Would you like to feed your spirit–the deepest part of yourself–and feel refreshed, renewed, and closer to God than ever? If so, Bible journaling with color and art may help you like it has helped me. This is the first of my series about how to start Bible journaling; read on for my story!
Until recently, the concept of coloring and drawing in my Bible seemed foreign to me.
I didn't understand how or why anyone would want to do that. But then I was asked to teach a class on this kind of Bible journaling at my local church, and everything changed.
See, when I was asked to teach this Bible journaling class, I didn't know how to do this kind of Bible journaling at all! 🙂
I do know how to just-plain-journal; I have kept regular, paper journals for years, and never plan to stop. Journaling in a paper journal has made a HUGE (seriously monumental) difference in my walk with God.
I started using a regular journal right after I got saved. Nobody told me to do this except Holy Spirit. And it has been one of the BEST things I've ever done. I wouldn't give it up for anything.
But I didn't know how to put art or color in my Bible, or why you would call that “journaling.” After all, “journaling” requires the use of a journal, right?
I had no idea. 🙂
I didn't know how powerful it would be.
I didn't know how it would bless my soul.
Most of all, I didn't realize how Bible journaling with art and color could feed my spirit.
See, I've been going through a hard time recently. You all know that. And I've been soldiering on, but I've had to work extra-hard to get food for my spirit:
- Sooo much time in God's Word.
- Sooo much time in prayer.
- Sooo much time, unfortunately, coming to the Lord in my study each morning feeling dry, but then going out feeling so. much. better. 🙂
But it has been hard work, this feeding of my spirit. And many times, it has felt tedious and not. nearly. enough.
Enter Bible journaling.
So I got asked to teach this class, right? And one of the main things I do with my time is to serve at my church, so of course I said yes. But … that meant I had to learn how to do this kind of Bible journaling, and quickly!
It took me awhile to find the right journaling Bible for me; I'm very picky when it comes to Bibles. As I taught in How To Get More Revelation From the Bible Than Ever Before, all the following factors make a huge difference in how much you will get out of your Bible study:
- The beauty of the Bible on the outside and inside;
- The feel of the cover;
- The version;
- The font; etc.
There are just so many factors; you must engage your senses in order to pull your whole being into your Bible study. I knew this. (Funny that I never thought of it in regards to creative art journaling, though!)
But back to the story. It took me awhile to find just the right one for me, but find one I did. (Here's a link to the journaling Bible I bought on Amazon; affiliate link.) And when I got out some paint from my art supply box and some colored pencils for the first time, I was amazed. Here's why:
Bible journaling blesses, enlarges, and feeds your spirit.
I shouldn't be surprised that Bible journaling with art and color has such an impact. People have been doing this since at least medieval times. However, in recent centuries, the Church lost its art.
I fully believe that God Himself is birthing this Bible journaling movement in modern times because He is restoring something that the enemy stole from the Church.
God is restoring art to the Church.
And when we add art and color to our Bible study, we open our spirit up to receive spiritual rain from Heaven.
1. Holy Spirit speaks in the language of pictures and colors.
The majority of the Bible consists of God telling stories–stories with vivid pictures, like screenplays. And when He's not playing you a virtual movie from His ancient storyboard, He's speaking in dreams and visions–which are PICTURES!
The Bible is also full of color. God cares about color! Think of how He told Moses to build the tabernacle. He was very particular about every color. This thing was to be dyed blue and the other crimson. The furniture had to be gold, etc.
Think also of the descriptions of Heaven in the book of Revelation. What color is the rainbow around God's throne? Green! And somehow, this is important enough to God that He had to put it in His final Scriptural declaration to His people.
Can you imagine that? Here's God, telling John about the end of all things–and He tells Him to make sure to tell the world about His green rainbow!
I never thought of these things until recently, but now I see them as increasingly important.
So here's the deal: pictures and color are the language of the spirit. They are the language of Holy Spirit Himself, and they are the language that YOUR spirit understands.
And that means …
2. When you add color and pictures to your Bible (regardless of whether you can draw or not; stickers are fine), all of a sudden your spirit engages.
You are made up of three parts:
- your body;
- your soul (consisting of mind, will, and emotions);
- and your spirit.
Your spirit was made to be the dwelling place of Holy Spirit. Your spirit is what makes you you. When your spirit dies, you die–but your life does not depend on your mind, will, or emotions.
