Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to you. It's also a useful tool when reflecting on some of the messages you have received from God.
Before committing to a bible study or plan, it's always a great idea to consider the following:
- Try to use a consistent time and place to meet with God
- Turn off all distractions, so you can focus
- It’s helpful to use a Bible Reading Plan
Write in first person whenever you can. Write like you’re sitting across the table from Jesus and talking to him about what you’re learning from him. Instead of saying in an Observation, “It seems like this is what Jesus wanted the disciples to understand.” Make it first person and say, “Jesus it seems like this is what you want me to understand.”
I remember learning about using SOAP to diver deeper into the word and I am going to walk you through what that means:
S - SCRIPTURE:
- Read the passage
- Make note of a verse or phrase that caught your attention. Don’t feel like you have to read the entire passage. Pause and process the Kairos moment.
- Copy that verse or phrase at the top of your page
O - OBSERVATION:
- Observe what the verse is saying and why it might be catching your attention. What was your Kairos moment?
- rite down in first person what you’re seeing, feeling or understanding. You don’t need to have an answer right away let your writing be a discussion with Jesus.
- It’s helpful to phrase your observation in the form of a belief.
A - APPLICATION:
- It starts when you come to a conclusion about what you believe Jesus is showing you.
- Write out how this applies to you and what you think God might be saying to you. What is your invitation or challenge from God as a result of the scripture and observation.
- Consider making a doable, manageable, measurable, plan to apply this truth.
- Write out a prayer to God in response to what he said, what you want to do about it, and how it will change the way you live and respond today.
Now let's put it into practice by walking through a passage of scripture you are working on:
S – Scripture… What stood out to you?
O – Observation… Why do you think that stood out to you? What kind of observations can you make about the text? First Person (You’re having a conversation with Jesus.)
A – Application… What’s the application to your life? What is God inviting you to? Remember to try and write in first person:
P – Prayer… Take this to the Lord in prayer.
Hoping this helps you dive deeper into God's word and encourages you in your time with the Lord!