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Thursday, May 11, 2017

God Helps The Helpless


Psalm 63:7 -  Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.

I have had people tell me, “Please pray for me. I can’t see a way out of the mess I am in. I know that this whole thing is my fault. Right now, I don’t even know whether God will hear my prayers.”

If u think about it, a whole lot of our troubles are of our own making. But it is when we deserve the punishment and not the blessing that we can receive grace — the undeserved favor and unmerited help of God!

When we stop trying 2b deserving of God’s help, we find God more than willing 2 be our Savior. But when we continue 2 try 2 work things out, we are trying 2b our own saviors. God will say, “Save yourself bcoz I can’t help u when u don’t need My help.”

You might be thinking, “But Pastor Prince, don’t u know, God helps those who help themselves?”

Contrary 2 popular belief, this saying that “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible! God does not help those who help themselves. He helps those who are helpless and dependent on Him. He helps those who look 2 Him as their only source of help for their problem.

If u say, “My problem is that I am weak.” God says, “That is not a problem. I am your strength.” If u say, “Lord, my face is the problem. I am ugly.” God says, “My face will shine on yours. I am your glory.” If u say, “Lord, I am the problem. I am a nobody.” God says, “I will make u a somebody.”

Unfortunately, many of us are still trying 2 help ourselves, thinking that for certain matters, we don’t really need God. But God says, “Without Me, u can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Do we really believe that? Or do we believe that without Him, we can still do some things 2 help ourselves?

Only when we realize that we can do nothing, and are nothing in and of ourselves, can we do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13) Then, we will see the undeserved, unmerited help and favor of God deliver us from every evil!

Are U Wearing A MASK

by Florence Littauer - Your Personality Tree
Introduction
=========     When I first started CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminars) in the fall of 1980, I intended 2 teach Christian speakers how 2 "Say it w/CLASS," but as I worked closely w/the men and women who attended, I became increasingly aware of their emotional needs. As I began a study of the 4 Personalities on a deeper level than I had ever done b4, I looked beyond the obvious behavior characteristics of each Temperament type and into the Hurts of the Hearts.
     I found Sanguines who depressed, Cholerics who were out of control, Melancholies who had given up on life and Phlegmatics who were overwhelmed by adverse circumstances.  I saw women who were repeating their mother's mistakes and men who refused 2b introspective or enlightened any more than their fathers had been.
     Marriages of Christian leaders were falling apart and no one seemed 2b doing much about it.  Currently, we find that anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of those attending CLASS are already divorced.  As I teach about the Personalities, the different desires and underlying emotional needs, lights go on and people begin 2 find themselves and understand why they are in their present dilemma.
     As Lana Bateman came on our CLASS staff, she began on indepth study of what she perceived 2b the  'masks' people wear 2 cover up their Birth Personality.  In both our CLASS counseling and her own Philippian Ministries, Lana took note of the different types of masks, when and why people wore them, and how they could be removed.  Eventually we both started teaching Lana's concept and recording the reactions and results.
     As I  researched the personalities of both my family and Fred's, I saw repeated patterns of behavior and area where some of us had unconsciously stifled our natural traits in the vain effort 2 please a parent or partner.  Some had played a part foreign 2 their own inborn personality and in the process had lost any sense of who they really were and any sight of who they might become.  Some had put on the mask of comedy or tragedy 2 get applause from the crowd and some had changed costumes so many times that they had forgotten their original identity.
     One day I traced our family's personality tree on the board at CLASS and showed how many of us strong Cholerics had put on Phlegmatic masks when repressed by other Cholerics.  Immediately people came up 2 confess that they had been wearing masks and had not realized what they were doing.

Natural Personality Traits
====================     Some people could not "find themselves" bcoz their true God-given nature had been trampled under, had died 4 lack of attention, or had been masked by rejection or guilt.  I began 2 C how childhood abuses of any kind from emotional neglect 2 physical mistreatment could warp a little one's feelings about himself and make him unable as an adult 2 know who in the world he really was.
     Some women I talk w/do not have any grasp of which traits are real and which are learned.  What I am now observing in the above-average men and women we train at CLASS is that a totally subconscious manipulation has changed them from what they were meant 2b 2 the insecure questioning people they are today.  These are adults who have dedicated their lives 2 the Lord and thought they had taken off the old clothes and put on the new.  Somehow new clothes [reborn spiritual personality] have not been enough, but as we help them examine their personalities by looking back 2 what they were meant 2b, the blinders fall away and they begin 2 C w/a new light.
     The Bible tells us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, yet some of us are not connected w/what we were originally intended 2b.  Bcoz of adverse circumstances, lack of love, sibling rivalry, or the desire 2 please demanding parents, we unconsciously changed our Birth Personality 2 fit our situation.  Fun-loving children were forced 2 get serious and keep quiet, while Introverts were told 2 put on a happy face 2b popular.  Born leaders were disciplined into an unnatural submission and those who would rather watch were pushed into leadership.
     Some who stayed true 2 their  Birth Personalities through childhood put on accommodating masks after marriage in order 2 please a  mate.  Let's look first at the natural traits of each Temperament and how uncomfortable we feel when we try 2b like someone else.


PERSONALITY [Sanguine]
=====================     When we think of someone who has "personality" we are usually referring 2 a Sanguine even though we may not know the term.  If we enroll in image improvement lessons, we want 2 learn how-2 lose our self-consciousness, be confident b4 groups, be the life-of-the-party, and ingest an instant sense of humor.  There is nothing wrong w/these goals, but we must realize that unless we are a Sanguine 2 start with, these traits may come across as unnatural.  A Melancholy may try 2 repeat a story he heard a Sanguine tell and wonder why no one seems 2 respond.  A Choleric may try 2 make a jest over a person's prat-falls and appear critical.  The Phlegmatic, even w/his natural dry wit, may twist his tongue and easily gecome sarcastic.
      Enjoy the Sanguine personality, but do not be envious, 4 w/their charm comes a lack of discipline and they seldom reach their full potential even after receiving the ribbon "Most Likely 2 Succeed!"
     I once took a charm course from a teacher who was naturally charming.  She sat w/her hands delicately posed and her legs crossed neatly at the ankles.  While this looked fine 4 her, it did not do the same 4 the rest of us. As I glanced around the room it was laughable 2 C all of us sitting in identical positions trying 2b clones of our teacher.  We should look, sit, and walk our best, but it should be "our" best not a replica of someone else.  Just be yourself; 4 a phony personality is never attractive.

