The year 2020 is just around the corner and many of you are making a New Year’s Resolution to dig deeper into scripture. So I wanted to share with you one of my favorite methods of Bible Study. It’s referred to as “SOAPing”.
When I first started using this method of study I went through the entire book of 1 John one verse at a time. Words that I once would have quickly read over, suddenly stood out to me. By the time I was finished I had handwritten an entire book of the Bible! Ok so it is a short book, but it counts!
Today, I use this method a little differently. Instead of writing out every single verse, I may read an entire passage or an entire chapter and then write out the one or two verses that stand out to me.
Here is how it’s done-
S.O.A.P. stands for:
Scripture: Write out the scripture. You may be surprised at which words really stand out to you as you’re writing.
Observation: What is this scripture saying? Are any words repeated? What words stand out to you? Look up the meaning of words you don’t understand.
Application: Ask yourself: How can I apply this scripture to my life? What is God saying to me? Is there an action that I need to take? Is there a confession I need to make?
Prayer: Respond to God’s Word in prayer. Write out a prayer that goes along with the scripture. Thank Him for what He has revealed to you. Ask Him to help you grow in a certain area. Confess any sins that need to be confessed.
When you SOAP scripture, please don’t feel like you have to write a Biblical commentary. It’s about what God is saying to you in that moment through that scripture. Sometimes it can be very deep and detailed. Other times, it can be quite simple. Don’t force it one way or the other. Just be open to God’s leading.
Here is what it looks like on paper:
S: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
O: According to Webster’s Dictionary “delight in” means “to be very happy because of (something): to enjoy (something) very much”.
If we focus on our relationship with God all other things will fall into place.
A: If I will look to God for happiness and focus on following Him and pleasing Him in every aspect of my life, He will give me what my heart is longing for. I will be so connected to Him that my desires will line up with His desires and He will guide me towards them.
P: Lord, help me to focus more on You. I want the desires of my heart to match the desires of Your heart. Forgive me for seeking after my wants and desires in life before seeking after You. Help me to look to You in all things. I delight in You my God. Amen.
It’s that simple! Studying this way has really made an impact on me. I hope that you will find it helpful as well.
Now grab your journal, a piece of paper or your computer and get to SOAPing! You’ll be glad you did!
Here are some great verses to get you started:
Proverbs 3:5 Jeremiah 29:11 Matthew 22:37
Philippians 4:13 Ephesians 4:32
Philippians 4:8 Colossians 4:5