A Personal Spiritual Growth Tool
Soap is something we use to clean our bodies, hopefully on a regular basis. In fact, soap is very important both for hygienic and health reasons. It is something most people feel strongly should be used. It stands to reason, that if we are this concerned about our outward cleanliness, we should be at least as concerned about our inward cleanliness. Inward cleanliness is directly tied to our spiritual growth. Think of cleanliness as holiness or righteousness. We need S.O.A.P. to help scrub away the dirt and filth, which is sin and our sinful nature, that is inwardly unhealthy for us (Romans 6:1-23). As we can see from the passages previously stated, the Bible and prayer are effective ways to “scrub” away the unhealthy dirt from our lives. Just as we use soap regularly, even daily, to clean our outward selves we should us S.O.A.P. (Scripture. Observation. Application. Prayer.) to clean our inward selves regularly.
How do I S.O.A.P.?
Step 1 – Scripture – Choose a Bible reading passage and find that day’s passage of Scripture. This will be the passage you read for that day. Before or while you read the passage ask God to bring to your heart one particular verse(s) that you can key in on. Write this verse in your journal.
Step 2 – Observation – Keep an open heart and mind, so the Spirit can reveal words of encouragement, direction and/or correction. Sometimes it is beneficial to ask a series of questions about the passage. These are known as the 5 W’s: Who, When, Where, What and Why. Take a moment to meditate on this passage and let it soak into your heart. Reflect upon it. Write this in your journal.
Step 3 – Application – What is this passage saying to you personally? What can you take away from this passage? How is this passage going to change your HEAD (your thinking), HEART (your attitude and feelings), and/or your HANDS (your actions). How will you be different now that you have read this passage? You will want to put this in your journal as well.
Step 4 – Prayer – Say a prayer based off of the Scripture you just read. Pray for the change, whatever it may be, to take effect in your life. Pray for others that need prayer. Pray for whatever is on your heart. It is good to write down this prayer or at least the part that pertains to the passage that day.