POWER [Choleric]
==============     In an age where we are all stimulated 2 become supermen and superwomen, we are often jealous of those who seem 2 have it all together.  Y can't we be in charge?  Y don't we seem 2 have the power of persuasion?
     As a member of the National Speakers Association  I have the opportunity 2 spend time w/some of the top motivational speakers, and I have learned that most seminars are conceived by Cholerics, written by Cholerics, taught by  Cholerics, and only the  Cholerics can catch the vision.  The Cholerics in the audience can relate 2 the speaker, charge forth, follow the grail, and meet the challenge.  The Sanguine girl who attends means well and wants 2 get her act together, but she cannot even lift the syllabus.  If she does not lose it on the way home, she will put it away 2 look at another day when she cannot remember where she had put it, she will take this as a sign from the Lord that she is good enough as she is and does not need the book anyway.  The Melancholy at a seminar comes prepared w/his own notebook, asorted pens and 3x5 cards.  He can follow  the details and sense the direction of the speaker's "7 Steps 2 Success," but he becomes overwhelmed w/the vitality of the visionary waving his arms wildly as he yells "terrific" and "tremendous."  No one is really that terrific or tremendous, he muses.  Once the Melancholy senses the speaker is insincere and shallow, he loses interest in the program.
     The Phlegmatic did not want 2 go 2 the seminar in the first place [lol], and he has no intention of changing his way of life. He measures all activity by how much energy it will take 2 succeed, and this all looks too much like work.  People who are flambouyant and frequently about 'fabulous' strikefear in the heart of the Phlegmatic.  He cannot believe they are 4 real and he plans 2 leave at the next coffee break.
     Enjoy the dynamic delivery and powerful confidence that is natural in the Choleric and learn what u can from his presentation, but do not get depressed if u do not desire 2 go out jogging at 5:30 each morning or meet Zig Ziglar at the top.  Cholerics are sensational at seminars, but they are not always a big hit at Home.
     While speaking 2 a group of motivational speakers I inserted a line that I had no intention of saying. "U may be terrific and tremendous and fabulous and fantastic on stage, but u may have a sad wife at Home who, if she hears one of those words again, is going 2 throw up."
     I bit my tongue as I heard those words slip out, but when I finished, a nationally known motivator came up w/an uncharacteristically humble expression. "Just this week my wife said, "U may be a hot shot on the stage but u are a Zero at Home, and if u say "fantastic" one more time, I'm going 2 throw up.' "
     The Choleric has power in his presentation but he needs 2 get off his pedestal and look into the hearts of the people.  Be yourself; and do not envy those leaders who seem 2 have it all together.


PERFECTION [Melancholy]

======================     "Can't u ever do anything right?"  How many of us heard that as we were growing up?  For the Melancholy there is no other way.  As a man said 2 me, "Why would anyone want 2 do less than his best?"  And he is right.  Certainly we would not aim 2 fail or want 2 do a shoddy job, but only the Melancholy has the innate drive 4 perfection.  The Melancholy male must have his shoes polished, his mirror spotless, and his toothpaste tube w/o wrinkle.  He cannot possibly understand how his Sanguine wife could lose her shoes, keep open jars of make-up all over the counter and twist the tacky toothpaste tube beyond recognition. [lol]  He is constantly picking up behind her, shutting doors she has left open and putting the cap on the catsup.
     Fred, my husband, is so neat that he has been known 2 fold up his clothes b4 putting them in the hamper.  One day I took his pile of laundry 2 the foyer and placed it on the table while I went into the kitchen 2 collect the dish towels.  Within a minute I came out and the laundry was gone.  I assumed he had taken it 2 the washer, but there was no pile there.  When I found him and asked what he had done w/the laundry, he replied, "I thought it was clean and I have put it away." lollllllll
     The Melancholy mind is constantly tying up the loose ends of life and they wonder, since they are right, Y the rest of us do not C it their way.  The Choleric is more interested in getting things DONE quickly than perfectly.  The Sanguine does not realize they have not done it right and the Phlegmatic just do not care that much.  The world needs the Melancholy 2 keep the rest of us on track, but sometimes the standards are set so high that no one can achieve tham and then we all get depressed.  Be yourself; life is never going 2b perfect.


PEACE [Phlegmatic]
================     While the Sanguine is running around spreading Joy unto the maximum, and the Choleric is trying 2 get things under control, and the Melancholy is dusting off the details, the Phlegmatic is trying 2 keep peace among us all.  Lana says her husband calls her a natural tranquilizer.  When his Choleric energy bursts in the door at night, he takes one look at her calm, cool, and collected expression and begins 2 come down 2 earth.  The heart of the Phlegmatic is peaceful and he will do anything, including compromising his principles, if he can avoid a potential problem.
     From the time the Phlegmatics were children, they had a calming influence on others, and while they may enjoy some sports, especially those on TV, they do not have the competitive spirit of the Choleric.
     Other temperaments admire the Phlegmatics ability 2 keep their heads when all around are losing theirs.
     Be yourself; and do not obliterate your personality 2 keep peace.
     As u begin 2 understand the truth of your personality, the Lord will show u who u were born 2b and remove any mask u might be wearing.  He wants u 2b yourself 4 He has created u 4 such a time as this.


CLUES 2 MASKING
================     One of the first 'clues' that u might not be functioning in total honesty w/what u were born 2b is when your personality Profile comes out w/relatively even splits between Sanguine [outgoing optimistic] and Melancholy [Introvered-pessimistic] or when u are half Choleric {aggressive-active} w/1/2 Phlegmatic {passive-peaceful}. Since these are diametrically opposed sets of traits, these combinations indicate there may be a Masking. God did not create us w/antagonistic personalties in one body.  "A Double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" [James 1:8 KJV].
     As Lana began a study of all those she counseled who had these splits, she found that the individuals w/opposite scores were somehow masking their true identity. They were not phonies in that they had determined 2b something artificial, but they had unconsciously adjusted 2 some set of circumstances where a change was necessary 4 acceptance or survival.  Based on Lana's discovery, our staff began 2 counsel w/a new set of 'tools' and we immediately saw results.  Take, 4 example, the following letter rec'd from a woman who spent a day in counseling and prayer w/our Principal.

