Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Walk with Jesus Tuesday: Review
How easily we do forget! I had to accept several years ago that I was wired mentally like an absent-minded professor. I can stand up from my desk with the intention of doing one particular thing at the other end of the house. By the time I walk from one end of the house to the next, I have forgotten that thing.
As a pastor, I know that I do not remember everything that I hear through my ears. A notepad close-at-hand often assists the filing cabinet of our brains.
Adrian Rogers once said that the weakest pen is greater than the strongest mind.
As important as it is to write down tasks like "I need to call Jim back," or "go look at shelves at Lowes," or "send Aunt Betsy a birthday card," how much more important it is for us to write down things that the Lord gives us.
For years I have practiced keeping a spiritual journal. However, my journal is no fancy endeavor. At any given time I have one three-ring binder that includes a spiral notebook. I keep it handy for jotting down Bible verses, prayers, quotations, or guidings from the Holy Spirit that I come across during my times of Bible meditation, reading for spiritual development, and prayer times.
God speaks in a myriad of ways. The active listener learns to write down things that we believe come from the Lord to us.
However, once again, I find it easy to forget even those spiritual lessons. The Lord can grab my attention through a sermon, book, or time of prayer - only for me to forget it a few days later.
While going through the workbook Masterlife by Avery Willis, I learned a valuable lesson to assist me to not forget. Willis recommends that once a month we take some time to stop and review our spiritual journal from the previous 30 days. Were there any Bible passages that especially encouraged us? Was there a specific answer to prayer? Was there a new prayer-focus? Was there a promise we claimed? Did the Spirit of God impress something specific on us during our prayer time? Was there a directive or a step of obedience we intended to take?
When God prepared His people to cross into the Promised Land, he exhorted them about the importance of remembering His words and instructions:
They are not just idle words for you--they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Deuteronomy 32:47
As easy as it is to forget - even important things - this practice helps us to remember. The Bible is replete with instructions to remember what God has said and not forget. If we forget - we may not obey and experience God's best.
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you. - Deuteronomy 8:2
Take one day a month and review what God has given you. That is a whole lot more important than just remembering to pick up the laundry!