Finding a space
When the time comes to be in God’s Word, it is important to find yourself a comfortable space to do so. Somewhere that allows your focus to be in the Word without succumbing to distractions and delays that tug on you to let down your guard and put aside your time with God. The time and space might not be what you wanted or your first choice, but keep trying new spaces and spots until you find the one that works best for you. More so, you may need to change this space as time marches on, seasons change and life takes detours. Be flexible, but persistent in carving out a space as well as the time.
Some find it easier to exit their homes and sit in a coffee shop or restaurant where they are not as essential to those that surround them. Others prefer to be at home, as they find the noise of moving life too distracting. The key is to find a spot where you can settle and give your heart and mind permission to engage God’s Word without constant interruption. Let us look at an example of someone who had a hard life with lots of souls asking for her attention and care.
Back in the late 1600s, Susanna Wesley, fed and readied her children every morning, and then retired herself to spend time in devotion and prayer. She had ten living children, while delivering a total of 19 throughout her lifetime. Nine of those children died in infancy. Her children learned, very early in life, that her time with God was important and necessary. With that cherished discipline, she also taught her children that time with God, in His Word, was essential in both faith and life.
Even amid the most complex and busy years of her life as a mother, she still scheduled in two hours each day for fellowship with God and time in His Word, and she adhered to that schedule faithfully. The challenge was finding a place of privacy in a house filled to and overflowing with children.
Mother Wesley’s solution to this was to bring the Bible to her favorite chair and throw her long apron up over her head, forming a sort of tent. This became something akin to the “tent of meeting,” the tabernacle in the days of Moses in the Old Testament. Every person in the household, from the smallest toddler to the oldest domestic helpers, knew well to respect this signal. When Susanna was under the apron, she was with God and not to be disturbed except in the case of the direst emergency. There in the privacy of her little tent, she interceded for her husband and children and plumbed the deep mysteries of God in Scriptures. The holy discipline equipped her with a thorough and profound knowledge of the Bible.The Praying Example of Susanna Wesley, Jackie Green and Lauren Green-McAfee, faithgateway.com, June 5, 2018
WHEREVER AND WHENEVER YOU CHOOSE TO BE IN HIS WORD, HELP OTHERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS TIME IS TRULY IMPORTANT. THE SACREDNESS OF YOUR RESOLVE TO BE IN AND LEARN GOD’S WORD WILL BE A MESSAGE WELL SENT TO THE SOULS AROUND YOU.
Nourishing your soul and mind
As crazy as it might sound, the kitchen or dining room table can be a great place to study. There is something about the comfort of being near the heart of the home. It can be the place where we are nourished, and the place from which we nourish others. A warm cup of joe or a cool glass of water is just a reach away. And often, it allows the souls that we live with a chance to observe our walk with God.
JOURNAL AND MULTI-COLORED PENS
While any type of paper and pen will suffice in recording your notes, journals and simple notebooks are great ways to keep these observations concise, gathered, and stored. Being able to reflect on and return to your notes easily will be an asset to your future studies.
Multi-colored pens are also helpful in distinguishing between scriptural text, notes and your own personal thoughts. It will ease reviewing and understanding as time passes from your original notations. Consider developing a three color system to aid in organizing your observations.
ORGANIZING YOUR THOUGHTS & SPACE
There are multiple ways to organize your writing, including not organizing at all. You are perfectly well within your rights to just write away. But some souls and minds like a bit more structure to what they do and see. No matter what system or style that you use, remember this is your space. Consider it a sacred and special place that you can develop over time.
When designing your space, a two-column approach on a piece of paper can create a canvas where thoughts can be organized next to Scripture and biblical notes. The columns can be equally spaced, or one column can be larger than the other. You could even divide the page in half with Scripture on the top and your notes on the bottom, much like the Bible. You can lines to divide, or just manage the space as you write.
The Value of Recording Your Observations
Why, then, do I set before You an ordered account of so many things? It’s certainly not through me that You know them. But I’m stirring up love for You in myself and in those who read this so that we may all say, great is the Lord and highly worthy to be praised. I tell my story for love of Your love.~St. Augustine of Hippo
Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.Psalm 48:12-14
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.'”Jeremiah 30:1-2
Session One’s Assignment
- Make sure to have read Resolving and Exploring
- Consider Matthew 12:1-8
- Explore biblical references and make note of what speaks to you
- Begin taking notes on relevant Scripture before moving onto Session Two, which will be ready next week