     So much has happened 2 me since I last saw u.  I kept my appointment, that was 7 weeks ago, and I think I have started another life at a different level.  I talked fast enough in those 8 hours to find 41 areas 2 pray about.  I finally found out I am a Sanguine/Choleric.  What a shock 2 me as I had always seemed 2b so Melancholy. Principal laughed when I asked her what she saw.  It seems my whole foundation is Choleric.  God has been showing me glimpses of my childhood as this Choleric kid, I never knew I was.  I'm so excited, I'm having FUN getting 2 know the real me.  She said I never really had a childhood and I was dealt double whammies ever since I was born.  Now Jesus is between me and all those negative memories.  Praise God!  I'm not out looking 4 someone 2 like me like the lost little child I was b4, as I know I'm loved!
      
     Bcoz of the difficult and repressive circumstances of this woman's childhood, she had grown up thinking she was Melancholy and yet not comfortable about it.  When she saw herself as she was meant 2b, a Sanguine/Choleric, she was free 2b herself and get out from under the pressure of the past.
     The person who functions as a Sanguine/Melancholy split has happy highs alternating w/deep periods of depression.  The Choleric/Phlegmatic, on the other hand, swings in and out of controlling and submissive responses.  Although many stdies of the 3 Basic Temperaments, no matter what labels are used, show the Sanguine/Melancholy and Choleric/Phlegmatic combinations 2b normal blends of people who have fluctuating extremes in their natures, we have found these conflicting traits 2 represent an adaptation 2 adverse circumstances of the past.
     We feel that a God who created man 2 live in peace of mind would not have built opposite traits into one person causing him lifelong inner turmoil.  As we sought answers 2 this apparent contradiction, we asked individuals w/conflicting traits 2 review their childhood and their parents' personalities.   And we soon found that one of the opposite Temperaments is a MASK, an unnatural veiling of the original personality.
     A Greek  sage once said, "I take the world 2b but as a stage whence net-masked men do play their personage."
    I have found that many honest Christian people are playing roles they never auditioned 4, on stagees they did not design, while glued 2 MASKS they did not know  how-2 remove.
     How many bewildered individuals we C who say, "I just do not know who I am."  We are never truly content when our inner feelings and our outer personality do not match up.
     When do these MASKS first appear? Usually we find that a child who lives in a stressful environment where his natural personality is not acceptable 4 one of many reasons will try 2 adapt 2 what is 'expected of him. He may have pain he cannot 'express', trauma that shocks him out of his true nature, molestation that floods him w/guilt, an oppressive parent that grinds down his personality, a well-meaning but dictatorial parent who plans out his life, a favored sibling he is encouraged 2 emulate, unrealistic goals not suited 2 his abilities, or crisis situations where he has 2 adapt 2 survive.
     At the time he is faced w/odds he cannot hope 2 beat, he may put on an appropriate MASK and play a role 4 which God was not the casting director.
     Nathaniel Hawthorne said in The Scarlet Letter, "No man, 4 any considerable period can wear one face 2 himself and another 2 the multitude w/o finally getting bewildered as 2 which may be the true."
     Maxine Bynum grew up wearing a MASK of Phlegmatic submission and wondered Y she never felt right about herself.  After coming 2 both Personality Plus and Lives on the Mend conferences and spending some counseling wrote:
    
      I was very interested in your "family tree" concept w/the temperaments. I have been looking back and thinking about how my grand-mother influences my temperament and actions as I was growing up, and even after my marriage when I was 19.  My mother died 3 days after I was born and my father could not deal w/her death or w/me, so he gave me 2 my mother's mother when I was 3 weeks old, rejecting me, and was never a part of my life when I was growing up.
     My grandmother was a strong Choleric and I became Phlegmatic 2 make sure I did just what she wanted, so as 2 win her approval and love.  I could not stand another rejection.  My grandfather died when I was 6 years old, so I really do not remember much about him, but he was probably Phlegmatic.  The only time I could really be in control were the 2 summers while a college student at S.M.U., when I was a camp counselor and away from home for 3 months each summer.  It was then that the Choleric part of my temperament surfaced and I could be in charge of a girls' cabin and tell them what 2 do.  And I did!  Except 4 these 2 summers, I have worn a Phlegmatic MASK.


     I'm so grateful that God has used me 2 help Maxine remove a Phlegmatic MASK that was hiding a repressed Choleric nature. Now she is free 2b herself w/o feeling she must apologize 4 her actions. 
     Another lady who has been wearing the Phlegmatic MASK of peace, wrote, "I feel like a chameleon, taking on the color of each situation, trying 2b all things 2 all people, never saying how I really feel about anything.  Now I am so mixed up I have no idea who I really am."
     A man stated, "I had 2 play one part 2 please my mother and a different one 2 humor my father.  I do not know which one--if either--is the real me."


     Words cannot properly express the Peace that comes from discovering one's true identity.



The Sanguine / Melancholy SPLIT
==========================     So many of us don a false front when we meet up w/circumstances we cannot control or relationships we cannot handle.  We wear MASKS that so gradually become a part of us that we  no longer know where the MASK ends and we begin.  If your Personality Profile shows an unusual split, if u feel uncomfortable about your identity or if u sense your offspring are confused, begin  question these conflicting patterns.
     "Y is my teen-age son Melancholy at Home and a Sanguine outside?" a mother asked. "His friends say he is the llife-of-the-party, but he has nothing very bright 2 say 2 me."  As we spoke I learned that the father was Melancholy/Choleric and the mother Melancholy/Phlegmatic.  Neither one put much value on humor and w/o realizing what they were doing, they had let the boy know his light-hearted Sanguine nature was trivial and w/o any serious purpose.
     When we review the Sanguine desire 2 have FUN w/his underlying 'NEED' 2 feel approval and 'WANT' attention, we can C that this boy received neither.  Brought up in a wealthy Home w/achieving parents and goal-oriented siblings, he just did not fit the mold.  When he found his funny stories received no applause at Home, he gave up trying.  Y not save your good lines 4 those who are appreciative of wit?  Do not waste your best stuff on an empty house.
     This boy is not a Melancholy/Sanguine split but a Sanguine who feels depressed at Home.  He wears a Melancholy mask caused by parents who did not accept him as he was.  He becomes his true self when in the presence of his friends who find him funny.
      To remedy this situation both the mother and the father would have 2 understand what they had done 2 show this boy he was not acceptable and begin a conscious course of affirmation and approval.



