Have you ever gotten amazing revelation from the Lord, but over time you forgot what He said? There are three very important steps in properly discerning revelation: receiving, properly interpreting, and then applying it with appropriate action! But often there is a breakdown keeping us from seeing the fulfillment of what was spoken. This doesn’t have to be the case. The frequently overlooked, yet simple spiritual key of journaling can move you miles down the road toward applying your revelation! Journaling is a tried-and-tested tool for stewarding revelation. Don’t underestimate it’s power to aid you in hearing and discerning the voice of God in your life.
Habakkuk 2:1-3 gives us some amazing insights. “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.'”
Your personal journaling might not only be about your life. It might also be used to help to give direction and assurance to others! Journaling not only brings you confirmation and direction over time, but a record of our revelation may be used to strengthen and encourage others. That is why it is so important to record your revelatory encounters so that anyone who reads them (perhaps even years later) may gain faith and courage to run to the battle and declare, “Is there not a cause!”
Steward Revelation by Journaling
There are many valid forms of journaling. Sometimes I record my prayers and the subsequent answers. Other times I sit and compose love letters to Jesus, quiet my soul and wait on His response to my initiative. This form of journaling is often referred to as “communing with the Holy Spirit.” Remember, good communication is a two way street! We talk, then we listen. We listen, then we respond.
But today I want to highlight the art of journaling that records the details of what was spoken or shown to you. Include a summary of the content, the time and date it occurred, and even where you were geographically when the Holy Spirit spoke to you. Consider including the primary emotion involved in the experience. Following these simple procedures will be an enormous help for future reference. This form of revelatory journaling includes a log of your dreams, visions, impressions, visitations and any other forms of God Encounters!
God speaks to His children much of the time! However, we do not always differentiate His voice from our own thoughts, and thus we are hesitant to take action on what we have heard. If we record what He is speaking, however, we will eventually notice confirmations of His voice and word. This enables us to walk out God’s words with greater confidence. Journaling becomes a way of sorting God’s thoughts from our own.
A Personal Peek into My Revelatory Life
I have kept many different types of journals over the years. After Michal Ann passed away, I simply recorded my thoughts, feelings and emotions for the first year. I titled this “The Journal of Searching Man.” After one year, I closed out that journal and shifted to “The Journal of a Hopeful Man.” Other journals of mine are summaries of significant dreams and visions I have received.
Some of the greatest treasures I possess to this day are Michal Ann’s hand-written journals. One day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “There is a surprise waiting for you in the top drawer of the night stand.” I had not looked in that drawer and much to my surprise, I found different sized notebooks with Michal Ann’s distinct handwriting.
I found the one she used in 1993, which included her record of the incredible nine straight weeks of nightly angelic visitations. Am I ever glad she journaled! I can look back on those encounters and receive a fresh infusion of faith, hope and love.
Strategic Missing Link Solved
Many believers have discovered that the simple act of recording revelation solved one of the strategic missing links in their journey of hearing and discerning the voice of God. Over time, you too will find a continuity of language that emerges. You will notice divine suggestions and develop an art of interpreting symbols that only matures as you grow in your journaling experience.
So just get started and do it! Journaling will help you to properly respond to the voice of God and enable you to walk in assurance that He really is guiding you along the way.
Listening, Waiting and Watching,
James W. Goll
Portions of this article are used by permission from Chapter 11 on “Properly Responding to God’s Voice” from the book Hearing God’s Voice Today by James W. Goll. To purchase this book or the complementary 12 Session class or study guide, please see the Hearing God’s Voice Today Curriculum.