so full of what we had seen, heard, and experienced. From Joppa, where Jonah boarded the boat to soon be swallowed by a whale, to the empty tomb, I could now go back and follow our journey because I had taken the time to write it down. Reliving the trip through our pictures and notes has been a wonderful blessing. My brain has been able to begin processing what I had taken in so quickly.
I can compare my life to this trip. Each day is a journey. I can hardly take it all in. God puts people in my path to help, to love, to fellowship with. He sends trials for me to use as an attitude adjustment, a teaching tool, and a barricade to protect me. If I write down these happenings along my journey then I can process what is truly going on in my life. I can better see my path. I can chart my journey. I can watch my own life as God takes something not so good and makes it into something beautiful.
Through the process of journaling I have also learned to journal my devotions. Time with God is also like life. You do it and forget what you studied or learned during that time due to interruptions, your mind wandering, and just a lack of focus.
Journaling my daily time with God helps me to take small bites at a time. It keeps my focus. It guides my perspective. It guards my heart! What I take in today I can enjoy again tomorrow. Now that is good eating!
Journaling charts my spiritual growth. I love seeing where I was and where I am now.
I believe there is a principle in Revelation 1:11 for journaling.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”
God told John to write down what he saw and send it to the seven churches. God had a purpose for what John saw and He would use it in John’s life, but He also wanted John record it so that it could be used in the lives of the people in the seven churches. We have a completed Bible today because of obedient men, whom God used, that wrote down what they knew, saw, heard and were told by God to write. Because the men obeyed, today you and I own a copy of the completed God of Word!
God has a purpose for what He allows to come into your life and my life. He wants to use each circumstance, trial, victory, and everyday happening for us to grow spiritually and for us to help others through what He has allowed in our lives.
You can’t always see God’s purpose for what He allows at the moment of its happening. That is why it’s good for you to write it down. Then, along the journey note the next happenings. God will then give you verses to help you grow through each situation. Adding them to the journal is good as well. Journaling your life, hand in hand with God, is a beautiful picture of fellowship with God!
Without journaling, I would soon forget the details of our wonderful trip to Israel. But by writing it down I remember and am able to revisit in my heart the places that I have walked in God’s chosen land. It would be sad for our touching trip to become, “Oh, we had a great time. It was a beautiful place. Hope we can go again some time.” No detail remembered, no spiritual value continued, no heart-felt moments, just generality.
So, would you like to begin such a journey? Follow this simple plan.
1. Journal Raw Thoughts
Clean out your heart. Don’t sugar coat it! Say to the Lord what you need and want to say.
2. Journal Blessings
You are so blessed each day, but you may be bypassing the blessing for a moment of pity because of not getting what you wanted at the moment.
3. Journal Happenings
How did God use a certain situation in your life? A missed airline flight, a flat tire, a long line at the grocery store, a lost wallet, a letter mailed to a friend in need, a child’s words, or whatever happens that you need to use in your life.
4. Read a Passage of Scripture
Maybe five verses per day. Write down what you think the verse means. You can do this by reading word by word and writing what a word or a phrase means to you. You can look up a word in a dictionary. Or, ask Google what a word means. You can use a study Bible that has good notes.
5. Write Out a Prayer
Dear Lord, today you spoke to my heart about pride. I’m so sorry that I reacted the way I did. Will you please forgive me and help me. I promise to do my part and I know that you will do yours. Thank you for loving me in spite of my faults and failures. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Sharon (Sign it)
Put the date and time of day at the top of your page and write, write, write. “What thou seest, write in a book.” Will you consider journaling as a growth step in your Christian life? Journal for a purpose and allow God to use your life through your words!