Posts Tagged journaling

In Stillness

Psalm 46: 10             KJV

Be still, and know that I am God.

This is one of those verses which I like and often quote from the King James Bible. It is also probably the one scripture that did more for my ability to converse with God than any other. To come to know God, I had to be still. The NASB version is very instructive on this verse. It reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” This rendering of the verse spoke loudly to me. I was very frustrated with my inability to hear God speak to me. It turned out that I needed to not try so hard. I just needed to be still physically and mentally, then I could and did hear him.

You have heard me mention Dr. Mark Virkler’s Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice and Dr. Jim Richard’s Heart Physics. Each of these are good tools for helping you calm yourself down so that you can hear God speaking  inside of you. My favorite tool of all is breathing. Yep, I said breathing. I have learned how to take a deep breath and clear the stress and anxiety from my mind so I can hear Him speak. Sometimes my mind is so active that it is like a pinball game inside my head. That is when I just need to take a deep breath and relax. In the beginning it might take me a while to settle but now I can usually notice a difference with one big breath. I also turn my mind to a picture of Jesus. Usually in times of busyness and chaos, there are lots of pictures and words running through my mind. So, I take a deep breath and perhaps picture Jesus seated next to a mountain stream. In a moment I join him there and the rest of the world slips away for a few minutes.

You will learn about journaling in the Four Keys. Check out, also, some examples of my journaling at http://www.bornofthespirit.today/learning-to-hear-directly-from-god/. Journaling is another good way to calm your mind. When you give your mind and hands something focused to do the chaos calms.

Once I could hear Father speak to me, our relationship began to change quickly. I began to recognize Him as a Dad every bit as much as God. From there I soon recognized His presence with me. More and more He became an integrated part of my life and more and more I yearned to have Him in every moment of my day. He and Jesus have become my friends. They are who I like to talk with. I point out my observations to them and they share their perspective with me.

As, I said, I have not arrived at the end of the journey by any means, but, becoming more intertwined with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has changed my life, as you would expect it would. I find I long for them even more because life with them is good. Life has stress but when you have best friends like Yahweh and Jesus, it sure helps. They fill me with their peace and take my stress. They take my judgment, replacing it with compassion. Living in them and with them is just better than life without them.

I have shared some of my journey to getting to know the Holy Trinity and how I am intertwining my life with theirs. I invite you to share your experiences and successes so others may find a closer walk with Jesus. Simply click the link below to share your thoughts. Thanks.

Rich Dwelling

Colossians 3: 16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.

I would like to ask you to pause over these words today. For those who have been Christians for a long time and especially who have attended church for many years, the words of our faith become familiar. As such, they almost disappear. They become invisible in their familiarity. That was not the case for Paul’s audience. All he wrote was new and unfamiliar. This phrase must have sounded bizarre to them. What does it mean to have the word of Christ dwelling within us, much less richly dwelling within. What did Paul intend to convey.

Today I read some journaling I did with God on Isaiah 1: 19 (please see this entry at http://www.bornofthespirit.today/isaiah-1-19/). Though there are differences in the verses and the ideas contained within, there is a grand similarity. That is that there is something in us that is making alive all that we need to see manifested in the world around us. The living word is alive within us and that makes a difference in everything. The concept of the living word is, perhaps, a bit difficult to grasp. How can we embrace this truth so that it impacts our lives and the world around us?

We are walking, talking vessels of the Holy Spirit of God. Everywhere we go, so goes the Spirit. God’s design does not have His Word confined to the church building. It goes wherever we go. It is not the dead word but alive so it is best conveyed by a living vessel. Does this begin to sound like a heavy burden for us to bear? The wire that transmits electricity to your home conveys a lot of power but it does very little other than be available. The power is the electricity. The wire is to electricity what we are to the Holy Spirit.

