It had been a few decades, at least three, since I’d seen it. When my mom placed the small binder in my hands, I didn’t even recognize it at first. How could I have forgotten about something that was so significant? This little black binder, filled with: colorful pages, handwritten notes, Scriptures, praises, worship, instruction, yearnings and dreams, and had started me on a journey of growth that has been rich.
Yesterday, I started a series of posts on spiritual growth and shared with you the first two, in my list of seven. Today, we pick up on those with the next two. If you missed yesterday’s post, I hope you’ll click here to read where I shared these first two steps:
- Be Rooted in Love
- Recognize the Need for Personal Discipline
Today, we’ll keep working our way through the steps toward spiritual growth with the next two:
- Taking Notes is Vital
They both work in the public education system, she as a counselor and her husband as a history teacher, they’ve walked many years with the Lord, and are teachers in our church. But every week, without fail, I watch them sitting on the first row, taking notes as their pastor delivers the message from God’s Word. I love that. I love that they recognize the value of putting on paper the meat they are being fed.
Do you have a pastor?
A Bible study leader or teacher?
What was their subject matter this week?
I’ve spent decades seeking to grow spiritually, I have a degree in biblical studies, I teach the Word to others . . . but I still need to take notes when I’m sitting under my pastor or another teacher of the Word. I’m looking at my notes from last Sunday right now, as I’m writing this post, and while I review them, it takes me back to the message and how God was using the Word to speak to my heart.
Yes, there are times when I’ve taken notes and it was only a few crumbs instead of a feast (not when I’m listening to my pastor), but it is still a good discipline to maintain. If you’re not receiving any meat from the message, take the Scripture passage home with you and look up cross references, use a good commentary to get additional insight, take it to prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to give you greater understanding of that passage.
I keep a little notebook in my purse for taking notes on Sundays, but then I transfer Scriptures and thoughts from that to my daily journal. You might find it helpful to carry a journal with you, or use your phone to take notes. Find what works best for you, but find a way to record the information, the take-aways that you’re being fed from your pastor and teachers, and then look over those notes during the week.
- Find Your Quiet Place
We live in a noisy world, the Internet voices and channels of information are running continually, the clatter of arguments and opinions are hard to block out, but I appeal to you to find a shelter of quiet where you can spend time in the Word and prayer daily.
As I pored over the pages in my little three-ring binder, it was good for me to see that I had dated the corners of each entry. If you want to grow spiritually, you must be taking in regular meals. You need the food and drink that the Word of God provides; it is a necessity. I’ve written several posts on this topic, as well as spoken about it several times, so I won’t say a lot here, but you might click on the links I’ve embedded and check those out.
In the days when my children were small, I had a chair in the corner of the living room, and they called it my “prayer chair.” That was the spot where they knew they’d find me when they got up in the mornings. You might need to make your car your “prayer chair” and go there during your lunch break at work. Or maybe you have the luxury of a large closet or study, where you can retreat, at a specific time each day. The important thing is to have a regular time and place designated where you’ve committed to meet with God in His Word and in prayer.
I would love to hear from you any stories of how you’ve grown because of meeting with God regularly!
How are you growing in Christ?