Journaling: Write. Reread. Remember.
There it is…an overused Instagram picture with a Bible, journal, and pen artfully arranged with a potted plant, just waiting for the person to sit down to study. (This one’s missing the obligatory mug of coffee.) You might even like these images (I kind of do), or maybe you just roll your eyes at them. Either way, I want to talk to you about how we can Hear God’s Voice through journaling. You have full freedom to consider the medium you want to use: your phone, an environmentally friendly recycled paper journal, a bullet journal, computer, or a napkin. The important thing is that you Write. Reread. & Remember.
Spread Your Cares Before Him
For me, journaling is a way to write everything down that is causing me anxiety, all my cares and frustrations, and leave them there to wait for the Lord’s response. On her blog, Hope for the Journey, Michelle Flaningan wrote an encouraging post about how we need to take our cares to the Lord and spread them out before him, just like Hezekiah did in 2 Kings 19:14. Hezekiah got a troubling letter and then immediately, “…went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.” (ESV)
Writing in a journal is the act of spilling out the tale of your troubles before the Lord and leaving it on his altar. Then you wait, and listen for his voice and reply.
Once your mind is clear of the anxiety, it is easier to hear his voice whisper in reply with guidance. Jeremiah 33:3 is a promise from God that when we call on him, he will answer us. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (NIV)
Don’t forget the waiting part, that’s essential. When he answers, write the answer down.
Write and Reread So You Will Remember
We all know what happened in 2020. It was the year of the Pandemic. I spent a lot of time at home. We all did. Unlike some, I was alone in the house. The only way I could get out of my house or see other humans safely was to go to a park and walk. I walked nearly every day during the several months I had off work. At New Year 2021, when I thought back over the year, the thing I loved most about 2020 was hands down my walks with Jesus and the friendship we nourished.
2021 didn’t start that great, and when I felt like I was having trouble hearing from the Lord, I decided to read back over my previous journals. I knew from experience that reading and remembering my conversations with Jesus would encourage me that better days were ahead. Imagine my surprise as I saw written on a regular old day in November 2019 (pre-pandemic) the words Jesus had spoken to me, “Come take a walk with me.”
Shut the front door! In November of 2019 he spoke this pleasant but relatively nondescript thing to me. But this thing he spoke into being would become my Lifeline to get through many dark days. Writing down his words to us and then re-reading them periodically is a way of telling our soul to sit up and listen.
Occasionally, he will rock your world when you are rereading those old journals as you stumble over something prophetic, a glimpse into the Divine. “Child, come take a walk with me.” Yes please, Jesus.
The Word On Remembering
Check out these scripture references about how God wants us to write things down and remember. Over and over again throughout the Bible, God tells us to write, read, and remember. We are forgetful creatures, and he knows it too well. We’re in good company. The Israelites were great forgetters, too.
Jeremiah 30:2 – “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’” (NIV)
Exodus 17:14 – “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered’” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 11:18 – “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (NIV)
Try it this week. It doesn’t have to be a marathon session. Jot something down that you learned from him this week. Don’t forget to date it so that you can look back and marvel at how well the Lord has cared for you.
When you finish with the writing, go on, get out there and take a walk with Jesus. You’ll be so glad you did.
Join me next week for the conclusion of the 5-part Hearing God’s Voice blog series as we tackle Doubt!
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