My great objective is to lead you to love Him who so loved you that He set His face like a flint in His determination to save you! O you redeemed ones, on whose behalf this strong resolve was made— you who have been bought by the precious blood of this steadfast, resolute Redeemer—come and think awhile of Him, that your hearts may burn within you and that your faces may be set like flints to live and die for Him who lived and died for you! ~ C. H. SPURGEON
Dear Friends, you are about to embark on a life changing journey. I will be your guide. Please remember I am a guide with a lower-case g. My heart is set on following the One True Guide, Jesus Christ:
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. ~Isaiah 50:7
Beginning tomorrow (or anytime you stumble upon this post) We will be hitting the journal trail…there is no minimum word requirement. Some may fill many pages, some may write a few thoughts that amount to a paragraph. Some might only write a Bible verse or two, wetting the pages with their tears. This is not Journal Boot Camp. This is Journal Your Journey with Jesus.
Before we set out on the journey, there are a few things I am going to ask of you. The first is only that you be sure and keep first things first. Trust me when I tell you, we are all good at complicating things beyond what we need. For this journey, I ask you to travel light. You need paper, pen and Bible. Your paper will be provided by the journal of your choosing. Use whatever pen suits you. You may use the Bible (s) of your choice. That is all you need for the journey, besides your heart.
Of course the heart is where it can get complicated.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
Don’t kid yourself… He’s talking about YOUR heart…and mine, of course. Not your husband, son, daughter, neighbor, friend…not the person who cut you off on the highway. Your heart. Letting God deal with your heart is exactly what this journey is about. This One True Living God rules the Universe. He does not wear a mask, or cape. He wears scars and saves to the uttermost. There is none like Him. Not even your greatest love compares with this One who IS Love. Friend, you need to know Him better. You need to know Him as best you can this side of eternity. The pursuit of His love satisfies completely, but we will never be truly satisfied to the point where we can say, I know Him ENOUGH. If you think you know Him enough, I dare say, you don’t know Him at all. He is an eternal well-spring of Wisdom, Grace, Truth, Knowledge, Inspiration and He is knowable and unknowable simultaneously. He is exciting, refreshing, intellectually stimulating and is the only one who grasps the meaning of tolerance. How He has tolerated His own created beings in their continuing waywardness is beyond understanding…and testifies to the One who is known for His amazing love. The only one who is worthy of praise, worship and our endless gratitude. Phew. I got carried away for a minute. But not even far enough…
Your mission if you choose to accept it?
To meet with this One God. To learn to SIT quietly in His presence. To listen to Him through His Word, To listen to Him through prayer, To listen to Him by pondering His Word (not your To Do List, or list of gripes etc), To listen to Him by meditating on Scripture, To learn to discern His voice above the noise of your ceasless striving.
This is why I write: To hear Him.
Writing engages all of me, physically, mentally…it connects me and helps me clarify what I think, and what God is saying to me. It allows for my emotions…that can get pretty scribbly! I tend to talk to God and write as well as do both intermittently.
But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself…just whet your appetite. The first step of this journey is to make sure you have the three elements you need for the journey. Bible, Journal, Pen.
Next, you will consecrate this journal. To consecrate simply means to set apart or dedicate something to a sacred purpose. Your sacred purpose is knowing, believing, trusting and obeying Jesus. That is a pretty high calling. Lucky for you, what He starts, He finishes. BUT, He needs you to set apart time for Him, with Him. Our journals will be the place of our daily connecting with Jesus working out all of these mentioned aspirations. He is the Living Word and able to reveal Himself to you in deeply personal ways that will help you know Him better. He has provided all you need for knowing Him in His Word and Spirit. He is interested and interceding for YOU to God the Father.
How do you consecrate your journal? Well, I could tell you to light a candle, dance around the Bible, or soak yourself 14 times in the tub, bow down and pray 40 Hail Marys, sprinkle the journal with holy water or something else very specific. BUT, is all you need to do, is come to the Lord in prayer and begin with a humble heart and ready pen. Simply (re) commit yourself and set apart your journal for the sake of knowing your Savior better.
God had already brought to my mind a certain verse (a few actually, but one especially emerged strong), and then affirmed it through my Pastor’s teaching on the specific verse this very morning!
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14
I will NOT be posting every single day for this journey…unless God leads me to. The goal is not that you get hooked on coming to me or this blog for your spiritual direction, but that if I can encourage you to connect with Jesus more consistently and that you grow in the grace and knowledge of Him…are set ablaze for His word and glory,well then, I will know I have fulfilled my purpose. Meanwhile, I promise I WILL be sure and give you enough direction, to keep you going on this 40 day journey for the days when I do not post.
Lord, I do praise You, my Lord, Rock and Redeemer. You set Your face like a flint and in doing so set the world free – may the words of our mouths and mediations of our hearts be pleasing to You. Bless each one with renewed passion for You and especially Your Word during this Journey. I ask this In the name of Jesus. Amen.