As we read God’s words, we begin to see how God responds to things. Doing daily devotions re-patterns the way we think and transforms the spirit of the mind. Then when we face similar situations as Jesus did, we begin to respond in the same way.
Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It’s also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the ‘gems’ that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! And while journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your small group or mentors.
Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.
S.O.A.P. Weekly Reading Plan
S — For
Open your Bible to the reading found under today’s date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O — for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.
A — for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
P — for
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
SOAP has been the best thing I’ve come across in years to deepen my relationship with the Lord. These studies seem to do three very important things for me. The first is that they have added terrific focus to what I’m reading. Perhaps I have adult ADD or something but getting my full attention into the depth of scripture when I awake and am reading myself for the daily challenges, is not an easy task. However, when I know I need to select one verse to write about, along with the relatively small number of verses to choose from, it really causes me to read carefully (though at times I take a few verses, or just a portion of one verse).
The second is that the approach allows me to really meditate on scripture as we are told to do. I’m hearing from God like I’ve never heard. In the past, I’ve seldom felt that he speaks to me about specific things. However, when I am journaling a particular SOAP verse, I find myself writing at a depth that almost blows me away. I often start with one thought and end up with an insight that is many layers deeper. I feel strongly that is God speaking to me, but even if it were not, my understanding of God’s word is growing so much that it is terrifically beneficial regardless.
Lastly, SOAP has added significantly to the depth to my fellowship with several co-workers that are doing it along with me. We often share about something we gained from the daily study. Of course, much of what God shares with us is intensely personal and I respect that and don’t ask anyone to share what they journal. However, my sharing has given others the freedom to share as well, and that has allowed us to all connect on a much deeper level.
Praise God for SOAP!~
Contact us if you need help with “relational prayer” or have S.O.A.P. questions.