“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me”
When we become Christians we are called from our old worldly ways into a new and Godly way of living. This transformation does not take effect immediately and without any contribution on our part. It is a process in which we are very much involved with the Lord.
One of the necessary consequences is that we should frequently take stock of and review our journey and the way we are living out our faith with the Lord. In doing this we will not only discover more about ourselves – including our strengths and weaknesses and gifts – but we will discover more of what the Lord is doing in and through and around us.
Many Christians down through the years have practised a regular, often daily, review with the Lord and found it to be a great blessing and encouragement. Generally there are six steps involved.
- Sit quietly with the Lord
At the end of one day or the beginning of the next draw aside for this purpose. Acknowledge the Lord’s presence and make a journal note of the events and people involved in the past day. Include a note of your own feelings and emotions at the different stages
- Look back with gratitude
Walk through the day with God and note its joys and delights, its blessings, your work and your interaction with people. Think over the quality of these relationships and whether others were blessed by their interaction with you. What was the gift that you may have given to them? Dwell on some of the smaller things – food, sights, sounds and other pleasures. All good things come from the Lord.
Allow Him to draw your attention to any sins, weaknesses and failures. Ask Him what you should do about them.
- Identify your feelings then and now
What were your emotions at different stages of the day and what caused them? Be real. Could God be telling you something through them? – about yourself, others or your situation? Ask Him what it could be. Our emotions can tell us about ourselves and something of God.
- Ask God to highlight one area of importance
This will be His opinion not ours! It could be a feeling, an encounter, a moment of pleasure or pain or even something seemingly insignificant. Accept what He brings to mind and prayer a heartfelt response – praise, repentance, gratitude, intercession, whatever it might be.
- And now tomorrow
Look ahead and tell the Lord how you feel about the day to come. Identify the areas that you look forward to and those you don’t – and tell Him why. Prayer for them and ask Him to give you His guidance and wisdom, His strength and understanding, His perseverance and love, to enable you to journey through them with Him.
Talk with Him. Thank Him for His presence and help. Ask for forgiveness and healing where you need it. Pray for the continued infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t be concerned if you do not hear Him clearly in all the areas all the time and don’t agonise over the issues. This is a gentle review with a loving Father designed to help you live out your relationship with Him and others more suitably tomorrow. The more you practice it the more valuable it will become and the better you will learn to identify and hear the Lord as He speaks.
Try it quickly now
Thank You Lord that You are always with me. Help me to live every moment in the knowledge of Your love for me and presence with me, and guide me in the Way and the Truth and the Life. Amen.
One thought on “Looking forward back”
Thank you for these reminders.