Journey: The act of traveling from one place to another.
I wanted to take time to think about what taking a journey means. When you go on a journey (or vacation) there are things you do in preparation for that journey.
First you plan it:
-Who am I going to bring?
-What kinds of clothing do I need to pack?
-What do I need to know about the place I will end up?
-How am I going to get there?
-Am I going to make any stops along the way?
-Specifically where should I refuel?
-What questions do I have about the place I am going?
This came to mind to me this morning, because I have had an AMAZING week with Jesus. I blogged about it in the post He Calls Me Daughter. I am still feeling the love and grace from my sweet moments with the Lord, but I started to have questions. Then when I had questions I started to FEEL (remember, feelings will LIE) like maybe I wasn’t as close to God as I was even a couple of days ago. So, I started thinking and reached out to my cousin and ask that she talk to me. As I was talking to her, I started to think about the fact that everyone calls Christianity and the walk with the Lord a journey and how true that is!
Each of the questions I presented about an Earthly journey can be applied to a spiritual one. So, without further ado: The Spiritual Journey Planning Guide.
-Who do you bring with you?—Think about all of the people in your life who will support you, love you, speak truth to you and show you grace while you are on your journey. Who will REJOICE with you when God has broken you free from a stronghold?! Then: INVITE THEM. Stay in contact with them. Talk to them. Go to them when you have questions. Build a Godly relationship with them.
-What kinds of clothing do I need to pack?—This one is interesting, but I still feel like it was one that God placed on my heart. During the week that Jesus really spoke to me, I read the book Every Woman’s Battle. While there are still some things I am unsure of and wrestling with God over, there were some things I know he spoke to me about. Specifically about how we present ourselves. Dressing in a way that doesn’t cause our brothers in Christ to stumble. (I know!! I KNOW! Some of you are probably rolling your eyes. HEAR ME OUT!) I started to think about it from a SPIRITUAL, SOUL type perspective. Let’s think of everyone we meet at a soul. If you go out wearing a shirt that is so low cut people can see a sliver of your nipple, just know that you are causing people to stare, which is ultimately the goal: Attention. BUT think about it from a spiritual context. Men are starting, but that turns to lust almost immediately. Lust has the potential to lead to other things and ultimately distance from God. How important is it that you wear that shirt now? I do believe it is our freedom to dress how we please. I’m not saying wear a burlap sack! PLEASE! Anyone who knows me, knows better!! I am saying, be mindful of the spiritual consequences. *shrugs* That’s all. Soooo, pack clothing for your spiritual journey that you would be comfortable standing in front of Christ in.
-What do I need to know about the place I will end up?—How can you share with friends where you are going if you have no idea what that place is really like? Even as I am typing this God is speaking to me. How are we to answer friends’ questions about our journey and the destination, when we don’t know the truths ourselves? Start searching the Bible. Know what Heaven is promised to be like. Know what God’s promises are and start answering questions with the excitement I know will come!
-How am I going to get there?—On a “regular” journey we have the decision of a car, plane, train etc. On a spiritual journey, things get a little more complicated. When I think about how I am going to get to the “end” of my journey, I think less about a mode of transportation and more about the kinds of things my soul needs to run. In a car, the car needs gas. The same is true of a plane and a train. All of the choices for transportation require the vehicle to be fueled in some way. So, similar to knowing where you will end up, fill your soul with the truths of the Bible. Other forms of fuel: Praying, TALK TO GOD OUT LOUD, singing worship songs, community with Godly friends, finding a support group, asking questions, reading a biblical story. Constantly fill your soul with Godly fuel.
-Am I going to make any stops along the way?–What stops do you want to take along your journey? Is there a forgiveness pit stop on your journey? Is there a rejoicing pit stop? Maybe God wants you to take a pit stop to learn how to read the Bible? Maybe God wants you to take a few days of solitude to privately JUST. SEEK. HIM. Pray (out loud, verbally) and ask God what stops he would have you take in your journey. He has BEAUTIFUL things to show you!
-Specifically when should I refuel?–I remember taking vacations with my ex-husband and his family to Florida (if you didn’t know I had an ex-husband, I blogged about the grace God has shown me through this situation in this blog post). Every trip they stopped at the same gas station to refuel the van. I believe it was in West Virginia? Either way, the reasoning was that this was the cheapest gas station along the trip and the further south we went, the more expensive the gas would be. Even if the van still had half a tank or more, we still stopped there! Be mindful of where you refuel in your spiritual journey. Don’t wait to refuel when you are completely empty and now you are so far south it is going to be so costly to fill all the way back up. Keep a watchful eye on your spiritual tank and know that you can refuel even when you still have a lot of fuel left. Our spiritual tanks are similar to car tanks. As we take our stops along the journey, it will cost fuel. What is different is that at every stop, we get filled up and our tanks are able to “runneth over”. Don’t just fill your tank when it is going empty. FILL IT WHEN IT’S ALREADY FULL! Let God make your tank so full it is bursting at the seams!
-What questions do I have about the place I am going?–First, know that it is ok to have questions. It is OK to have doubts. it is NORMAL. What you do with these questions is way more important that the fact that you have them. Know what your questions are and then take them to a reliable source. If you had questions about a specific vacation, you wouldn’t ask someone who you didn’t trust to know the correct answer. Gather your questions, and find a TRUSTED source. Probably one of the people who you decided to take on the journey with you, that is always a good choice. Also, GO TO GOD. All day. Every day. Take your questions to him. Remember to be honest and transparent. He will bless you.
This entire post was stemmed because I had doubts and was feeling unsure about where to take my questions and through out the time it has taken me to write this blog, I feel like God has spoken directly to me through my writing. He then has confirmed my thoughts through a Godly cousin and trusted friend. The doubts I have now seem so far away, but God has also provided the answers that I needed to hear. I took my questions to a trusted source and God has been faithful to show grace, but still give me the hard answers he requires of me so I may have the best experience on my Spiritual Journey.
Start your journey! I promise it will be the best vacation you ever take!