Long years back I began keeping quotes from books I was reading and verses from the Bible, thoughts and convictions that resonated with me at the time. I still have these today, some sixteen years later. It is interesting to look back on the journey we have through life and to see the hand of God compelling and teaching us along the way.
Here are the first three quotes I wrote out in this way,
“Only when Jesus is the focal point; only when his suffering for souls, his love and wrestling for them moves our hearts, can we abide in peace, true joy and victorious faith, for then we are centred in him rather than in people.” Basilea Schlink in I Found the Key to the Heart of God
“The man or woman who learns to make peace with routine responsibilities and obligations will make the greatest contribution in the long run.” Gordon MacDonald in Ordering Your Private World
“The life that intends to be wholly obedient, wholly submissive, wholly listening, is astonishing in its completeness. Its joys are ravishing, its peace profound, its humility the deepest, its power world shaking, its love enveloping, its simplicity that of a trusting child.” by Thomas Kelly
I look at these quotes and they appear to have been prophetic words over my life. Now, some sixteen years since I first read and noted these words they are indicative still to the journey of the years, of my experience, of the disciplines learned along the way and to the reality of my very life today.
They say that we become the words we read and the voices we listen to, I can certainly attest to this here. I know these words. I’ve lived and am living these words, simplicity, trust, peace, joy.
It is an interesting thing indeed how God leads us. Often it is only in hindsight that we really understand and get any kind of glimpse whatsoever to the lessons and path he has had us on; yet how immensely satisfying it is to be in the hands of the living God.
How do you record your journey with the Lord?
What are you reading and taking in that is feeding and challenging you?
Nine years ago I participated in an intentional Bible reading exercise over the course of three months. Each day I was to read scripture until something stood out to me. I might read a few chapters, I might read only a few verses, but as soon as something struck me I would stop and note that portion of scripture.
At the end of three months I compiled these bits and pieces of God’s word made real to me into my own paraphrase and here is how it reads in its entirety,
“I am not to look for sensationalism (self) but for testimony (Christ), this is possible as I draw apart and abide in the quiet places. In order to do the spiritual warfare that he has equipped me for I need to spend more time quietly with him in order to thwart my achilles-heel need for recognition. As I engage in servanthood I will not be forgotten by God, yet bigger and deeper than this, I will be a fellow servant with Christ, for this is what he came to be, a servant. I will therefore be a peer, friend, fellow worker. I can rest in him, for his glory to show in my life, for him to redeem me, for him to confirm my words as his servant, for him to perform my counsel as I am his messenger, for him to be for me a foundation. I don’t have to make it happen.
I am his anointed and he will for me, break bronze doors, cut iron bars and level mountains before me. Therefore I can rest in him and his timing and in the meantime he gives me the treasures of darkness. I am reminded of whom I serve, the only true God. I may be frightened by the false ones yet I’ve only got to confess my fear and remain in Christ and no actual damage will befall me. I am secure because of the God I serve.
Life is about balance, timing, dally prayer, truth about God, doing God’s work. Having direction and a steady pace means completing God’s tasks while not ruining one’s gifts in haste. I am to trust God in the work of his hands, namely me. God is going to ask something of me for which I’d normally say, “Who me?” but I’ve been given a heads up to walk humbly in whatever he calls me to do or say, whether it be noble or ignoble.
When God spoke over my life it was not for secrecy, not for darkness, nor for chaos. His speaking of me and who I am to be is for the purpose of being inhabited and for the fulfilment of his word and his doing will not be kept a secret as though it is a mistake (due to the state of my marriage). He is the artist fashioning my life for his glory and this will not be thwarted. God keeps reassuring me and confirming my authority and the anointing over my life to reclaim darkness for the glory of God.
There is no other God and I therefore have no reason to fear, no reason to walk in hesitancy. I am to keep company, draw together with other survivors of the darkness and fear that is about us. I am to have no other gods, and allow no other savior in my life, for any who claim to be savoirs are false. I am to hand my idols over to him and in these same areas bow my knee to him, that I may by the confession of my mouth find and have righteousness, strength, triumph, and glory.
Carrying burdens (idols) takes me into captivity but God has borne me and will continue to bear me as well as my burdens. In this way does my salvation come. Because of what he has already done in and through me I can trust him for the future, knowing that he will not be thwarted in his purpose and plan for my life, I’ve only to bow my knee to him and trust.”
When I wrote this out as one piece I was astonished. Each day for 90 days I had only noted a few words, a line here or there, and those few words and those little lines didn’t seem to come to much. But in the compilation there was a mighty message indeed. Today still, these are God’s words spoken over me.
I encourage you to write out each day one little thing the Lord is saying to you, nudging you towards, challenging you with, convicting you of, showing you in his word.
Don’t be looking for the big and the grand, rather take each little thing as it comes with gratefulness and much thanksgiving. And after a time put these little things together and see what you have. Become intentional about recording God’s thoughts about you.
God is communicating with us all the time. Literally. Begin to make note, take up your own challenge for the next 90 days and see what he wants to pour over you. Little bit by little bit, day by day, is how we grow our lives in Him and he will not disappoint.
Seek him today.