Thankfully I don’t keep a journal for an English teacher, a critical editor or future blog posts. You would likely scoff at much of what I write. But I will let you in on a little secret, I write for me. My journal keeping is a devotional exercise, through which I hone my communication skills with my heavenly Father, it is a spiritual discipline.
Writing clarifies – it’s well worth the effort of putting words onto a physical page. As words take shape in ink, they somehow become more genuine and take on real meaning. Writing brings amazing clarity to the randomness of the thought-storms circulating in my mind. Usually I answer two questions: A. What are you doing in my life Lord? (aka What are you trying to say to me?) B. How am I responding?
Writing confirms – prophets were often told to write down the visions they saw. I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me…(Habakkuk 2:1). Journaling is a time of looking and listening, as much as it is recording. Sometimes God speaks by putting images in my mind. Writing brings life to what I see with my spiritual eyes. It confirms there to be a reality bigger than me. Ephesians tells us that our hearts have eyes (Eph 1:18). Try journaling you may discover and confirm this to be true.
Writing connects – the most exhilarating part of the exercise is when I write in my margin “V.O.G.” This acronym stands for “Voice of God.” Years ago a wise pastor told me that he never concluded a time of journaling without this entry. “V.O.G.” is a point on the page that marked a change in his writing to the first person. So I adopted the practice (for over 13 years now). In “V.O.G.” section, I write as if my thoughts are God’s thoughts for me. It is amazing what happens. Though the entries are as varied as the species of fish in the ocean, my Father always begins each section in the same way: Samuel, my son, I love you. He always calls me by my full name and he always tells me he loves me. That to me is enough to fuel my entire day. Sometimes He continues on, with affirmations of His presence or protection – I am with you, I watch over you, I have assigned angels to you and your family, BIG ones. Other times He gently rebukes – my son, take care to keep yourself pure. It may only be a few sentences like this, but I wouldn’t miss the connection with my Father and His strong loving voice any day of the week.
Throughout my day, I can drift from away from the immediacy of those early morning intimate moments with my Father. I may start believing untruths about myself or my circumstances. Rereading my journal’s “V.O.G.” section reconnects me instantly back to what He told me to be true.