The Secret Place #2 – Abiding in the Word: S.O.A.P.:
“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).
You’ve made a commitment to spend time abiding in the Word. You’ve heeded the call of God to go deeper, to not just be a hearer of the Word, but to be a doer of the Word as well. Not only will you meditate on the Word day and night, but you will also obey what it says. However, as you sit down in your chair, and open up your Bible, you wonder—now what do I do? Today I want to share with you some practical tips that will help you get more out of your Bible study. For starters, if you’ve never read your Bible before, open up to the Gospel of Mark, chapter one, and begin reading there. What follows are some of the benefits of spending daily time abiding in the Word, as well as some tips on how to make your study of the Bible more profitable.
- LISTEN: “I will teach you and instruct you in the way you should go.” (Psalm 32:8). God is speaking and He wants to walk daily with you. Abiding in the Word daily will help you to hear the lessons He teaches in a way that will help you to grow!
- INQUIRE: “You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13). God wants us to seek Him with all our hearts, and when we do, He meets us right where we’re at. Abiding in the Word daily will encourage and remind you daily that He waits for you.
- FAITH: “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” (1 Tim. 4:7). Our faith will grow as we get to know Him more.
- EXPERIENCE: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17). It is not just knowing things that builds our faith. It is doing them! It is applying the lessons that brings a blessing.
Having briefly considered how daily time in the Word will benefit you, let us know briefly consider some simple steps you can take to get more out of your Bible study.
- Go through a Bible reading program, reading through one book of the Bible at a time. If you’ve never read through the Bible before, start out with a bite-size goal of reading only one chapter a day. As you read the chapter, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you.
- As you are reading through your chapter for the day, underline anything that the Lord impresses on you as a personal word to be applied to your life. When you read the Bible with an open heart, the Lord will give you words of encouragement, direction and correction (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Begin taking notes in a journal of what God is teaching you every day. A simple method of journaling that you can use is listed here, the S.O.A.P. method. SOAP is an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Go for it.
S—SCRIPTURE: In your journal, write out the Scripture verses that God speaks to you through. For example, “You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
O—OBSERVATION: Write out an observation—what it is you see in that Scripture that the Lord speaks to you. For example, “God has promised us that if we will seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him.”
A—APPLICATION: Write out an application—how you are going to apply this truth to your life. For example, “Today, I will seek God with all of my heart by spending time abiding in the secret place of worship, prayer and reading of God’s Word.”
P—PRAYER: Write out a prayer that pours out your heart to God in response to what He has said to you. For example, “Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the wonderful promise you have given me in Your Word. Thank you that you’ve made yourself available to me, so that I can seek you and find you. Reveal yourself to me I pray, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
(Bibliography: New Hope’s Life Journal by Wayne Cordeiro).