Our desires must be focused on Him: Christ our Lord. We must feel the anticipation and the excitement to be with and in Him, so that we not only hear His Word; but we do His Word, the Word of God. So if we become stuck in our anxious thoughts, confusion, or the stressed out urgency of life, we stop and get our focus right! Pray that the Holy Sprit intercedes in you and removes the disruptions. Allow yourself to receive His comfort and grace. Remember it is not anything we do or effort on our part, we are only to receive what Christ our Lord gives us. And to receive, we need to make sure stuff that gets in the way, are out of the way.
Augustine, a "Catholic Saint," was one of the foremost philosophers and theologians of early Christianity. While serving (396-430) as bishop of Hippo Regius, the leading figure in the church, he was perhaps the greatest Christian thinker of all time and the one person with the biggest influence in theology for Catholics and Protestants, even more than the reformers. He also was the main person who influenced the "western world view," our cultural and identity both in Europe and the U.S.!
Augustine fought vigorously against his bad habits and sin nature, so he can grow deeper in our Lord. Until he learned a lesson from a small child, which he felt was the Word of God. Let Augustine's influence keep influencing you!
There are times when I journal, that is keep a diary of what is going on in my life. I sometimes look back on them and gain new insight on what I was going through, that I did not have back then. I have become more adept to interpret God's leading and plan for me the more I experience life and receive what He has done. By looking back on what we have been through and see the hand of God there, it will give great comfort and encouragement for what lies ahead or what we are going through now.
As I gain new insight into my personality and the Lord's working into my issues and problems, I realize how shadows they are compared to my Lord's holiness and greatness.
By concentrating on Christ and what He has done will lift us up better and more complete than anything we could ever do. Thus the thrust of journaling has taught me is to look beyond myself and keep focused on Christ. The other end of journaling is a problem that people, including Christians, in their zeal keep faithful to their journals, is that they become self absorbed and only see themselves and their problems and not the Lord. So be careful if you do this exercise of journaling, keep focused on why you are doing it, that is to grow closer to the Lord and not to yourself.
We are called to keep focused on Him and not ourselves, so we are looking at God's Word as a mirror to ourselves, to our soul, as not to see us, but to see God working in us. When we only see ourselves, we see sin, brokenness, failure, self-seeking inclinations, and wrong attitudes.
We must see God's interests and not our own, then the journey of maturing in the faith will become more real as our problems become less, He becomes more.
The same thing can happen when we read the Word. We become so consumed with our interests, we do not see the calling and response we are to give. Thus we grow bitter, thinking that this devotion stuff is not for me, so we turn it off. We replace it with so much activity that God is pushed out of our lives, except on Sunday morning. But even then we are rushed and stressed and do not feel the worship or hear the lesson. We only hear ourselves, our problems of getting the kids ready, or the stress at work or at school. The results of a mature life will respond from the impact of our devotional life, by applying what Christ has done.
We need to respond to the text with a surrendered will and a mind cleared of our anxious thoughts. When we are focused on our fears, hopes, dreams, needs, or emotions, we have no room to learn what God has for us. We will not be able to think deeply enough into the text so there is a transformation of our nature and will, as philosophers call our existential core. There can be no serious behavior or personality change unless the core of who we are changes. And Christ is the only one who does that right!
© 1990 R. J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.discipleshiptools.org/