Twenty-four hours would seem like a long time if you were to sit still for that entire time period. In our fast-paced, quick fix, want it now culture, twenty-four hours goes by fairly quickly for most. We always seem to not get something done in the day we were hoping to get done. Sometimes, even if we do get the project finished we were really wanting to finish that day, we half way do it and then quickly move on. I have always been a firm believer in whatever is the most important to you is what you will spend the most time invested in.
There are multiple things I use everyday of my life. If you were to ask my closest friends they would probably tell you I couldn’t go a day without my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. With that said, there are three things that I need and especially use everyday of my life. What are they?…
My Bible. An ink pen. My journal.
A mentor friend of mine once asked me this question, “Do you keep a journal of what God is teaching you?” My immediate reaction was one of surprise mixed with a little confusion. Why would he ask this? To be honest the only time I had really written down what God had taught me was at summer youth camp when they gave me a quiet time guide for the week. The more I thought about this, the more I realized the importance of consistently practicing this discipline. For the Christ follower, it is through this you can take a look back and see where God has stretched you, grown you, and challenged you. Even in the hard times, it is awesome to look back and see how God clearly revealed Himself and worked in and through situations. Now, during my daily quiet time, I journal. Through the lenses of God’s Word, what do I write down?
1. Prayers. I write out personal prayers and people/situations I’m praying for. I also write out prayers based on the Scripture text I’m reading that particular day. If you have never written out prayers before, I strongly encourage you too… it is very powerful.
2. Life’s victories and struggles. This is a big one for me and where I’m brutally honest. I write down where I’m struggling to lead well or where I’m not fully trusting God. I write down things I’m worried about. I also write down where God has/is blessing and things are going well. When you write down life’s victories and struggles, one of the things you will you clearly see is where the flesh is at war with the Holy Spirit. It’s actually quite convicting.
3. Praises to and about God. This may sound fairly basic but it is so important to remember. I believe in different seasons of life God reveals different aspects about His character to us. Anytime you read Scripture it is always important to ask and answer this question, “What does this passage of Scripture teach me about God?” While personal application of Scripture is definitely necessary, I believe in first asking what the passage teaches us about God.
If you have never consistently kept a journal it will probably take some time to develop it as a habit, it did for me anyway. However, I strongly encourage you to write it down. Write down what God is teaching you and how He is shaping you. The key is to do this through the lens of God’s Word. If you put anything down, put down the journal not your Bible. This is and always has been where we clearly know God and His mission.
1 John 1:4 (NASB), “These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”