There is something about God that I find truly astounding and consistent. His power does not degrade the wire but rather infuses it with life. God always accomplishes multiple blessings in one act. You have the ability to carry His light into every conference, meeting and encounter but at the same time, His power within you is blessing every cell of your being. He always blesses you first and then wishes to extend that blessing beyond all boundaries. He is the God of overflow so His plan is to overfill you so that the excess blesses all people around you.  Isn’t that astounding?

First, let us become internally aware. Become consciously attuned to the life of Christ within you. Sensitize your being so that you perceive the Lord’s tenderness within. I want you to think about the life of Christ within you so that you can experience the fullness of life in your own bones and spirit. Life should flow out from you but it should first begin in you. All that Christ is, all that he won for you is inside each one of us right now. That is a huge concept, one most of us have not yet fully embraced.

Take a moment to stop and think what this might mean in your life. I pray it blossoms into an expanding revelation of His glory within.

Taking Notes

Habakkuk 2: 2

Record the vision  and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.

Some of you are familiar with journaling or have at least heard me discuss it.  Because I am a student, I think of it as taking notes.  That is perhaps the most accurate description available for this process.  One simply writes down what they hear God say, or even what they think they hear.  Just write it all down.  Then, like any good student, review your notes after class.  When you review what you have written down, you will likely be able to tell if it was God speaking or if it was you.  If you are not sure, send it to someone proficient who can help.

Today I would like to feature the Born of the Spirit website and  share with you some of my scripture journaling.  Scripture journaling is where I choose a scripture and ask Father to speak to me about it.  This sample has been chosen from the Born of the Spirit website where I post a journaled verse each week.  I also pose a couple of questions which you may want to ask the Father.  Click Here to visit the Born of the Spirit site.

If you need a counselor to whom you can send your journaling, go to Communion with God Ministries.  There are trained counselors waiting to assist you through this free but limited time program.  Both the Communion with God and the Born of the Spirit websites are from our friends Mark and  Patty Virkler and Charity Virkler Kayembe.

I hope you enjoy the journal entry below.

Proverb 16: 7

Father, what would you like to show me about this verse?

My child, haven’t you noticed that when you are living in me and through me, life seems to flow more smoothly. The life you live, the life you choose to live is what gives energy and power to every situation you experience. When you live in and through me, there is an empowerment of peace because I am peace, I am the Lord of peace and my peace I left with you. Though this is an Old Testament verse, can’t you see the New Testament implications of it? It is not solely that your ways are pleasing to my Father but more that your ways are increasingly becoming my ways. You are adopting my ways and that brings peace into your environment. The more of me you absorb, the more your world will mirror mine. I have overcome the trouble of the world. Rest, therefore, in my peace and allow it to overflow onto all you do.

 

 

Cup of Coffee

1 Chronicles 22: 19

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.

Well, the 30 days of seeking God are completed. How did you do? Did you have some major revelations? Or did God speak to an particular issue in your life? I certainly hope so. Write to me and let me know what you gained from the experience and how God blessed you. I would like to share with you one of the biggest epiphanies I gained through this 30 day adventure.

As I spent time seeking God one of the first hurdles to navigate was how to seek Him. I use two-way journaling as a way to capture what the Father says to me and one day He told me, “Journal, sing, read your Bible or start a new devotional.” Those were all things which resonated with me. Frankly, it is pretty much the list of what I do now. Then there was a change in the tone of what He was telling me. I think He gave me the list above to validate the things which I currently do. Those were the bridge to where He wanted to take me. Next, He told me not to simply wait for something to float into my head but rather to pursue Him relentlessly. What did that mean? Wasn’t I in the midst of seeking Him. Again, it was more validation but colored with encouragement to press in even more. All of this was preparing me, and my heart, for what He really wanted to say to me. “Ivey,” He said, “Come sit down in My office and let’s visit. Let’s share a cup of coffee and chat each morning. Just spend time with me. Don’t be concerned with formal devotions. Let’s sit and discuss each item on your list and I will advise you.”

