SOAP Journaling Process
Often, believers seek to grow their personal relationship with God, they are told to study their Bibles and pray. However, seeing the Bible as a "task" misses the mark. The Bible is not a means to reach the goal, but actually a part of how GOD SPEAKS TO US. Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to you. It's also a useful tool to use to reflect on and review some of the 'gems' that you have received in the past. Without writing them down, you may forget your 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 writings 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.
This SOAP Journaling process is as old as Bible Study, but has recently been made popular from the Life Journal tool provided by New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. The idea is to read a portion of God's Word, and then capture a verse or more using the S.O.A.P. method, as follows:
O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and using your own words,write the scripture down in your journal.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read by asking yourself how it applies to your life today. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture is applicable to you today.
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.
If this seems a little overwhelming, take it slow and keep it simple. No matter how you decide to do your devotions, the important thing is to show up for your daily appointment, because God is always waiting for you!