Nothing New Here!

What happens when you sit down to read your Bible and nothing new or fresh stands out on which to SOAP journal?  This happens to me more days than not.  When that happens I have learned to pick a verse or passage anyway and journal on it.  Even when there is nothing new, it is still good to rehearse what I believe with words.  For example, I know that the Lord is worthy of my worship – this is not new to me.  Yet, one day my SOAP journal was on Psalm 29:1-2.  It was good to engage these verses and spend some time thinking on how worthy my God is of my worship.

If I had closed my Bible that day and said to myself, “Well, I guess there was nothing new for me today from God’s word,” I would have missed out on what turned out to be a good day of ascribing to God the glory due his name.  By writing out my thoughts on this passage I was forced to engage the meaning of their content, causing a calibration of my heart.

How do you keep your devotional life fresh?

Do Something about It! Really?

Over the past number of posts I have written about how we take in the Word of God.  We have used the Hand Illustration as our roadmap for this discussion.  This post will finish up by discussing Application.  James speaks to us about applying God’s word.  He tells us not to be merely hearers of the word, but doers (James 1:22-26).

When we hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on the Scriptures, we should always be asking God to reveal to us how he would have us respond.  We could ask these questions:

  • Is there a sin to confess?
  • Is there a promise to receive?
  • I there an attitude to change?
  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Is there a prayer to pray?
  • Is there an error to avoid?
  • Is there a truth to avoid?
  • Is there a truth to believe?
  • Is there something to thank God for?

Too often we pressure ourselves to get a specific thing to do as a result of our daily devotional time.  Let’s think about that.  Say you have daily devotions 4 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  If you expect a specific application each day, that would be 208 applications in a year.  Yikes!  What a burden that would be.  My experience tells me that God doesn’t bombard me with that many things to do or change in my life over such a relatively short period of time.  Instead, he focuses on one or two things at a time, usually over an extended period of time.  He knows change will take time to work into my life.

As I journal regularly, more often than not I find the application is not so much a thing to do, but a truth about God to absorb into my thinking.  So I find myself paraphrasing that truth as I journal my application.  Check out my SOAP journal entry on Psalm 29:1-2 as an example.  Notice that in the application section I am personalizing my understanding of the splendor of God’s majesty.  There is nothing I can “do” that will add to God’s majesty.  The important thing is to acknowledge it, rest in it, and worship God with a greater appreciation.  By journaling about his majesty, I am working this wonderful reality deep into my soul.

What application has God revealed to you recently?

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