The Choleric / Phlegmatic Split
=======================     A pastor's wife told me of her daughter-in-law who seemed 2b a Choleric/Phlegmatic split.  B4 marriage she had seemed good-natured and willing 2 go along w/any family plans.  After marriage she took over strongly and now does not want her in-laws 2 even visit or C their grandson.  In tracing the girl's family background, we found a Choleric mother w/a Phlegmatic father. The mother had disliked her in-laws and wouldn't allow them 2b part of the family.  The daughter had played Phlegmatic at home, but upon marriage she took over her Phlegmatic husband and reenacted her mother's domineering personality.  She was subconsciously perpetuating her mother's sin and was excluding her in-laws w/o a valid reason.
     Since it was the outcast mother-in-law who came 2 me, a solution was not easy.  She had already sat down w/her daughter-in-law and asked if she had in any way offended her.  The answer had been, "No, but this is just the way it's going 2b."  The daughter-in-law herself did not even understand Y she was laying down these rules or C that she was patterning her marriage after the poor one her mother had produced.
     Her Phlegmatic husband doesn't dare 2 cross her, and so he secretly brings the little boy 2 visit his mother while lying 2 his wife about the trip.
    Here is a repressed Choleric who wore a Phlegmatic MASK at home 2 keep peace w/her mother, married a Phlegmatic, took over w/a vengeance and is now taking out her hostilities on her in-laws.  This girl has 2b unhappy and confused, but she does not C what she is doing and is not looking 4 any answers.
     She is not only destroying the in-law relationship which she does not seem 2 care about, but she is emotionally destroying her husband and turning him into an unwilling liar.  Ultimately, her child will suffer as the lives under the overbearing dominance of his mother and the frightened submission of his father.

The Sanguine MASK
================     This fellow's wise enough 2 play the fool, And 2 do that well craves a kind of wit.


     The person who puts on the Sanguine MASK of Personality is usually one who learned early in life that his parents valued a happy face beyond any other attribute and that being "on stage" brought approval and applause.  A child does not need 2 know his own name b4 he can sense what brings affirmation from his parents.   When parents, one or both, need an adorable child 2 bolster their own self-worth, they communicate this 2 the little one.  I often C Sanguine MASKS worn by Melancholy musicians who are part of a performing family of gospel singers.  Usually one of the parents is Sanguine [Jun] and is the crowd pleaser while the other Melancholy  [May] partner arranges the music and is the pianist.  As the children come along they must all duplicate the Osmonds and sparkle out the front.  The Sanguine fall into this easily and are the favorites of the "stage-mother," but the others have 2 put on Sanguine MASKS or be considered rebels or at least poor sports.  I counseled one Choleric girl who had refused 2 sing along and had been left home w/grandparents.  By refusing 2 wear the Sanguine happy face and bang a tambourine, she had been, in effect, dismissed from the troupe who went bubbling on w/o her.  By the time I talked w/her she was so angry at what she perceived as rejection that she had developed stomach ulcers in her teens.  One of the Melancholy sisters who had been forced Sanguine 4 years had gone on drugs, but the parents refused 2 C her problem and kept marching onward.
     What a shame it is 2 C Christian entertainers who are more interested in what's up front than what's inside.
     Not all Sanguine MASKS are on performers.  Many are put on unconsciously 2 keep someone happy.  One girl w/a many-times married mother told me that she learned 2b cut 2 keep her mother's varied spouses from "getting mad" at her.  She was Choleric underneath but learned how 2b coy and adorable.  By the time she was a teen, this appeal she had developed led her into being molested by one of the 'fathers' and telling me, "I'll never be charming again.  Who needs it?"
      The difference between a BORN Sanguine and one masquerading is how natural personality is.  Anyone can learn 2 say cute lines and memorize jokes, but any astute person can tell when it's strained.  The REAL Sanguine has a sense of humor that bubbles out easily, and he can take any ordinary event of life and turn it into a hilarious story.  The one wearing a Sanguine MASK, on the other hand, does not have the innate sense of timing and can fail 2b funny when repeating a story exactly as he heard it.
     When Fred first came 2 visit me in our store, he saw what a  comedy routine my brothers and I kept alive and tried 2 fit in and be like us.  I will never 4get that long joke he told that seemed 2 go on 4ever.  As my brothers were looking at me sideways, Fred stopped and said, "I have 4gotten the punch line."  And indeed he had if there had ever been one. Now as we have learned 2 accept each other as we are, he is happy 4 me 2b funny and 4 him 2 provide the depth and stability so natural 4 the Melancholy.
     In taking the Personality Profile, the person w/the Sanguine MASK checks off the 'strengths' that he has worked so hard 2 possess, not realizing they are acquired.  If u suspect u have been forcing your FUN, ask yourself how u really feel about these traits versus how u think u ought 2 feel.  Many a MASK has been thrown away by mere asking of this question.


Lana Bateman puts it like this:

     The Sanguine MASK is a 'clown's mask demanding that its possessor be cute, funny, and constantly striving 4 center stage.  It does not matter that he may not be innately humorous or sociable.  This MASK may take a normally quiet, sensitive person and thrust him into a very uncomfortable role of constant chatter and force him 2 try 2 become the life-of-the-party when in truth, he may have been terrified 2 even appear at the door.
     I first saw the Sanguine MASK in a young woman who was 32 years old.  Leann had grown up in a home w/a sister who was almost entirely Sanguine.  It was obvious that Leann's older sister Suzanne was her father's delight.  Leann, however, was a more sensitive and quiet child.  She felt deeply and there4 seemed 2 have more struggles as a little girl.  Every time Leann had a problem or hurt, she would run 2 her dad, as most girls long 2 do.  Her father would listen 2 her and answer, "Oh, Leann, Y can't u be like your sister?  Y do u let things bother u?  Just watch Suzanne. She knows how 2 handle these situations.  U need 2 learn 2 laugh and be4 FUN like her.  That will take care of all of these problems, and u will find u have more friends than u know what 2 do with!
     Leann lived on a steady diet of this response from her well-meaning father.  This little one was soon engulfed by a Sanguine MASK.  She tried 2b cute and funny.  She memorized things her sister said,  jokes she heard and any attention-getters she noticed.  In spite of the fact that she tried as hard as she could 2b another Suzanne 4 her father, she never found his words 2b true.  The friends he had promised never came and while she was laughing and joking on the outside, she never stopped crying on the inside.  As a Melancholy child she was never  encoraged toward the strong points of her TRUE Temperament.  She was covered by her Sanguine MASK and by her late 20's she began 2 cry out, "Who am I?"
     After she was lead through some emotional healing, she found out who the real Leann was.  It was not until then that she could accept herself and begin 2 function as the person God made her 2b.

