Journalling is something that is often seen as a way of getting your thoughts out of your head. It is one of those things that some people do to speak to themselves. There are some of us who aim to tune into God and write down what we believe He is telling us. I thought I would share what I wrote out today because I think it should speak to anyone who reads it not just me. It starts quite personal but then goes on to things that I really cannot keep to myself.
What I felt God was telling me to write down
Child you are in holiday mode. It is time to relax a bit and have fun. I see how hard you do work. You don’t let yourself off the leash much. Then you say that you should do more! Ever thought that I have the ideal plan and system for everyone. One that is designed just for them.
The sin could be doing the wrong thing or the right thing at the wrong time. It could be working too hard or not doing enough.
It is not what you see others doing and thing that you should copy or what others tell you to do that is important. What is important is what I want you to do. Wander from that and you lose your purity.
It is easy enough to come back to my way of doing things.
Doing is not a way of proving or earning for finding a way to deserve my love. My love is unconditional. I love you as you are. Yet I want more for you. More for the world.
I’m a pretty good organiser. I get things done one way or another. Some are not mine but they see righteous ways of doing things and do them then encourage others to do so as well. They are not mine yet they pick up something of my heart and my ways.
It grieves me at times seeing my children do things the way they always have, in worldly ways. Sometimes they even harden their hearts towards me in a small area like what they eat or what they wear. You’ve done that haven’t you – I know best I’ll not do things God’s way today.
It is not a domination it is a team effort. If I dominate you then I disempower you. I make you small and insignificant. OK in the sight of a mighty God people are like little grasshoppers. Yet I don’t want you to feel that way. I want you to know that together we can do anything. Fight any war or skirmish and conquer any foe. Together working in harmony and respect we can do anything.
The thing is it has to be teamwork. Do what others say not what you want to do all the time and teamwork falls apart. Why do you think that I use images like me being the husband of my people? Mutual love and respect and love are part of a marriage and that is I want with and from you.
You are individual. You are unique. Together in a strong relationship we will do great things. Yes you might be impure yet I will knock the edges off and refine you. Don’t worry I know what they are. I know and have a plan. Just stay in right relationship with me and follow me and it will all work out in the end. I promise!
Some comments on that journal entry
I wrote out exactly what I wrote during that journalling time. Writing is probably my favourite way of communicating with others. I can take my time go back and correct silly mistakes. I find it easier to share my heart when I write.
I suppose that is because I learnt that as a child I found it hard to make others understand when I talked to them. Writing though for me is different it flows easily for me. There again if I stammer and lose my flow of thought when I talk it is obvious. It is much easier to hide them when you write.
This is an example of doing things in the way that suits you best. Get me to stand up in front of a video camera and I would not find it easy. Do a video based on cartoon images or PowerPoint slides and it is so much easier.
Staying close to God is important but how?
I know the importance of intimacy with God and I have heard people explain different ways of doing this. There is the pastor who spends one week every month shut away from all human contact (including his wife and children), fasting and praying and sometimes reading. There are those who say that you should spend a minimum of three hours a day praying in tongues plus an hour or so reading the bible.
The thing that they have in common is that they spend a lot of time together with God. They use various means of communicating with Him. It could be talking in prayer either in English or tongues. It could be listening and recording what you hear in a journal. It could be reading scripture.
It is tough though. Remember that idea about seeing yourself as you really are the closer you get to the purity of God. Spend time in His presence and it gets uncomfortable. We have two options do something to deal with whatever it is that is making us uncomfortable or run away.
It is hard finding the time. There are so many other things to do, good and healthy things. Things that fulfil the instructions of bringing good news and helping those in need. We are not the only ones who have faced that challenge. When you think about it Jesus did as well. Yet we hear of Him taking time apart to pray.
It is tough maintaining the discipline. In a sense this is a combination of both the previous comments. It takes effort to find the time. It takes commitment to shut yourself away with God. Discipline is about making a decision and knowing what you are going to cut out of your life so that you get more of what you want.
Exactly how you find the right way of staying close to God for you I am not sure. Well I am not you and I don’t know your challenges. I know my challenges and those are enough for me to deal with. There are times when I run away from God because I don’t like what I see in me. That is why the idea of it being easy to come back to God’s way of thinking rings so true for me.
What I do know is that when I am doing my best to follow closely and the connection is strong then I feel so much better in myself. It is easier to get a sense of completeness in the sense that I have done all that I am supposed to do, rather than being pulled this way and that. It is easier to find a sense of peace and contentment.
Remember the cycle the book of judges. They get close to God and they do better, including defeat their enemies. They fall away and things start going badly until they turn around again. If I am honest that is how I feel. OK the troughs are not as deep now as they have been. There have been times when even the highs have been so low that I was below the ground at the best of times. That’s me though plenty of growing pains.
