It’s time to use a little SOAP!
SOAP is a great way to spend time with God’s word. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
To begin, you select a scripture. Secondly, you write everything that jumps out at you about this scripture.
The application part is where you reflect on how it applies to your life and what you think God is trying to say to you.
Lastly, you say or write a prayer.
For Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. – Proverbs 3:12
The word “correct” jumps out at me because it means that God will help you get it right.
When I was a child, I thought that God was a one time God.
By that, I got the impression that you had one time to mess up with God and that was it!
However, the word correct means to me that, like with children, you expect them to make mistakes and to need to correct them.
I remember one time when my daughter was four years old and misbehaving in the grocery store.
She tends to look with her fingers and not her eyes, so I regularly have to tell her to leave things alone in the store.
She doesn’t listen.
I insist that she walk with one hand on the cart, but in what looks like some fit, she jerks and runs up the aisle and back.
I saw a toy section coming up and tried to rush past it, but she saw it (of course). There was a packet of rainbow-colored alphabet magnets. So, it begins…
“Mama, please buy it.” She pointed to it, and I could see on her cute little, disobedient face that she wanted it.
She likes it so much, and it doesn’t cost a lot, but she hadn’t been obedient.
The begging increases, because she sees my wavering.
I want to buy the toy because she will enjoy it and I like to see her happy.
However, she’s acting awful and I don’t want her thinking she can behave badly and still be rewarded.
I try to explain this to her, and her little face crumbles into tears.
“I’ll be good now.” She promises.
I consider whether this is enough, but I think she will learn her lesson better if she doesn’t get the toy.
“Maybe next time, you’ll remember to behave better, and then you can have a reward.”
She is really crying now. I want to give in, but I also want her to learn to be obedient.
It occurs to me that God, being a good father, must experience something similar to me.
There were probably times that He wanted to bless me with things that I desired, but could not because of my disobedience.
The scripture says – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev 3:19).
When you are being disciplined it uncomfortable, but discipline shapes us and develops us into who we are meant to be.
Lord, thank you for Your grace and mercy. Help, me to obedient to Your Word and Your will. I need your guidance as a parent and Your discipline as a child.