     The Sanguine MASK is indeed a tragedy 4 it produces not Joy and Laughter but Pretense and Loneliness.  The people responding 2 such a mask are repelled.  They hear the funny clever words, but somehow sense the inconsistency between what is said and the person saying it.  It is not surprising that the wearer of this mask experiences a great deal of rejection.  Perhaps we need 2 look a little more closely at our Sanguine friends 4 some are not truly Sanguines at all.  Not all talkers are Sanguine; some are masquerading under torrent of nervous chatter.  Understanding this MASK will better equip us 2 minister 2 that hurting heart and will keep us from pulling away when our friend genuinely needs love and wise counsel.


     The MASK of the clown never quite seems true even though a casual observer will not understand Y he senses this person 2b phony.  It takes an effort 2 play a role God never intended us 2 fill.
     Jane came 2 CLASS elegantly dressed and meticulously groomed.  When any funny line was given she would respond loudly and clap her hands.  As I observed her I sensed her enthusiasm was 'forced' and there was probably some masking of her real personality.  During a break time I asked 2 C her Personality Profile which was scored 1/2 Melancholy and 1/2 Sanguine.  I said nothing about the totals but asked her about her childhood relationships.  She explained that her mother was Melancholy and frequently depressed.  The continual gloom weighed heavily upon Jane and when her mother might get upset again that she made a pledge, "I will never do anything that will make my mother cry."
     Her Sanguine father would often send her 2 her mother's room 2 'cheer' her up. "See if u can say anything that will make your mother smile.  If u succeed, I will give u a dollar."  Jane, in trying 2 please her father and cheer up her mother, developed funny things 2 do and say.  She tried 2 do only what would make her mother happy, and she never dared express how she really felt.
     As Jane told this story, I could C that she was innately Melancholy like her mother and felt deeply 4 her mother's moods even though as a child she was frightened by the crying.  Bcoz  of her circumstances, Jane put on a Sanguine MASK and tried her best 2 make her mother smile, encouraged  by dollar bills from her father.
     As an adult her personality shifted in different situations.  She was ill at ease w/people and frequently depressed when alone.  Whenever anyone was sick or discouraged she would don the MASK of the Clown and endeavor 2 cheer them up.  She was married 2 a Sanguine like her father who fled when she was depressed and told her 'cut it out" when she tried 2b funny and failed.   Her daughter was the one bright light of her erratic life, and she suddenly saw she was producing a confused replica of herself in her child, calling her in when she needed a lift out of her own depression as her mother had done 2 her.
     Bcoz Jane was intelligent and wanted God's Will 4 her life, she was able 2 work on her personality w/o further counsel.  She began 2 emphasize her Melancholy strengths and stopped her unnatural bursts of phony entertainment.  Even more important was the freedom she gave her daughter 2b herself and stop having 2b her mother's dose of "happiness pills" as she had been 4 her mother.
     What a blessing it is when we are able 2 C ourselves as we were meant 2b and are willing 2 break the cycle of artificial habits.  As w/any problem in life, we have 2 C what we are doing that is unnatural b4 we can make constructive changes.
     William Thackeray tells of the depressed patient whose theatrical profession made him wear  the MASK -of-the-clown covering his true feelings.

     Harlequin w/o his mask is known 2 present a very sober countenance, and was himself, the story goes, the Melancholy patient whom the doctor advised 2 go and C Harlequin.


The Melancholy MASK
==================     The world's a stage, where every man must play a part; and mine a sad one."

The Melancholy MASK is one of 'attempted perfection and frequent pain'.  When I was first married and Fred announced he was going 2 put me on a training program, I was stunned.  The Sanguine part of me saw this would be no FUN and the Choleric part did not want 2b made over; however, 4 self-preservation I put on a Melancholy MASK of attempted perfection and tried 2 act out the role Fred wanted me 2 pursue.  I played a part and it was a sad one.
     I knew nothing of the 4 Temperaments in those days, and I accepted this unnatural role as the price of being a wife, part of growing up.  What a relief it was when I found my 1st description of a Sanguine and realized my Basic Personality was acceptable.  I did not have 2b serious and sober 2b an adult.
     Now as I look back on it, I functioned 4 those 1st 15 years of marriage as a split personality.  At Home I alternated the Melancholy MASK w/the Phlegmatic pseudosubmisssion of "Yes, Fred dear," while in public I was myself: directing plays, teaching speech, and being president of women's groups.  As soon as I would walk in the door, the MASK would go back on and I would hide my frivolity until I ventured out again.  I was afraid if I looked 2 happy, Fred might think I was 'up 2 something."  I love this little verse that sums me up in my early years of marriage.

... I will make my Joy a secret thing,
My face shall wear a mask of care;
And those who hurt a joy 2 death,
Shall never know what sport is there!

