The more I journal, the more I am hearing that intimacy with Him should be our main objective.  Everything flows out of that place of fellowship with God, even ministry.  Especially ministry.  Intimacy is the place where we draw our strength from Him, where His life flows into us. Our home base.

Photo Flickr

Photo Flickr

4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will

live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.  John 15:4,5  Amplified

I have never seen a grape branch bearing fruit without being attached to a vine.  I have also never seen a grape branch stressing and straining to make a grape form.  This happens naturally as it is attached to the vine.

This also is true of us, as we attach ourselves to our beloved Vine, and spend time with Him, His life flows to us, and through us.  We receive His strength, love, comfort, guidance – whatever we need really.  The result?  Grapes!

I am convinced that this should be the purpose of my life – seeking Him first above all.  Seeking His face.  And if I am launched out into ministry, then it will flow out from my relationship with Him, my strong place, my hiding place, and it will be all of Him.

PS – I spend my intimate times with Him by journaling, reading His Word, and sometimes combining the two by talking to Him about what I am reading.

How to journal


So HOW do we journal?

Relax and enjoy the process.  You will get better at this the more you do it.  You will make mistakes and sometimes hear the flesh more than you hear God.  But even in that, there will be gems in what you write that you know weren’t you.

Find a quiet place free from distractions and where you will least likely be interrupted. Journal

Put on some quiet worship music if you like.

Commit this time to the Lord.  Present your mind and heart to God and ask Him to fill them.

Start off by writing or typing out what you want to say to God.  You may feel more comfortable talking to Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  He is three in one, so He will hear you, regardless of Who you address your journals to.

An example of what you write may be:

  1. I seem to be having a bit of a struggle this morning Father. So here I am for our chat.  What are You saying in this?
  2. Father, I seem to be so angry, and yet I don’t know why! I just can’t seem to get on top of it.  It frightens me.
  3. Good evening Father. Boy it is cold today!  Thank You that I am feeling well at present.  I have just come to spend some time with You.  What would You like to do tonight?

Pause for a bit, and wait for Him to respond.  Write down what you feel He is saying to you.  Not sure if what you are hearing is God?  Write it down anyway.  This is an act of faith, and it seems to ‘prime the pump’ and gets the flow going.

So what does He sound like?  In most probability, He will not talk to you audibly.  I can almost guarantee that He won’t.  He will speak to you through your thoughts.  They will sound different to your own thoughts, and will be in the first person, ie using words like ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘me’, ‘my’ etc.  They will be a spontaneous flow of thoughts, feelings, words etc that will seem to ‘pop’ in your mind.

These are examples of the replies to what I have written above 1, 2, 3 etc

  1. I love you. I am your healer.  I am greater than any scary thoughts, because My word is truth, not the thoughts.  I will bring you through this.  All is well, and you are safe, safe with Me.
  2. I will draw the poison out of you with My presence. But you must come to Me, and come to Me often.  And  you will become more like Me as you come into My presence.  I am not angry at you, but pleased that you come to Me with your problem.
  3. I would like to whisper secrets to you. I love you.  You are precious to Me.  You are more precious than the most precious of gems.

How can you be sure you have heard from God, and are not being deceived?  There are three things you can test it against.

  • The Word of God – does it line up with the Bible? If you are hearing that you are to have an affair, or murder someone (!), then it does not line up with the Word.  Scrap it.
  • Does it witness with your spirit – does it sit right with you, or do you get a ‘check’ in your spirit? I recently thought I heard Him talking to me about chocolate chips, but I think it was more my bed calling to me.  It wasn’t sitting right or even making sense for that matter!
  • Ask a trusted, mature Christian friend to read through your journal and give you their honest opinion.

I would love to hear how you go.

Adapted from from Dialogue with God by Mark Virkler

Additional material from my e-book Staying Afloat due to come out later this year.

Photo  Flickr

Hearing God’s Voice 2

I seemed to have had trouble most of my Christian life hearing God, until I came across a book almost 20 years ago about journaling called Dialogue with God by Mark Virkler.  For some reason, writing down my prayers and thoughts to God, and then writing down what I believed He was saying back to me, opened a door for me to tune in to what He wasJournal saying.  When God broke through what I perceived was His silence and actually spoke to me through journaling, I broke down and cried.  I still have that first journal page and am still deeply touched by what He said to me all the time ago.

I also found journaling particularly helpful after I had a breakdown a few years back.  When everything else around me was screaming and nothing made any sense, journaling helped me to quieten down and focus on Him.  There He would reassure and comfort me, and make me lie down in the green pastures.

The beauty of writing down what I felt He was saying to me was I could go back to read it later, and be blessed all over again.  Also, if I feel I am going up the garden path with my journaling, I can show it to a trusted Christian friend, and ask them to ‘censor’ what I feel I am hearing.

I must say God has shown me some absolutely amazing things that have helped me immensely in my walk with Him.  Hardly a day goes by that I do not journal.  I look forward to it.  And then I am blown away by what He shares from His heart to mine.

Do you think that this could be for you?  Next week I will blog a crash course on how to hear God through journaling.

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