What do you think of that? Someone asked me recently if I speak aloud to the Father. Yep! I talk aloud to Him as if He is bodily sitting in my office because that is my reality. He is with me as He is with you all of the time. So, Father simplified and demystified seeking Him. He told me to “inquire of Him in all things.” Well, that is simply having a conversation with Him and getting His input. One of the titles that came to my mind as He was telling me all of this was “Pray Less.” In that time together He taught me to forget religious methods and just chat with Him. That is pretty amazing really. The creator of the universe, the God and Father of us all, the big guy just wants to sit and have a cup of coffee together. You know, I can do that. I am not the most religious person on the planet and truthfully, I hope I never become that but it turns out that Dad isn’t asking of us that we pray beautiful prayers that are so poetic that they should be published. He’s got folks for that. What He desires of you and me is less prayer and more chat, more visiting over a cup of coffee. I am really just amazed by the humility of the situation and His desire for simple, unadorned time with each of us.

As a general aside, He may tell you to meet Him over the kitchen table or the front porch swing. Maybe He drinks tea with you instead of coffee. There is nothing magical about the office setting. He knew that setting would resonate with me. That’s all.

The God Creator of the universe has boiled down the whole religion paradigm to a very simple statement. “Come, let’s share a cup of coffee and visit.”

The Throne Room

Hebrews 4: 16

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

I do interactive journaling for www.bornofthespirit.today. I recently asked God about this verse and what He would like to reveal to me about it. Click on the link above to see what He said to me. As I pondered all that He said to me, I knew I wanted to use this same verse for a Word of the Day.

The Protestant Reformation was supposed to usher in a time of approachability to God. No longer do we need a priest to speak to God for us or to tell us what God says to us. This is not to minimize the operation of spiritual gifts; that is another topic entirely. This discussion focuses on the necessity of another human to facilitate the conversation between us and the Father. You can speak directly to Him and more importantly you can hear from Him yourself.

Before Christ, only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies where the presence of God resided. Even then, he could only enter at the appointed time and after the proper preparation. Jesus tore the dividing veil asunder, literally, and now each of us has an open invitation into the very presence of God. We have a pass which entitles us to enter into His throne room at any time of the day or night, weekdays and weekends. There is not one minute of one day when the doors of the throne room are closed to us. Don’t you find that amazing?

We all need more of God. We need Him morning, noon and night and this verse shows us that we have availability to Him. Whatever you are doing right now, pause and take a moment to see yourself walk through the giant doors, which equally gigantic angels hold open for you. See your Father on His throne, beaming with His smile of welcome. Go to Him. Enjoy His presence and return frequently.

Ears On

John 10: 27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Get ready for a year of lots of good news. That is what the gospel is afterall, right? So let us begin here. God has opened your ear (Isaiah 50: 5). So, now you can hear Jesus’ voice. Our challenge for this year is believing what Jesus said. Could he tell a lie? Do you think he did even if he could? So what did it mean when he said his sheep hear his voice? It seems pretty plain, doesn’t it? The next question is, “Are you his sheep?” I like to think you are and if you do answer this question in the affirmative, then I have some good news for you. You can hear Jesus’ voice! I take that back – it’s not good news, it’s great news!

Let me ask you a question. Do you ever tune out your spouse or a co-worker? That ability to tune out background sounds can be very beneficial. However, your spouse probably isn’t all that excited about your gift. That ability may well operate to tune out Jesus’ voice as well. Everyone who is part of Jesus’ flock has the ability to hear him speak. However, some people hear him and others don’t. Why? Some people have cultivated the ability to tune out much of their sensory data. In order to hear Jesus’ voice many of us have to learn to listen. I will confess it took me some time to hear him speaking to me regularly. Even now, my ability to hear him is dependent on my surroundings. If I do not slow down and pay attention, I will miss his communications.

The good news, though, is that we all have the ability to hear Jesus speaking to us. We just have to develop our listening capacity. We have to turn on and tune in our ears. Journaling is one way to help focus your attention and your tuner. It makes it easier to block out the noise so that you hear Jesus more clearly and even easier.

Let’s put this on our goal list for the New Year, to plainly and clearly hear the voice of God!