     Those who put the Melancholy MASK on as children were often ones w/parents who demanded 'perfection' either bcoz they were Melancholy and knew no other way or bcoz their status could not accommodate a frisky child.  I find this latter masking frequently among pastor's children whose fathers feel their whole ministry depends upon the proper behavior of their children.
     One Choleric man told me how his pastor father had insisted he be a model child, but set the Choleric mother on the task of enforcing the rules.  He said, "I always felt like a whipped dog w/my tail between my legs.  My spirit was broken early, but my repressed anger was boiling beneath  the surface.  I played  the 'perfect' role, and my mother praised me in public but disciplined me harshly at Home.  I grew up feeling I had no personality, but now I C it was bcoz I was playing a role foreign 2 my nature.  I did things 2 scuttle my mother's plans, and as an adult, I would have 2 work at even liking her.  When she died suddenly, I was left w/a terrible guilt bcoz I never made peace w/her."
     This dear man is now in therapy trying 2 resolve the pains of his past and the guilt of his present, neither of which was necessary had his parents had any realization of what changing his nature was going 2 do 2 his life.
     The Personality Profile of one pastor who came turned out Melancholy/Phlegmatic.  But the twinkle in his eye and the bounce in his step told me he was a Sanguine.  As I sat down  2 talk w/him, he asked me about his score and I began 2 question his childhood behavior.  His father was the pastor and his mother the organist.  They made him sit in the front row and not wiggle and they both kept a watchful eye during what he remembers as endless church services.  The one statement he heard over and over again was, "Don't u dare cause any trouble."  Once his father had pinned him up against a flimsy wall in the church men's room and said, "Here is what I will do 2 u if u ever cause any trouble."  He then smashed his fist inot the wall going right through 2 the ladies' room.  "I knew right then I had better not cause trouble."
     As he told me this story his eyes got big, his voice gained volume, and he literally bounced up and down in the church pew where we were sitting.  Here was a Sanguine man who had been scared out of his wits as a child by a Choleric father who had 2 appear in perfect control 2 his parishioners.  He had played Melancholy, tried 2b perfect, and wondered why he had never felt comfortable w/himself.  When I asked him 2 think of Sanguine-type actions of his childhood, he answered, "I used 2 go out in the fields and preach 2 the trees.  Would that be Sanguine?"
     As we reviewed his life together and saw repeated Sanguine incidents, he began 2 cry, "Why did it take me this long 2 find out who I really am?"  B4 he left CLASS 2 days later he thanked me and said, "This freedom I feel is worth a 1000 dollars."  Later he said how his sermons had changed since he found out it was "ok 2b funny" and how his people had noticed a big improvement in his preaching.
     We will never reach the potential that is within us until we pull off the MASK and become the real person God intended us 2b.
     A Sanguine tour guide from England told me a familiar story.  She had married a Melancholy professor who had made her over until she was wearing a Melancholy MASK every minute that she was not describing the architecture of St Paul's Cathedral  2 an appreciative audience.  One day he came Home and out of the blue stated that she was not the FUN she used 2b.  Ultimately he divorced her and even had the nerve 2 tell her that the new woman had a great sense of humor "like u used 2 have when I married u."
     How often I have heard the pitiful story of a person who puts on an obliging MASK 4 his or her mate only 2b cast aside 4 a 'copy' of the original model.
     Divorce frequently changes a person's apparent temperament.  If a woman has been held under in marriage, having 2 wear a false front 4 survival, divorce often frees her 2 become herself.  If she has been her normal self in marriage and has been cast aside 4 another woman, she often puts on a Sanguine MASK 2 hide the pain and tries 2 become a new person who hopefully will be more successful than the last one.
     Besides the Melancholy MASK OF PERFECTION, there is the very common Melancholy MASK of pain. When the Personality Profile comes out w/Sanguine strengths and Melancholy weaknesses this is a clue that the person is either a Melancholy wearing a Sanguine MASK or a Sanguine that has somewhere along the line put on a mask of pain and become depressed.  Phlegmatics and Cholerics may also wear this Mask of pain if they have met w/severely traumatic situations or have lived in homes where very little love was ever expressed.  When a child does not experience love by being held or touched during the formative years of Birth - 8, there can be an inner unexplained feeling of rejection even though both parents may be in the Home, and this can damage the natural personality 4 life.
     When a child is abused or molested, the victim usually puts on the mask of pain unless he is Choleric enough 2 push away the pain, deny reality, and forge ahead 2 become an achiever.  The victim usually loses his own feelings and drowns in depression and guilt.  As adults, victims assume they have put these problems behind them and cannot understand Y the black cloud is always w/them.
     They are often negative, resentful, and complaining.  No matter what people do 4 them, it is somehow not enough.  They frequently have unexplainable physical symptoms such as Headaches, Body pain, Asthma, and Allergies. Sometimes in extreme sexual abuse cases they have blocked out the original attack  and cannot understand Y they always feel guilty 4 something.
     Whether the cause was trauma or lack of love, the person wearing the MASK of Pain needs help in releasing these past problems.  For some, sitting down w/a patient and compassionate friend who will listen may be enough 2 peel away the MASK.  Some may need a pastor or counselor who will work w/them over many months.  We have seen miraculous results when Lana, or any of her Philippian Ministries counselors, spends a day in searching the memories, praying intensively over the past pains, and healing the hurts through God's almighty power.  Lana tells her own story:

     My life is an excellent example of the Melancholy MASK.  I grew up in a Home where well-meaning parents did not know how 2 express physical affection and were not able 2 effectively communicate w/children.  While there was no abuse of any kind, I was left w/a deep longing 4 love, and that need, eventually distorted, drove me 2 emotional bankruptcy.  It turned me into a totally negative child and adult.  Those who knew me would have declared me 100 percent Melancholy, at least where all of the weaknesses were concerned.  That is a key 4 discerning the Melancholy MASK which expresses itself thru the Melancholy weaknesses rather than strengths.
     The longing 4 love which produces the Melancholy facade cannot be overstated 4 it crushes many of our children and leaves them "licking their wounds" rather than leading productive lives.  One who unknowingly wears the Melancholy MASK will often show an expression of deep pain, hurt, or deadness in the eyes.
     When I was speaking in California, I met a young man who responded 2 my description of a Melancholy MASK.  He came 2 me after I had spoken that evening and described the feeling he had experienced while I was speaking.  He said, "I have had everything a man could ever want in life.  I graduated from a large University as an All-American football player.  I was the athlete of the decade in that University.  I married a Miss Universe.  I own my own bank and trust company and am a prosperous man, but I have never been happy."
     "When u were sharing your childhood and the Melancholy Mask u wore, I found myself  5 years old again.  My dad had lost his temper w/me and told me 2 go out into the woods.  He said, "Don't u ever come back!"  "I was terrified out there alone.   I cried and cried.  The sun went down and it got very dark, ans till no one came.  I cannot tell u the terror I felt as such a little boy.  I knew I would never see Home again.  "At last, late into the night, someone came 2 rescue me.  I guess I will never forget that night.  when u started talking about your childhood, I found myself wandering in those woods again, lost and afraid.  I think I have been there all of my life and I wonder if I will ever come out."
     This was a gentleman who wore the Melancholy MASK.  His life was permeated by the pain of his childhood and the pain was produced by far more than one frightening incident in the woods.  Until this man could work thru that deep hurt and fear, releasing the accompanying emotion--the world would see him as a Melancholy rather than the Choleric/Sanguine he truly was.  And not until then would he be able 2 leave the prison of his mind and rest in the productive and humorous person God created him 2b.  What a glorious transformation comes when one can cease striving and find freedom in God's original design 4 Life.

The Choleric MASK
===============     "Boldness is a mask 4 fear however great."


