My personal journal is filled with drawings and descriptions of pictures and visions that flash into my mind as I wait in God’s presence and He speaks to me. These revelations are sometimes so profound that they have changed my life. I quickly discovered that it was the voice of God. The Bible refers to this as Rhema. Rhema is God’s Spirit speaking directly to your spirit. It comes as a spontaneous thought, idea, word, feeling or vision. Thoughts from your mind are meditated. Thoughts emanating from your heart are spontaneous. Look to see what he will say to you!
The third key is faith and expectation. We are to watch and see what He will say. Notice it says ‘what’ He will say, not ‘if’’ He will speak. Jesus is waiting for us in the Secret Place. He says, “But you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6) Expect His presence. Believe He is waiting for you! Expect Him to speak.
The fourth key is that we are to ‘record the vision’. We are instructed to keep a journal. It is essential to write down what God is showing us. Many times as I wait in God’s presence a picture will spontaneously appear in my mind. Once I have written that vision I will enter into a dialogue with the Lord. My first question is, “Lord, what does this mean?” Without exception, He always expands the vision and explains its significance. My journal reads like a novel with pages of dialogue between the Lord and me and artistic drawings to illustrate the visions I have seen.
One of the most frequent comments I receive from Christians in regard to intimacy with the Lord is, “God is not speaking to me. I am not hearing anything. I am so frustrated.”
The scripture provides us with some clear answers regarding this dilemma. The prophet Habakkuk reveals several principles that are vital to communion with God and hearing His voice.
Habakkuk writes, “I will stand my watch and set myself upon the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected.” Then the Lord answered, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it because it will surely come. It will not tarry.” - Habakkuk 2:1-3
There are four principles to communion with God in this passage. First, we must stand at the guard post. Simply stated, we need to position ourselves to be watchmen by seeking solitude. Then, we need to become still and silent in this secret place and wait for the Lord.
Second, we are to watch to see what He will say. This single key is vital to hearing God’s voice. God speaks in pictures almost all of the time. If we are waiting to hear an audible voice we may never hear it. Instead, once we have asked God to speak pictures will flash into our spirit and are projected onto the screen of our mind so spontaneously and uninitiated by our human effort that we wonder where they came from. We need to recognize that we are actually seeing what God is speaking to us!
God often speaks to us through dreams and visions. Dream and vision are the language of the prophets. Prophets are seers who see what God speaks! It is no surprise that Paul desired everyone to prophecy. He encouraged us to seek this gift. My definition of prophecy is, ‘the ability to hear God’s voice’. When a prophet says, “Thus saith the Lord…” he is often recounting what he has seen! That is why many prophets were actually called Seers.
Why keep a journal? The most important reason is that the Lord encourages it. Perhaps it is because we simply forget things. It is difficult to remember yesterday, let alone last week or ten years ago.
Another important reason is that it provides us with a roadmap of where we have been and how we arrived where we are. When we go back in our journal and read the chronological events we discover more clearly that He really is our good Shepherd. He leads us daily. He has graciously led us along life’s pathway. Our journal serves as a reminder of the revelation and insights that God has given us.
There is a time element in God’s plan for our lives. I have often taught that there are three components to seeing and experiencing the release of God’s will in our life. The first is being in the right PLACE. The second is being there at the right TIME. The third is being there with the right PEOPLE. Your Journal will confirm these principles.
Last but not least, your journal leaves a legacy for generations to come. Your own descendents and perhaps the world may someday open the pages of your journal and discover the reality of God’s presence and guidance in your life. They will be encouraged themselves to follow in your footsteps.
A journal is the written or recorded account of our journey in life. It is our story. Many famous people have recorded their journeys. Presidents, kings, military and religious leaders and common folk have all kept an account of their life experiences. John Wesley, for example, kept a journal that consisted of many volumes. The early Christian mystics such as St Augustine, Fenelon, and Madam Guyon, as well as contemporary God seekers, have recorded their intimate encounters with God. These priceless volumes are guideposts and handbooks helping us to discover the reality of intimacy with God and the transforming power of His presence.
Much of the scripture must be considered as a personal journal. While it is true that the Torah is history, we cannot dismiss the fact that it was written like Moses’ personal journal. Consider the entire book of Revelation. What John saw on the island of Patmos was his personal experience on a spiritual journey into heaven into the presence of God. He had difficulty at times describing this God encounter. Words were inadequate to express all that he experienced. What he heard and saw he wrote about in his journal. It became the last book of the Bible, The Book of Revelation.
We live in an age of information where keeping records and recording events is a part of our every day lives. What could be more important than keeping a Spiritual Journal? Whether it is written with paper and pen or digitally recorded, this personal record is a travelogue of your prayers, dreams, prophetic visions and God encounters. It is the annotated dialogue of your conversations with God. The questions you ask and the answers He gives are all a part of your life’s’ journey.
After arriving in Sydney, Australia, my driver asked me a pointed question as we drove toward the hotel. “What is your story?"
I replied, “What do you mean?” somewhat shocked by his straightforwardness.
He answered, “Everyone has a story. Our lives are stories to be told and discovered. Tell me about your journey in the Lord.”
His response has remained in my heart ever since. He was genuinely interested in my spiritual journey…
For the next several months I will be posting some quotes from my new book, The Secret Place Journal. I know you will want your own copy.
This new publication is the perfect companion to our bestselling book,The Secret Place. It is designed to help you keep a journal with specific teaching on the why and how of recording your spiritual journey along with specific information about personal prophesy and dreams.
The Secret Place Journal will be available for purchase before Christmas. Keep checking our website for updates as we await the first shipment from our publisher.
Dr. Dale Fife has served the Body of Christ for over 50 years as a caring pastor, insightful teacher, gifted musician, and best-selling author. His wisdom, maturity, and genuine spiritual concern for others have caused many to regard him as a "spiritual father" in the Lord. His insightful teaching has inspired and blessed thousands around the world.