“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain… so he may run who reads it’” (Hab. 2:2, ESV).
Today, I feel an impulse from Holy Spirit to strongly encourage you, if you have not already done so, to incorporate journaling into your spiritual journey. There is no right or wrong way to journal. There are no rules about how often you have to write, or about how much. Basically, you just get a style of notebook or diary that appeals to you and start jotting down something (anything really) related to your alone times with God. Some individuals even prefer to journal on a tablet or laptop. It’s truly all about discovering what works best in your own personal relationship with Jesus.
By way of encouraging you about this, I want to share with you another excerpt from my 2014 journal. I will insert observations in bold letters about my own journaling practices in between the paragraphs:
“Thank You Daddy for flashes of insight, as You are tying in a new understanding of what hope is to Ephesians 1:18. ‘I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you’ (Eph. 1:18, NIV).”
I usually write my entries in prayer format, a practice I developed in my teenage years. I found, in the early stages of developing my intimacy with God, that doing so helped me stay focused on Him.
“The eyes of my heart being enlightened, wow! ‘The eyes of my heart’ is referring to my sanctified, Spirit-charged imagination. So this prayer means, Lord Jesus, flood my inner eyes with a vision of the positive outcome You are promising me! This is hope! Everything You’ve been saying about using this creative faculty of picturing the answer to my prayers has all been a description of developing hope!”
I also find that once I start writing out what He is showing me, a revelatory flow tends to open up. The more space and importance I give to what He is speaking to my heart, the more He opens up and continues to talk!
“So, faith births what hope sees! Heb. 11:1! ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…’ (NKJV). In other words, faith is the substance of what the eyes of my heart are gazing on. Hope is ignited by a spirit of revelation about seeing Your goodness in the land of the living. ‘To know the hope of your calling’ means, to see with my heart that I am called to hope.”
Oftentimes, Holy Spirit will breathe a piece of a verse into my spirit. When I follow through and look up the whole verse, many times I am bowled over with how precise His message is through it for that moment I am living. I try to make sure and write it down, so I can further meditate on what He is communicating to me.
“An integral part of who I am called/created/destined to be is hopeful, full of positive expectation rooted in a deep heart understanding of Your goodness. “Rooted and grounded in love” – also from Ephesians! And so to be filled with all Your fullness! No wonder hope is up there in the top three (1 Cor. 13)!” [End of journal excerpt].
I have been journaling since my wonderful eighth grade teacher at Grace Christian School, Stevie Mitchell, gave us the challenge of doing so as a regular class assignment. I am exceedingly grateful to her for doing so. As a result, I have nearly thirty years worth of records of my journey in God. What riches!
It’s never too late to begin. Don’t overthink it too much; just dive in! Even if you begin with one journal entry a week, there’s no better time to get started than the present. Amazing adventures in hearing from God await!
“Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you’” (Jer. 30:2, NKJV).
Do you have any journaling tips or ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them!