     In our modern American society power denotes success.  We C magazine articles giving us the secrets 2 happiness and health, prosperity and wealth.  Everybody want 2b somebody and the somebodies all seem 2b Choleric.  These powerful people are earning their livings by showing people w/no power how 2 get it.  The diploma from success courses could well be a Choleric Mask of power. Unfortunately 4 many who get caught up in the "Ten easy Steps from Wimp 2 Wonderful,"  a MASK is all they have.  They do not suddenly acquire a longing 4 the 18-hour work day, and the simple stairway 2 the stars seems 2 have no end.
    I often talk 2 Phlegmatic men who have had Choleric masks of power put on them by eager mothers or aggressive wives whose own self-worth will rise proportionately w/their husband's income.  The man feels he is on a treadmill 2 nowhere and when he adds up the Personality Profile he is 1/2 Choleric and 1/2 Phlegmatic and frequently depressed.  A Phlegmatic w/a Choleric MASK and a lack of understanding of the temperaments is a very discouraged person. 


 
    

Moving Into Your Promised Land

Each of us has a promised land 4 our lives. God's promises are key 2 us entering into the vision that God has given us. If you are in a desert God is ready to take you out! Time to move on from eating manna to eating the food that God freely gives in the promised land of your destiny!

A People of Faith
God is looking 4 a people of faith. Jesus asked the question, "Will the Son of Man find faith on the earth when He returns in His glory?" We want 2b found with a faith in God that is active and living. Passivity has no value in the Kingdom of God. God calls us to be actively engaging our faith by taking steps out into the unknown. Abraham was such a man that he went out not knowing where he was going.

One of the reasons people never step out in faith is because of the uncertainty of whether they are hearing God or not. Because of the multitude of voices people are distracted from the One voice that matters. Many times it is the compromise of being a people-pleaser that cause people to lose the clarity of God's voice in their lives. We must be a people of the Holy Spirit, a people that are yielded to His life and reality.

When we are listening to just the voice of man for our direction in life, the voice of God gets lost in the mix. Everyone has an opinion, but only God has our directions. He has specific directions for each and every person on the planet and a custom blueprint for our lives. No two blueprints are the same. Therefore we need to be wise in where we give our attentions. It is crucial we are a focused people of faith. If we lose our focus we lose our faith.

Psalm 25:15, My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

The enemy has a net for every person. His goal is to keep us from God's best in our lives. Distractions are one of the key tools the enemy uses to get us off the path, to get us off track. Just as Peter was called out to walk on the water to Jesus, so are we. Peter began to walk on the water, but then took his eyes off the Lord. He lost his focus. Because of this he began to sink. The key to Peter walking on the water was him keeping his eyes on the Lord. God keeps us when our eyes are upon Him. When we set our love upon Him He will deliver us from all evil. When our eyes are upon Him that means our ears are also attentive to Him so that we can hear His voice clearly.

In Step with the Spirit
Anxiousness is when we get ahead of God. When worry takes over then people lose their peace, focus and rest. Samuel was God's appointed man to offer sacrifices to the Lord. Saul was supposed to wait on Samuel to come offer the sacrifice on behalf of Israel, but Saul was anxious to make things happen in his own power. Saul offered the sacrifices to the Lord, which the Lord hadn't told him to do. This displeased Samuel and the Lord. Because of this trespass it was the beginning of Saul's end in Israel as king. His authority would now be stripped from him because of his anxiousness. Anxiousness leads to doing presumptuous things.

1 Samuel 15:22, So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams."

Anxiousness causes people to step out of sync with the Holy Spirit. God is not looking for the multitude of sacrifices but is looking for us to do the ONE THING that He has told us to do. The peace of God causes us to rest in the simplicity of our relationship with God bearing the fruit of righteousness and patience. His peace keeps us in step with the His Spirit.
Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.


A Different Spirit
Numbers 14:24, But My servant Caleb, because he has a 'different spirit' in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.


Those whose hearts are fully pursuing God have a different spirit. These are the ones who will enter into the reality of the promised land of God. We are a people of God's promises. We partake of the divine nature through His great and precious promises. Full whole-hearted uncompromising pursuit of God guarantees us entrance into the fullness of experiencing His promised land for our lives. What is the promise that God has given to you? What is the vision that God has shown you?

We don't receive the promises of God just because we are Christians. There is a whole-hearted focus, determination, sacrifice and surrender to pursuing God that brings us into the land of promise. God has a divine inheritance for us that is beyond anything we can comprehend. He works with us waiting to see a fullness of pursuit with a focus that will not be distracted. Whole-hearted surrender is the foundation of such a person of faith. This person will have a "different spirit."

Faith Without Question
Hebrews 11:8, By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

The righteous are bold as a lion. God wants us to be confident in His promises. If God says it that settles it. We need a revival of stubborn faith! We need a tenacious faith that will not let go. We don't need to have all the answers, explanations and reasons why from God to step out in faith. Abraham did not require such explanations from God. When God says, "Go!" that is good enough. We don't need everything figured out in our heads to move out into promises of God. When we take Him at His word we can know that God has everything lined up and ready to go. All we need to do is believe and move out where He shows us with full confidence and trust in Him.

The Promise Food
Joshua 5:12, Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.

God promised His people that He would take them into a land flowing with milk and honey. The day of manna from Heaven was coming to and end. Once in the promised land there would be fullness of blessing. The milk represents the blessing of God. The honey represents the anointing of God. God has overflowing blessing and anointing for us. The days of manna from Heaven are over. God gives us the food of His promised land. The manna represents the desert season.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the promised land for our lives. We no longer have to settle for manna. We can eat the food of the land of promise. There is variety, color, fullness and life for us in the promised land. No more desert, no more dry places. The promises of God bring us into a land of abundance, better things and the overflow with new adventures of conquest and expansion. Springs of life and rivers of living water overflow here. All of this is ours in the promised land.


His Riches are Unfathomable!

John Belt
Live In His Presence Ministries

Email: admin@liveinhispresence.com

4 Keys To Hearing God's Voice

Hearing God's Voice 

Introduction: 
=========      Every now and then I find things that I believe will help my visitors, things we often find on the internet that perhaps others may never find that would enhance or encourage. This is one of those websites I'm proud 2 include here. The link is provided so I will keep it simple and 2 the point here on the 4 steps, please visit their website and explore more encouraging truths.


Key #1 God’s voice in your heart often sounds like a flow of spontaneous thoughts. 

