Monday, November 11, 2013


Here is our third part to Greg Haswell's series on Filling Your Bucket, encouraging us parents to be sure we are "strengthening ourselves in the Lord" as we continually give of our resources to our children. It is not helpful to them or us when we run dry! So, give yourself, your children, and the Lord the gift of filling your tank with the Living Word--take some time today to journal, enjoying the privilege of listening to Father's voice.
Greg led us in this discipline at Hope at Home 2013 and it was clear that God was speaking to us all. Here is one testimony to encourage you as you fill your bucket through journaling: 
After journaling my  wife and I went to dinner and compared what we had written. Both of us had received a word speaking of our intrinsic value and beauty in the eyes of God. Both of us receiving this and the way that we received intermeshed was very affirming. 


The second practice to to refill our ebbing reserves with courage, comfort and refreshing charge is journaling. Many different forms of journaling exist and certainly there are many that have merit. What follows is what I practice. The first practical step is to find a place where you can relax and get quiet. Then take a piece of paper and a pen, or open a fresh page on your computer and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Begin to write and record the continuous string of thoughts that emerge into your mind. Do not let your mind start attacking or qualifying the flow of thoughts. Concentrate on recording them at this stage. The time for measuring them for accuracy will come later. Keep going until you sense the flow of words or thoughts has stopped. Most often these thoughts will come to you in the first person as though Jesus was talking to you. This means that He will speak about you and Himself, often referring to Himself as I.

Still Small Inner Voice

Let me lay a quick Biblical foundation for this practice. The scriptures declare that anyone who unites themselves with the Lord have become one with Him in Spirit (1 Cor 6:17). It is both our spirit and God’s Spirit respectively, who know each of our deep thoughts (1 Cor 2:11). When we are united in spirit with Him, God’s thoughts flow seamlessly into our spirits and then into our minds. In this way His thoughts sound very much like our thoughts. I think most people miss what God speaks to them because they are waiting for a voice that appears dramatic, awesome and heavenly. In reality, God’s voice is often a whisper and a still small inner voice. New Testament believers ought to look forward to fellowship with the Holy Spirit ( 2 Cor 13:14, Phil 2:1) and as was promised them the voice leading them continually in the way marked out for them (Isa 30:21, John 16:13).

The Truth of Scripture and The Nature of God

Once you have finished, read and re-read what you have captured. Now you can measure it against the truth of scripture and the nature of God. If what you wrote goes against the clear meaning of scripture or the revealed character of God, throw it away. Where no contradiction occurs, spend time thinking about it. If it really connects with you, pray about it. Remember that the Holy Spirit’s primary ministry to people without faith is to convict them of their sin, His righteousness as a potential gift, and impending judgment on those who will not believe. The Holy Spirit's ministry in the life of those who believe is to remind you of your favored status. He provokes the “Abba” response in believers. He cries out “daddy” God in us. This means He is relentlessly convicting believers of their acceptance, inclusion and favored status in God’s family. 
You are no longer strangers and aliens but citizens of God’s country and members of His household. Your journaling from Him should reflect this. If it does, then celebrate it and take it to heart. 

It is a beautiful thing to hear the testimonies of people who have dared to listen to Jesus like this. Many people report amazing comfort, restoration of hope and pure excitement at what they heard Him say. This practice draws back the veil a little on the amazing nearness of God and His faithful fellowship. Try it for yourself as a secret between you and Him. 

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