Happy Monday My Loves!
I hope you all had a great weekend. It is yet another Monday that we should all be thankful for because God has given us another day to live out our purpose.
Yesterday was my pastor’s 60th birthday celebration and I have to say that I am truly thankful for him. He has really helped shape my way of thinking as an adult and yesterday part of his message was about all believers in Christ being priests. The purpose of a priest is to serve and minister to God. He then said that many people go to church and it is always about them and their problems and their issues. We forget that as believers are to exalt and glorify God, but we have so much baggage that our praise tends to be a bit selfish. He also said that as priests we are bring sacrifices to God that minister to Him. In the Old Testament the form was to sacrifice an animal, but because of Jesus we must sacrifice ourselves. You can’t be selfish and walk with God. The first commandment says (Exodus 20:1-3)
1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3“You shall have no other gods before me.
As believers we have to serve, give, and minister to God. We have to remember that God is always in the blessing business. Having a right relationship with God means that it is not always about us and our wants and needs.
Ok so how does all of this connect with a spiritual journal? I’m glad you asked!
A spiritual journey is a way for you to keep up with your spiritual journey. If you record your thoughts, feelings, ideas, conversations, behaviors, prayers, etc. you may notice a pattern or something that God is trying to reveal to you in order to improve your spiritual life and walk with Christ.
I found this awesome How To on keeping a spiritual journal by Michael Haywood (Click here to read it). I created my journal framework based on some of the suggestions listed here. You can keep a handwritten journal or a digital journal, but you need something that you can record your thoughts.
Here are a few benefits of keeping a spiritual journal according to Haywood
~ clarifies one’s understandings of the nature and will of God
~ organizes one’s thoughts
~ brings out thoughts that might never have occurred to one otherwise
~ records spiritual thoughts and realizations one has, so they’re not forgotten
~ forces one to take time out on a regular basis to sit with God and make some sense of life (sometimes we’re so busy living life that we don’t take time to get perspective)
~ makes a record of one’s spiritual growth, kind of like pencil marks on the kitchen doorway of one’s spiritual life
~ helps one to keep a balance between head and heart
~ can help one to know oneself better.
A few things you might record according to Michael Haywood
~ Insights, promises and revelations from your devotional life.
~ Specific prayers you have prayed.
~ God’s answers to your prayers.
~ Personal behavioral struggles (e.g. with family, work, finances, sexuality, leisure….)
~ Needs you have in personal, spiritual and practical areas.
~ Insights and helpful passages in the Bible.
~ Confession of sin, and recognition of God’s disappointment, forgiveness and mercy.
~ Personal identity struggles. (e.g. Just who am I? What am I supposed to be doing?)
~ Lessons you have learned in the school of life.
~ Daily events of personal or spiritual significance.
~ Experiences when one has been keenly aware of God or God’s will, or wondered where God was.
~ Disappointment, hurt, pain, suffering, victories, failures, joys and sorrows.
~ Praise and thanksgiving for God’s grace.
~ Special things that others have written or said.
~ Things you’ve discovered while looking back in the journal.
Types of Spiritual Journals via Michael Haywood
~ a journal of spiritual readings: Bible readings, spiritual/devotional books, spiritual concepts in secular books
~ a prayer journal
~ a book of lists (memories, joys, sorrows, blessings….)
~ a journal of problems and solutions, worry and obsession, hopes and fears, goals and ambitions
~ a periodic (once a day or once a week) perspective journal — taking one experience and working with it, looking for God in it
~ a series of letters-to…., letters to God
~ a general kind of spiritual journal, including anything and everything that relates to your spiritual journey: daily events, prayers, readings, whatever.
Your journaling schedule is crucial. You can record thoughts through out the day, but you need to set a specific time and location for where you are going to do most of your writing. You should choose a time and a place where you are fully alert and attentive to hear God’s word and to also be alert.
I started my journal today. Remember, it takes 21 days to build a habit and so I will write consistently for 21 to make this a part of my everyday life.