Journaling your Christian Life

images-6.jpeg

“Talking with God, The Word” By Peter j Foster

You’re either a fan of journaling, or not.

If not, let me try convert you to the benefits of this growing Art of communication with God.

First of all, please be assured this is not about ‘automatic handwriting’, the sort practised by New Ager’s. This is for Born Again, Spirit-filled Believers who desire to talk to God and to hear God speaking to them – to develop their relationship with Father God and continue to seek Him.

I guess you could say that Journaling would help if you enjoy writing; but this is not necessary true. I kept a journal for many years before I became a Christian. I found it remarkably therapeutic in committing my thoughts, plans, ideas and concerns to paper. I love writing, but this is not about writing per se. It is about developing a relationship with Father God

So here goes with your first step in relating with God through Journaling.

1. Get yourself a handy writing pad; not too small, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll fill it.

2. Find a convenient time of day to journal and a favourite place to spend time with God. (Actually it can be anywhere; cafe’s are my favourite place!)

3. Settle your mind. Pray. Welcome His presence. Perhaps read the Bible and meditate on His love for you.

4. Begin writing.

Begin writing what? You may ask.

Well, you could begin by asking God about something that concerns you. Write it all down. Get it off your chest. Detail it. Express any confusion, hurts, fears or whatever. And now wait to see what comes to mind, then write it down! Write it as it comes to you. Don’t worry about grammar, accuracy or scriptural relevance at this stage. You can always test it later with the Word of God and trusted friends/partner. The important thing is to get into the flow of writing, without feeling anyone looking over your shoulder!

You could begin with writing about how you feel. What’s troubling you, exciting you or challenging you. Just allow yourself to write freely. Let it all out. Hold nothing back. After all, no one is going to know about it except you and God. (Unless you lose your Journal, so guard it with your life!)

As an example, I often write my plans and ideas for ministry, outreach, business, relationships and finances. It really helps to get my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. Sometimes simply reading it back begins to inspire (from God) my thoughts, solutions, creative ideas. In response be ready to write down quickly what is coming to mind. It is so easy to forget what God is saying. – if you do not commit it quickly to paper.

There’s no need to analyse it at this stage what you have written. Just enjoy the spontaneity of writing from your mind and from your heart. And believe that God is right there with you – listening, reading your words and beginning to release solutions, answers to questions and encouraging remarks. He’s your Heavenly Father and desires that you flow in your relationship with Him.

In the Bible we read in John 10:27 that: “My sheep hear my voice…” That’s us! We hear God’s voice speaking to us. Yes, primarily God speaks to us through Scripture – but also spontaneously where the Lord wants us to apply Scripture to a particular life situation. His Word is tailored, as it were, to each of our circumstances. Which is why of course we must never assume a relationship with God outside of regular reading of the Bible.

In a ‘nutshell’, Spiritual Journaling is about what God is saying to you through your prayers, questions and understanding. The journaling process will sustain you in times of hardship, inspire creative solutions to problems and bring clarity and focus to what God is saying and doing in your life.

The writer Henri Nouwen wrote: “To my surprise, I never lost the ability to write. In fact, writing became part of my struggle for survival. It gave me the little distance from myself that I needed to keep from drowning in my despair.” (From the Book: Inner voice of Love.)

If you would like to be coached in Spiritual Journaling with God,’ please contact me by e-mail and we can schedule a Free and without obligation ‘Introduction to Spiritual Coaching.  lease email me mail@peterjfoster.co.uk

I can do all things

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This well known verse from Phiippeans verse 4:13 is a great encouragement for many of us.

The word “Do” is often seen to be an invitation to execute our own strength and determination to achieve ‘good things’ in our lives.

It actually refers to our willingness to allow Christ’s power to sustain us in difficulties and challenges. It also refers to Christ’s power within us to enjoy, to the full, the good success and abundance that does come our way.

I have found there is a battle going on in my soul at this time. Even as a Christian, after many years, I still find my self attempting to sort things out in my own strength.

With the economy in difficulty, jobs being lost, cut-backs here, cut-backs there, it is a challenging time for us all.

One response I’ve noticed is to get tough with the Devil! To stomp around declaring faith-filled scriptures,; praying fervently: rebuking this, rebuking that and generally getting into a right tizz about it!

But, behind all that spiritual bravardo there whispers a still small voice that says: “Seek first the kingdom or God and His righteousness, and all thee things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

It is primarily a time of developing a closer relationship with God the Father. It is a time of standing still and seeing the salvation of the Lord God who is with us.

It is a time of believing His Word in love – and not in desperation (fear!)

What the Lord wants is for us to know that we have His promises first on the inside; and then, from out of the abundance of our hearts we speak His life on the outside.

In other words, it’s an ‘inside out’ job.

So here’s some scripture’s to help get us started on your inside-out breakthrough…

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phi 4:13)

“I am strenghened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,…” Eph 3:16

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” 2 Chron. 20:17

“Not by might or by power, but my My Spirit,” Zech 4:6

“…for the battle is the Lord’s,.. 1 Sam 17:47

What do you think? I’d love to have your comments.