While I do believe we are to present our best and most loving selves to God and the world, I am not here talking about bath soap. Instead S.O.A.P. is an anagram for a simple tool that can be used by yourself as a disciple and taught to others as you disciple them. It is designed to be a Bible study, prayer, and writing experience. Let’s look at the four parts of S.O.A.P.
- Scripture. Read it. Read it out loud (much scripture was originally passed along orally). Doing so often brings appropriate context to verses. Many highly affirm writing out the scripture–by hand. Instead of reading it silently, this method makes words and phrases jump out. I want to encourage you to take the time (when you can) to read it out loud and write the passage down.
- Observation. What do you see/observe in the passage? What questions do you have from what you are reading? What was God saying back then? What is the main point, the message, the truth? What is the context? What words and phrases stand out? Write down your observations.
- Application. Why is this message important for today? What is God saying to you? What response does God expect? How do you need to adjust your life? Write down your application.
- Prayer. God has spoken through His word. Now, what is your response in prayer? Will you agree with Him? Will you commit to obey? Praise Him. Confess. Thank Him. Make supplication. Simply respond to what He has said. Write out your prayer.
I want to add an extension to this simple tool. Every 3 days, check back on your response to what God has said. Ask, have I been obedient? If not renew your commitment to obey.
This simple tool helps you listen more carefully to what God is saying to you when you read His Word. I want to challenge you to try this for 21 days (long enough for it to become comfortable as a habit). Then I want to challenge you to teach the tool to someone else. Make disciples!