Habakkuk knew the sound of God speaking 2 him (Hab. 2:2). Elijah described it as a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12 ). I had always listened 4 an inner audible voice, and God does speak that way at times. However, I have found that usually, God's voice comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions.  For example, haven't u been driving down the road and had a thought come 2 u 2 pray 4 a certain person? Didn’t u believe it was God telling u 2 pray? What did God's voice sound like? Was it an audible voice, or was it a spontaneous thought that lit upon your mind?

Experience indicates that we perceive spirit-level communication as spontaneous thoughts, impressions and visions, and Scripture confirms this in many ways. For example, one definition of paga, a Hebrew word 4 intercession, is "a chance encounter or an accidental intersecting." When God lays people on our hearts, He does it through paga, a chance-encounter thought “accidentally” intersecting our minds. Therefore, when u want 2 hear from God, tune 2 chance-encounter or spontaneous thoughts.

Key #2 – Become still so u can sense God’s flow of thoughts and emotions within.
  
Habakkuk said, "I will stand on my guard post..." (Hab. 2:1). Habakkuk knew that 2 hear God's quiet, inner, spontaneous thoughts, he had 2 first go 2 a quiet place and still his own thoughts and emotions. Psalm 46:10 encourages us 2b still, and know that He is God. There is a deep inner knowing (spontaneous flow) in our spirits that each of us can experience when we quiet our flesh and our minds. If we are not still, we will sense only our own thoughts.  Loving God through a quiet worship song is one very effective way 2 become still. (Note II Kings 3:15 .) After I worship and become silent within, I open myself 4 that spontaneous flow. If thoughts come of things I have forgotten 2 do, I write them down and dismiss them. If thoughts of guilt or unworthiness come, I repent thoroughly, receive the washing of the blood of the Lamb, putting on His robe of righteousness, seeing myself spotless b4 God (Is. 61:10; Col. 1:22).

To receive the pure word of God, it is very important that my heart be properly focused as I become still because my focus is the source of the intuitive flow. If I fix my eyes upon Jesus, the intuitive flow comes from Jesus. But if I fix my gaze upon some desire of my heart, the intuitive flow comes out of that desire. To have a pure flow I must become still and carefully fix my eyes upon Jesus. Again, quietly worshiping the King, and receiving out of the stillness that follows quite easily accomplishes this.

Fix your gaze upon Jesus (Heb. 12:2), becoming quiet in His presence and sharing with Him what is on your heart. Spontaneous thoughts will begin 2 flow from the throne of God 2 u, and u will actually be conversing with the King of Kings!
 

Key #3 – As u pray, fix the eyes of your heart upon Jesus, seeing in the Spirit the dreams and visions of Almighty God.

Habakkuk said, "I will keep watch 2 C," and God said, "Record the vision" (Hab. 2:1,2). Habakkuk was actually looking 4 vision as he prayed. He opened the eyes of his heart, and looked into the spirit world 2 C what God wanted 2 show him. This is an intriguing idea.  God 
has always spoken through dreams and visions, and He specifically said that they would come 2 those upon whom the Holy Spirit is poured out (Acts 2:1-4, 17).

I had never thought of opening the eyes of my heart and looking 4 vision. However, I have come 2 believe that this is exactly what God wants me 2 do. He gave me eyes in my heart 2 C in the spirit the vision and movement of Almighty God. There is an active spirit world all around us, full of angels, demons, the Holy Spirit, the omnipresent Father, and His omnipresent Son, Jesus.

The only reasons 4 me not 2 C this reality are unbelief or lack of knowledge. In order 2 C, we
must look. Daniel saw a vision in his mind and said, "I was looking...I kept looking...I kept looking" (Dan. 7:2,9,13). As I pray, I look 4 Jesus, and I watch as He speaks 2 me, doing and saying the things that are on His heart. Many Christians will find that if they will only look, they will see, in the same way they receive spontaneous thoughts. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23 ). It is as simple as that. You can see Christ present w/u because Christ is present with u. In fact, the vision may come so easily that u will be tempted 2 reject it, thinking that it is just u. But if u persist in recording these visions, your doubt will soon be overcome by faith as u recognize that the content of them could only be birthed in Almighty God.

Jesus demonstrated the ability of living out of constant contact with God, declaring that He did nothing on His own initiative, but only what He saw the Father doing, and heard the Father saying (Jn. 5:19,20,30). What an incredible way to live!
Is it possible 4 u 2 live out of divine initiative as Jesus did? Yes! Fix your eyes upon Jesus. The veil has been torn, giving access into the immediate presence of God, and He calls u 2 draw near (Lk. 23:45; Heb. l0: 19-22). “I pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened….”
 
Key #4 – Journaling, the writing out of your prayers and God’s answers, brings great freedom in hearing God’s voice.

God told Habakkuk to record the vision (Hab. 2:2). This was not an isolated command. The Scriptures record many examples of individual’s prayers and God’s replies (e.g. the Psalms, many of the prophets, Revelation).

I call the process "two-way journaling," and I have found it 2b a fabulous catalyst 4 clearly discerning God's inner, spontaneous flow, bcoz as I journal I am able 2 write in faith 4 long periods of time, simply believing it is God. I know that what I believe I have received from God must be tested. However, testing involves doubt and doubt blocks divine communication, so I do not want 2 test while I am trying 2 receive. With journaling, I can receive in faith, knowing that when the flow has ended I can test and examine it carefully, making sure that it lines up with Scripture.
You will be amazed when u journal. Doubt may hinder u at first, but throw it off, reminding yourself that it is a biblical concept, and that God is present, speaking 2 His children. Relax. When we cease our labors and enter His rest, God is free 2 flow (Heb. 4:10 ). Sit back comfortably, take out your pen and paper, smile, and turn your attention toward the Lord in praise and worship, seeking His face. After u write your question 2 Him, become still, fixing your gaze on Jesus. You will suddenly have a very good thought. Don't doubt it; simply write it down. Later, as u read your journaling, u, too, will be blessed 2 discover that u are indeed dialoguing w/God.

Some final notes: Knowing God through the Bible is a vital foundation 2 hearing His voice in your heart, so u must have a solid commitment to knowing and obeying the Scriptures. It is also very important 4 your growth and safety that u be related 2 solid, spiritual counselors All major directional moves that come through journaling should be confirmed by your counselors b4 u act upon them.