For the past several years, the method I’ve been using is amazingly simple, easily transferable to others, and powerfully practical. I follow the SOAP model and you can read more about it here: Start SOAP Journaling.
I was surprised to discover today that someone had recently done a google search on “how to feed myself spiritually” and they arrived at Day 2 of Take the Missional Challenge. This post from August 2, 2010 was at the top of the results page.
If you’d like to learn how to feed yourself spiritually – I strongly suggest that you try SOAP Journaling.
S = Scripture. I typically read one chapter from the Bible each day and ask God to speak to me personally through what I’m reading. Then I choose a key verse on which to meditate and copy it word for word in my journal. Today I read Philippians 3. The key verses I copied into my journal were Phil 3:13-14. “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
O = Observation. I write out a paragraph that focuses on what the author communicated in the key verse. Today I observed: “Paul’s focus in clear. He wants to receive the prize and is committed to do whatever it takes to be found in Christ and knowing Christ. He is intentionally ‘forgetting’ what he’s done in the past and not relying/trusting in his past accomplishments. Instead, he is focused on intentionally moving forward. His commitment is to this ONE THING. By eliminating everything else, he is able to pursue this goal.”
A = Application. I write out a specific action that I will do in obedience to God’s Word. Today I wrote: “Right now in my life I need this kind of focus and intentionality. I am a little scattered in my directions, and as a result, the goal/prize is not clear in my mind. Ultimately, I need to be more about ONE THING: Abiding in Christ, and less about all the other things I want to do for Christ. So, I will make Abiding in Christ the focus that I’m after. And, I will not rely on the things I’m doing or have done in the past.”
P = Prayer. I write out a simple pray to God in response to what I’ve read, observed and am seeking to apply. Today I prayed: “God, help me not to put confidence in all the great things I’ve done – or in things that I’m now doing. Help me to focus on abiding in you and doing those things that flow out of that relationship. Amen.”
After writing this all in my journal, then I shared what I had written with a friend. This helped reinforce what I was learning in my time alone with God. My friend then took time to pray for me that I would abide in Christ.
Here’s what I love about this SOAP method of feeding myself spiritually:
1. It’s amazingly simple.
2. It’s easily transferable to others.
3. It’s powerfully practical.