Everyday, I seek the Lord I do it in a specific way. I SOAP. This method was taught me by Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope O’Ahu church. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
This simple plan has totally changed my life and greatly increased my walk with the Lord. It has brought my devotions to a new level of intimacy with God. It has taken me from depending on others to help me seek the Lord to me being able to seek and hear myself. I use it with my children and husband. We each have our own journals and our own bibles and we SOAP as a family. It trains us to daily commune with God by seeking and listening. Currently, we are SOAPing through the book of ACTS. It has been amazing what has been shared in our study time together. I share it here to encourage you and to give you a tool to increase you.
Scripture: Acts 22:5
5 As the high priest and whole council of elders (Sanhedrin) can testify; for from them indeed I received letters with which I was on my way to the brethren in Damascus in order to take also those [believers] who were there, and bring them in chains to Jerusalem that they might be punished.
OBSERVATION: Paul is speaking of his zealous desire to served God by imprisoning and punishing the brethren. This was before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
APPLICATION: I have a strong desire to serve the Lord, too. In my younger days, I was so zealous about what was right and what was wrong. I understood Truth but had no real understanding of Mercy or Grace. My heart breaks over the way I used my words to “bring the brethren in chains to be punished.” Often times still, my opinions, maybe not expressed, but still thought, come out in my prayers. I try to pray according to what I think is righteous. That’s the problem, my limited righteousness mentality. I repent.
What I am learning is to immediately ask God to show me what He wants me to think and pray for the situation and person. Anytime, my words condemn, shame, or criticize, whether spoken or thought, I ask for a “God Swap!” His thoughts, His heart, His Words for my negative, critical judging opinion.
This simple practice is really growing me in compassion and love. It is helping me learn how to operate in the Holy Spirit. My words and my thoughts, through His power are setting the captives free and breaking the chains of my fellow brethren. Only God can turn death into life, He is teaching me how to do this too.
PRAYER: Lord, I just repent for my words that have hindered and hurt and even imprisoned my fellow believers. I repent for thinking my zealous righteousness could honor you. I seek your heart for my life and for all those you bring into it. Help me to see what you see. Help me to have your words that will bring life, hope, strength, courage and peace. Help me have words that bring others to Jesus and Jesus to others. Please inhabit my words so that as they are spoken they carry your presence and minister to the very need of the moment. In Jesus Name, Amen