Journaling With Jesus
[ Extracted and edited from D2Y2 Magazine – Volume 2 Issue 8, 1999 ]
Listening to God
In the book of Exodus chapter 33, verse 9 and 11, the most interesting point that I have noticed about Moses’s quiet time with God was the fact that God talked with Moses. From these verses, I gathered that when we meet with God, what He has to say is more important than what we have to say. In fact, God already knows what we want to tell Him so we should not be too concerned about making sure He hears us.
I want to remind us that God is not mocked, nor is He ignorant. The Bible tells us that He looks at our hearts. He cannot be fooled nor tempted to do anything. The Bible tells us that God knows of what we need even before we ask Him. Our focus therefore, must change from a self-centred relationship to a Christ-centred relationship. We must trust that even if we keep silent about our needs, just so that we can spend more time listening to Him, our needs will still be met because He is who He is – our Father.
What He has to say > What we have to say
There are other opportunities in a day to talk to God. We must allow our quiet time to be exclusively a time to have God talk to us. I challenge the young people that even if they have only 10 minutes for their devotion, they should spent at least 7 minutes to wait on God, to meditate on His word and hear His voice rather than to make any requests whatsoever to Him during that time.
God will surely reward our confidence of His love and nature. As I had mentioned, you can make your requests to Him at any other time of the day. Someone said that being stuck in the traffic was the best time to pray rather than to complain. My emphasis therefore shall be on learning how to hear God’s voice which I believe is the most important ingredient in our quiet time. Without hearing from God, our quiet time is incomplete.
I found that in all of my previous speaking engagements, there were no need to elaborate much on the importance of a daily devotion. I did however, spend a good part of my time stirring the interest of my listeners and challenging them to a deeper, more meaningful walk with Jesus by making sure that they truly make full and proper use of their quiet time with Him.
I usually end my message by introducing or reinforcing to them the practice and purposes of journaling. I found that while many have, some time in the past, heard about journaling, few are actually applying it to their personal daily devotions.
There are two main reasons to this. Either they have not begun to make an effort to listen for God’s voice or they do not understand the need to journal. Having touched at length on the former, let us now consider the purpose for the latter. I can think of three simple and basic reasons which I would like to share with you:
An act of good stewardship. We need to be accountable to God for our own spiritual growth. It is good for us to keep short accounts with God. By doing this we are able to monitor our spiritual development as we nurture what God has planted in us. Keeping a journal with Jesus also serves to help us keep tab with our consistency in meeting with God.
As a reminder of what we have heard and learnt. It is quite unfortunate that we are very forgetful beings. How different we or our world would be today, if only we could just remember daily what had happened to us, the commitments we had made and the personal revival that we had experienced at the last youth camp or convention that we had attended. Journaling helps cope with our forgetfulness, remember the saying, “a short pencil is better than along memory”?
A means to bless others. Haven’t we been blessed by the journals of great men and women of God? I am quite sure many of us have. Some of us ask whether there is a biblical basis for the need of writing down what we have seen or heard? I can think of quite a few instances in the Bible where God told His people to write things down, and most of the time, it was not only for the sake of the writer nor his own generation but more so for the generations that were to follow. In fact when you think about it, isn’t the whole Bible a journal of experiences between God and His people?
D2Y2, which stands for Don’t Despise Your Youth, was an official Asian Youth Ambassador (AYA) magazine birthed out in the late 90s. The printed materials communicated dynamic and effective encouragement to and from the Church, with special emphasis on the knowledge and experiences of our Christian youths, which we believe the content is still relevant and applicable in this current generation.