Today marks a personal victory. I type my last entry of this Priority Time series with great celebration!
When I started this series in the early summer of 2018, I believed in the value of a priority time. A daily, unhurried time to get to know the Lord through the Bible and prayer was a relational discipline that I had practiced for over 20 years. I had just finished teaching this material to all three of Highpoint’s campuses. I desire that every follower of Christ truly knows how to spend time with the Lord.
Now, as I finish this series after an extended delay, I can testify to the hope and sustaining power of a priority time in an even deeper way. Even this week when I awoke with an especially strong sense of being overwhelmed, it was my priority time that allowed my feet to find their way back to a firm foundation. It was applying God’s truth to my present reality that soothed my anxious heart. We’ll all have valleys and peaks in life. Your time with the Lord will guide you through every season.
Focused Thinking, Personal Application, Interactive Prayer, and Life Journaling make up the four essential components of a priority time. Check out Parts 1 – 6 of this blog series to learn about the first three of these. And as we come to Life Journaling, let me explain the how and the why.
How does Life Journaling work?
- During focused thinking, write down the journalistic questions you’re asking of the passage… and your answers. Sometimes, I’ll also write out the verses I’m studying for the day.
- As you transition to personal application, write down the questions that the timeless truths are causing you to ask of yourself… and your answers.
- As you move in and out of interactive prayer during your priority time, summarize your prayers in bullet points or write them out in full.
Why bother with Life Journaling?
- It slows you down.
For every minute you read the Bible, you should think for a minute. Life Journaling will allow you the best opportunity to truly have focused thinking.
- It helps you remember the passage.
One of our goals is to store God’s Word in our hearts. The intentionality of writing helps engage more of your senses and allows truth to sink in rather than just bounce off.
- It forces you to answer the questions.
Agreeing with truth is not enough. We must be willing to ask ourselves the hard questions that truth exposes.
- What stays in your head lacks any accountability.
As we apply God’s Word, we should have specific ways we’re obeying God. Writing down how God wants you to apply His truth greatly increases your chance of obedience.
- It guards you from the sin of forgetting.
We tend to live moving from one need to another. As soon as God answers one prayer, we forget and focus on the next request. We forget how faithful God has been.
- Being able to look back on what God has said in detail is a huge gift in discerning God’s will, not to mention being encouraged at how He has spoken and led you in the past during seasons of waiting.
I pray this series has been – and will continue to be – both practical, showing you how to spend time in God’s Word, and also encouraging. The Lord wants to speak directly to each one of us as His children. Don’t miss out on His love for you.