What is right for you?
There is one answer to that God knows and I am not God. That is why it is so important to have a good relationship with Him. It is only by taking advantage of that good relationship do we know what is the right thing to do.
Years ago I had a newly built home. There were no curtains or carpets or light fittings or kitchen units left by my predecessors. I had to work with my then husband to choose the lot. We had some furniture to take with us but there was some that needed to be replaced.
I did not have a clue what was the right thing to do. I asked God for help with the lounge and it worked out really well. It started by finding a really pretty lamp and then a light fitting with matching lampshades and a carpet and three piece suite that matched the lights and each other. Then there were the curtains and rug that toned in as well.
The whole thing worked together beautifully as a whole and I was really pleased with the effect. Not only that but I did not realise it but the flowers that started the whole thing were lilies. I did not intend it but the whole thing revolved around my name.
It was right for me. It used my favourite colours i.e. grey blue, my favourite colour of flowers i.e. pink. It used the sort of fabrics that I wanted to have. It was not right for the next lady of the house. I have heard stories about her changing the colours of the walls and moving out the settee. They just were not comfortable with something that was designed for me.
Strangely the kitchen was very different. I let the kitchen designers and the guys who did the work like drawing up plans and doing the plumbing to make the choices. God did not get a look in and the best I could say about the kitchen was that there was considerable room for improvement. It was an uncoordinated mess. This morning I was doing stuff in my current kitchen and I realised that its proportions and layout were what I once dreamed of.
This was my first big lesson about things going right when I let God organise things. He sorted out things in such a way that He used ideas that I did not recognise for years after I left that house. He knows me and what I need and like better than I do myself. Not only that but He loves me enough to let me have what was best for me.
Whose example do we follow and why?
There is a sense that we are wired to follow the example of our parents. They are the ones entrusted by God to direct our lives. When we mature we look for teachers and examples and mentors to help us shortcut our learning process. After all it is easier to succeed if we seek out help from people who already have.
The thing is that our parents are supposed to train us up in the way we should go. Yet how many of us choose examples, teachers or mentors who are nothing like us. We think that there is something missing from what we are doing or that we are doing something wrong and that we should do something like someone else. We try to do the same thing as them but we are not them so it does not work as well. Or worse we might end up doing what is wrong for us.
How do you overcome that? Well you ask God for help. Ask Him to send the right people to you at the right time. He knows you and He knows them and He knows if you will benefit from that relationship. After all He wants you to succeed. He has a purpose for you. He wants you to fulfil that purpose so that the person he designed to do a job actually does it and does it well.
What I find sad is that so often the people who champion ideas like recycling and tackling food waste are not part of God’s family. Seeing the impure aspects of what they are doing puts off God’s people from following their example.
There is an old saying about there being so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it ill behoves any of us to find fault with the rest of us. It is one of those quotations that seems to be attributed to many people. However, the fact that it is an old quote that has stood the test of time shows that people have seen a lot of truth in it.
Who is in charge?
One of the fears some of us have when it comes to this kind of obedience is that we wonder if we have any say in what happens. It is so easy to try and be obedient and then wonder what happened to what we wanted. This is why that idea of it being a team effort was so helpful to me. I know how easy it is to shrink and die when others are allowed to take control.
For me the most important sentence was “Together working in harmony and respect we can do anything.” The idea of working in harmony suggests agreement and joint purpose. The idea that we respect God seems obvious but the idea that He respects us and our needs is not so obvious. He could take over and do everything but He knows that this would not be good for us so He lets us work with Him.
Teamwork is about building relationships. There is good reason to say that that His main focus is building a relationship with people. You cannot have a successful relationship when one person is overpowering their peers or exasperating those they are mentoring.
Something that struck me after that journalling session was the idea that we need to leave behind friends and family and concentrate on following God. Of course friends and family offer advice and they expect you to take that advice. They can get upset when you don’t follow their advice but go chasing after doing things God’s way. It is not always easy to find the balance between honouring parents and doing what God wants you to do. In fact there are situations when it might even seem impossible. Yet with God there is nothing that is impossible if we are on His team.
Well there some things that even God struggles with like making a circular square or a square circle. Well how can you have a two dimensional shape that is made up of a single curve and four straight lines at the same time. They are just so different. There again that is one of those questions that people who watch to catch God out use.
I have covered a lot of ground writing this. There is room to expand some of these ideas later on. However, there is a lot here to think about. I know I certainly have.
Like what you read well maybe it is time to sign up to receive updates. Go on you will find some things to chew on if you do.