Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the 'gems' that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! And while journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your small group or mentors. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.
(Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.—Eph 4:23, 5:26)
S for Scripture
Open your Bible according to the devotional, Christian book, message notes or to the passage found under today's date of a daily Bible reading outline. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse or a point from the book or message that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture or truth/teaching down in your own words, in your journal.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this can apply to you today.
P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture or principle, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to *listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
If this seems a little overwhelming, take it slow and keep it simple. No matter how you decide to do your devotions, the important thing is to show up for your daily appointment, because God is always waiting for you!
*LISTENING TO GOD is one of the most satisfying parts of having a relationship with Him. Recognizing His voice takes time. God may speak to you through a sense of peace, encouragement, hope or conviction. He may speak through actual words filtering through your own mind, seeming and sounding like your own internal thoughts. He might also speak to you with an image or picture. Sometimes you might think these are distractions or you are losing focus. But often times God is using your imagination to lead you to a thought process, an internal realization or a greater revelation of what you have just prayed about. It’s always good to be still and allow Him to use your senses to speak to you.
(excerpts taken from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, one of Chip’s favorites… www.enewhope.org/firststeps/journaling)