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Anatomy of Pursuit (pt 2)

April 21, 2009

Spiritual Journaling

You may have never noticed this, but the book of Psalms is basically David’s spiritual journal.  There are two major benefits to quickly writing down what God is (or isn’t) doing in your heart and life…

  1. It helps wake up your mind before Scripture and prayer in the morning
  2. It forces you to examine yourself daily.

The first thing I do each morning (after making coffee) is jot down something short like this in my journal…

“4/18/09  The last few days God has felt withdrawn to me – or have I been withdrawn from him? The last 2-3 weeks had been characterized by a steady awareness of God’s presence, the absence of any fear of man, ease in prayer and lifting up my heart to God.  The last 2 days have seen none of that.  Lots more temptation toward sin when I’m not walking with an awareness of God’s presence through the day. Thirsty for that again this morning.”

Acts 20:28 tells us to “keep a careful watch over ourselves”.  The great benefit to the habit of journaling is that it forces you to examine yourself daily and think about what you’re seeing in your heart and what God is doing in your life.  Over time you’ll start to see patterns of sin in your life that you were unaware of, you’ll document prayers God answers, and looking back you’ll be able to see yourself mature in Christ.

Journaling also helps on a very practical level.  My mind simply will not focus on prayer and Scripture at 5:00am without coffee (aka “Christian Cocaine”) and some mental stimulation.  Because it’s easy to focus on, journaling serves this purpose.

Jot notes about things like…

  • What sin you’re struggling with
  • How your marriage and friendships with other believers are
  • What God is teaching you
  • What you’re reading in Scripture
  • What you’re praying for
  • Your ministry inside and outside of church

_____________

This is the second in a series of posts about pursuing personal time with God.  Read part 1 here.

 

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