Wherever you are in the world, you and I are living through a moment in time that will fill history books in the years ahead. No matter how long it takes to overcome this virus from here onward, enough events of major and international import have already occurred for 2020 to always be remembered for it.
I am sure that you are slowly coming to terms with the impact of all that is happening and that you are discovering new and even more far reaching implications almost daily. None of us had ‘pandemic’ pencilled into our diaries when this year started or can say ‘the previous time we did this’. It is a first for all of us and we are fighting an enemy not fully known or understood yet.
We need leaders with clear thinking and strategic flexibility, and we should all pray for our governments and other decision-makers. Now is a time to stand together even as we keep a safe distance. 😊
As Christians, we are strongly encouraged to stay connected to our church families through whatever digital means they can make available. I love that we are able to do this and expect local churches to quickly grow and expand their use of technology in this regard. It has to be more than merely listening to my pastor’s sermon online. Most probably, his or her sermons were already available in some kind of format before the virus and mere access to it will not fill the gaps left by not meeting, conversing or praying with fellow believers. I have no doubt that innovative means will be found as it will be driven by love for one another and guided by the Lord of creation and creativity.
However you stay connected to your church, I think you and I have an unprecedented opportunity to go deeper in our relationship with Jesus. In a time such as this, we desperately need to draw near to Him. We need Jesus more than we need a vaccine or to escape infection. As a result, I want to propose to you a simple, well-known and easy strategy that has impacted everyone who has ever attempted it. In fact, after many years of shepherding God’s people, I consider this the most important discipline every Christian should develop. If I could add only one thing to your life, this would be it!
I think that if you were to start a journal of your conversations with God, your relationship with God will reach a new level of intimacy. To keep it short, I am going to offer you three reasons to start immediately.
There is a lot of noise right now. You and I have never followed the news as closely or from as many sources as we do right now. We hear contradicting statements and get lost in detail that is beyond most of us.
To top this, we are listening to more preachers than ever before. Different churches. Different theologies. Different as different can be.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Do you even know?
And just to make it more of a lottery, we are not listening to the whole sermon of this Facebook stranger. Nor is it available as it is just a soundbite feeding your craving for instant satisfaction on Instagram.
Is it true? Is it God’s Word for you? Who knows?!?
At any time, but especially now, you and I need to hear God’s voice. Words that we can trust. Words that He is going to live up to. Journaling will help you separate the noise from what He is really saying to you. God has a way of making Himself heard and when you sit down with your journal every day, you will soon discover the golden thread of His golden voice speaking words that heal, restore and guide so lovingly and so very clearly.
Listening to some, it seems that God will indulge our every whim and has a knack of saying precisely what we want to hear. This, however, is more the result of who we want God to be than who he really is. We create him in the image of our needs and wants instead of discovering His eternal nature and heart.
It is true that as we discover more of Him, our hearts leap for joy. We were made for Him and we (God and us) are a match made in heaven. His Words, His promises and His deeds are all geared to causing us to love Him as He loves us – with our whole being and for all eternity.
Journaling will help you discern between His promises and your wishful thinking. He confirms His Word. He disagrees with you. He tells you to do things you do not want to do. He surprises you. And when He says He will do something, He always, without exception, keeps His Word!
It took me a long time to discover this, but God is a real chatterbox. He enjoys you and has a lot to say to you. Yes, His Word has power beyond our comprehension and a whole universe came into existence when He spoke. But He is also very busy building a relationship with you that will last an eternity. He wants you to understand who He is for real and there is a lot to reveal. He wants you to discover yourself in Him and you will be surprised how much you do not know about you.
The problem is that this is a steep learning curve with all He has to say. Add the above-mentioned noise and it becomes easy to get distracted or allow precious revelation to fade away. Journaling helps you nail what He says down and make it your own. The content of your conversation with God becomes consistent, substantial and ultimately so easy to believe.
I urge you to start a journal in this time of anxiety and uncertainty while you also have more time available. Focus your thoughts on Him and record the conversations. In due course, you will reap the benefits and while the rest of the world may remember 2020 for one reason, you will be able to remember going deeper in your relationship with God like never before.
Feel free to contact me if you need help with how to do this. If enough people enquire, I will write a blog on the topic. Either way, I would love to correspond with you.