Hello! I know it’s been quite a while since I wrote anything on this blog and the only excuse I really have is that I get lazy when it comes to writing. I have no problem writing in my daily journal, it’s just hard to turn it into something cohesive on here. But I want to share with you some of the things that God has been showing me over the course of the past few weeks.
I recently joined a Bible Study/Small group at my church where we are reading and discussing a book called 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark Virkler. This book has truly transformed my prayer life. Even though I tried really hard to spend time with the Lord each morning, it was like prayer was on my to do list, something I had to check off each day, so I wouldn’t be left feeling guilty that I hadn’t made time for the Lord. If I managed to spend 30 minutes reading my Bible and praying, I felt like I had accomplished something. But since reading this book, spending anywhere from 1 to 2 hours a day with the Lord has become a delight. I actually look forward to spending time with Him and hearing what He wants to say to me each day. The funny thing is that I thought I had a pretty good relationship with Him, and that my prayer life was better than most. And perhaps it was. But the point is that it was a chore, not really a relationship that I enjoyed! So if you would like to transform your prayer life, I highly recommend this book to you.
Even though I thought I had no trouble hearing God’s voice, I believed that it was an occasional thing, something which He controlled and I had little say in. Reading this book therefore was a real paradigm shift for me. Mark Virkler believes that God wants to talk to us every day. Every single day! And that writing down what we are thinking is one of the keys to hearing His voice. I will not try to paraphrase what Mark says, because I know I wouldn’t do it justice, but I will say this. Mark believes that if we quiet ourselves before God, look for vision as we pray, recognize God’s voice as spontaneous thoughts that light upon our mind and then write down that flow of thoughts and pictures, we are hearing his voice. I was skeptical at first, but what I began to write actually amazed me. I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that the Lord has been showing me through my journaling each day.
Since I wasn’t used to this type of journaling I thought I would start off this new journey by asking the Lord some questions. One of the first ones that came to my mind involved the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Since this fruit is His character, I asked Him to show me how each of these fruit had manifested themselves to me in my life. Using peace, I asked Him to show me how He had shown me peace in my life. Here’s what I wrote in my journal:
My child, my sweet daughter, I have loved you with an everlasting love and have protected you many times from danger. When I would allow the nation of Israel to live in peace from their enemies I would protect them from war and from attack. I would keep their enemies at bay in their lives so they could live life in joy. This is the peace that I have given to you as well. Many times the enemy wanted to attack you, to harm you, but I would not allow him to touch you. Many times when you would walk into a situation that you didn’t know had danger I would send my angels to protect you and cancel the plan that he had for you. I have always done this for your children as well. When I told you that I would always protect what is yours this is what I meant. As much as you have encountered warfare in your life and you see it now in your children, it is only a fraction of what could have been if I had not been there to stop it. I have given you a taste of warfare so you could appreciate the peace you do have. But I will continue to give you this peace as you walk through life. Continue to trust Me and do not be afraid. My peace I leave with you. I have put your enemies under your feet.
When I reread this to myself, I was surprised. When I think of the word peace, having never experienced war, I did not consider peace to be the absence of war. Peace to me was a feeling, not a verb. I realized at that moment that I cannot ever come to the Lord with preconceived ideas of what He will say to me. His thoughts are not my thoughts! But I decided to take the matter further. I was curious. So I asked Him later that day to show me a situation in my life where He had protected me and it had not been obvious to me.
I suppose I should not have been shocked. After all, if I had know the grave danger I was in, it would have been obvious. It was not. This story that He reminded me of had taken place more than 40 years earlier when I was a teenager. My mother and I had spent the summer in Germany visiting my relatives. During that time period she took me around to various places in Europe. One of those places was Paris. I love Paris, the city of lights. But it is also a very dark place. We were in Paris for a grand total of 15 hours, having taken a tour bus from my Grandma’s house. As we toured the various tourist attractions we used the Metro, the underground subway system to get around town. During the afternoon hours as she and I headed to another Metro train, we were walking through a tunnel of sorts and we managed to get separated from other people. A middle Eastern man came up to me asking me “how much do you want?” He repeated the question several times and wouldn’t leave me alone. My mother who obviously was much more savvy and less naive than me immediately put her arm through mine and began to hustle me faster through the tunnel until we caught up to others. The man followed us asking me the same question. I thought the whole situation bizarre because I thought he presumed me to be a prostitute. How he could make that assumption never made sense to me however. I was not dressed like one and I was just a young girl. I never fully understood what happened that day until I asked the Lord my question. If you’ve ever seen the movie Taken you will have some understanding of what that man intended for me. I’m sure he was not alone because they work in groups. If he had been able to get me to stop and talk to him or perhaps get me alone in some way, my life would have turned out very different. That day when I asked the Lord my seemingly harmless question about protecting me, He opened my eyes and showed me what that man’s true intentions were. Horrifying to say the least.
I’m hoping to write more of the things that the Lord Jesus has been showing me, teaching me and talking to me about in further blog posts. I hope that this one has given you a deeper sense of the kind of relationship He would love to have with you as well.