I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
Every writer has something deep down that motivates and informs each story they pen. My heart’s cry is that my readers would fall passionately in love with God, learn to know His voice, and become addicted to His presence. Along with worship, prayer, and reading God’s word, one of the most effective ways to do this is through journaling, so I want to spend a little time sharing about that subject today. As the scripture above indicates, when God speaks to us, it is important that we put ink to paper and write down these words.
But how can I hear God’s voice? I’m not sure if He’s ever spoken directly to me.
Well, first you must be still and know that He is God as Psalms 46:10 teaches. It is important to pause from the madness of your busy day, to quiet your spinning mind, and to give God your full attention. Take some slow deep breaths, perhaps listen to worship music, read or quote some encouraging scriptures, spend a few moments out in nature. Once you feel calm, focus your thoughts upon God, praise and thank Him, tell Him how much you love Him, meditate upon Him.
I realize the word “meditate” has taken a bad rap in some Christian circles, and not without good reason, but repeatedly throughout scripture we are instructed to meditate upon God and upon His word. Christian meditation should not focus upon self, and it should not be an emptying of self in order to invite some unknown entity into our beings. The point of meditating is to ponder God, to seek His face, to mull over His attributes, His wonder and beauty.
Keep in mind the Hebrew word for “meditate,” which is “hagah,” can also be translated as “imagine.” Somehow that fact escaped me for nearly thirty years. In my husband’s Arabic translation of the Bible the word “imagine” is almost always used in place of “meditate.” Readers and writers have great imaginations, so engage yours in your relationship with God. Picture yourself meeting with Jesus in a favorite place. Walk together hand in hand with your Savior. Cuddle up in the lap of your Heavenly Daddy. Look deep into His loving eyes.
Next, take time to listen. God most often speaks to us in a still small voice that comes to our hearts through a spontaneous flow of thoughts, visions, and impressions. John 7:38 refers to streams of living water flowing out of us. As you meet with God allow Him to speak to you, ask Him questions, wait and listen for His answers. Don’t be afraid. Let it flow. God loves you. He desires an intimate personal relationship with you. He longs to talk with you.
Our natural tendency is to stop the flow of God’s voice by questioning, doubting, and analyzing. That’s where journaling comes into play. By writing down our conversations with God, we can allow those thoughts, visions, and impressions to flow freely onto the paper. Through the journaling process we can choose to believe we are receiving from God with a simple childlike faith.
Then, at a later time we can go back and test what we have written. All words from God should line up with God’s holy word, the Bible. If we have a spiritual advisor or mentor, we can take our journals to them for further counsel and discernment as well. By recording the words God speaks to us, we can share them with others and reflect upon them for years to come. We can go back at a later date and see that God has indeed accomplished His word in our lives.
God has many ways of speaking to us, but journaling is one very effective method to learn to hear God’s still small voice. There is nothing that ministers, brings healing, joy, peace, and true faith like receiving a personal and specific word from our creator Himself. And for those of us who are writers, just imagine the impact this practice could have upon our craft.
How do you hear from God?