So when the deepest part of you feels dry, it's your SPIRIT that needs to be fed.
When you start to feed your spirit using its own language–the language of pictures and colors from Heaven–it's like turning the key in the ignition of your spirit. All of a sudden, your spirit roars to life.
And the deepest part of you–the part that has been starved and, in many cases, possibly even withered down to nearly nothing–comes alive.
You can feel this coming-to-life.
I've experienced this feeding of my spirit for myself in massive ways recently.
My spirit has been so parched. I've been trying to do all the extra things I mentioned above to get fed. The most helpful thing I've found recently has been to spend as much time as possible in worship and praise. That has definitely helped.
Related: How To Get Your Joy Back
But something has still been missing.
And when I began coloring in my Bible during my worship and praise, as part of my worship and praise, I found the missing ingredient.
It's been amazing.
A few days ago, I woke up at like 3 AM on a Saturday morning, bolt upright. I mean, I was WIDE awake, no going back to sleep possible.
I've learned that when I wake up at 3 AM or any other unreasonable time :), it's because God is calling. So after a few minutes, I got up.
However, instead of going into my study to actually study, I felt led to go into my creative room where I have my art supplies.
(Keep in mind, this is very unusual for me. I usually go to my study to spend time with God, and it usually involves me, actually studying.) 🙂
When I did, I put some praise music on YouTube and sat down with my journaling Bible. A Scripture came to mind that really spoke to some things I was dealing with. I opened to that page and began to draw an image that I saw in my spirit when I woke up.
And God met me.
In a big way.
As I drew in my Bible, I felt Holy Spirit begin to minister to me.
It was like He took the watering can of His refreshing rain and began to pour it into my spirit into deep places that I could not even access. I felt Him feeding my spirit, enlarging it and helping my spirit man (woman) to breathe deeply again.
I'm seriously beginning to weep as I'm even writing this story for you.
As I drew on the page of this Scripture, the revelation of the Biblical truth from that Scripture brooded in my spirit. And by the time I was done, I HAD IT.
I mean, I really got it. “It” was a Scripture that addressed the hard times I had been going through, and I really received its comfort and truth deep down in my heart and spirit as I simply drew it.
And when I finished the coloring, I was so overwhelmed by and caught up in God's glory that I laid on my face, worship music still going, and wept and shook with great wracking, healing sobs before the Lord.
Because He did it. He fed me. He healed and comforted my heart.
All because I submitted to His favorite and highest language–that of His Word with pictures and colors.
And the third (but not necessarily last) reason that Bible journaling feeds your spirit:
3. Bible journaling with art and color engages both your left and right brain.
The left side of your brain handles your logical, analytic thinking. The right side of your brain is the creative, artistic, imaginative side.
When you study your Bible and it's just words–even if Holy Spirit is ministering the words to you–your left brain is processing the thoughts. And that's great!
But when you allow Holy Spirit access to your imagination, imagining the scenes of the Bible playing out in your mind's eye …
When you proactively add color to your experience (e.g. by coloring the pages of your Bible) …
When you proactively add images to your study time by drawing or tracing pictures into your Bible …
THEN, all of a sudden, both your left brain and right brain stand up and pay attention to God's Word! His Word comes alive, because ALL of you suddenly is participating in the experience–not just half of your brain.
When your full brain kicks in, your brain stands ready to cooperate with your spirit.
Your brain is completely in operational mode and comes into agreement with what your spirit is doing, engaging and receiving from Holy Spirit Himself.
So when I'm alone with the Lord doing Bible journaling, Holy Spirit whispers to me:
“Jamie, you don't have to be afraid. I am with you, even in the storms.”
… and my spirit immediately receives it and says, “Yes, Lord” …
… and my spirit tells my brain, “Calm down and rest. Be at peace; Father is here, and He is taking care of me.”
… and my emotions still. My anxieties vanish away. Peace and rest fill my heart as I bow in the Presence and love of my Father.
We have a good, good Father.
Those are the three reasons why Bible journaling (using color and art) makes your spirit roar to life.
I hope you're ready to get started. Tomorrow, I'll talk about my favorite tools to use for Bible journaling. (Yes, I'll be posting a lot more than usual this week.) Stay tuned!
Have you ever done Bible journaling with color and art before? Or if not, would you like to try it? Please leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts!
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