Earlier this month I finished reading the book Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro, which I highly recommend and will definately put it on my “to be read again list.” The book is primarily geared towards those in church leadership positions on how to rest, renew, and refill their passion. I only wish this book had been written a generation ago! But that is a topic for another day. While church leadership is the intended audience, the applications in the book apply generally across every walk of life, and is a much needed message given the suffocation of busyness that can be felt in each of our lives.
For 2022 I wanted to take a more active role in my daily Bible reading and books I read for personal growth and development, not just a check mark to fill or bragging rights to say, “Oh I read that book!” But did I actually apply the principles of the book? What scripture stood out to me today? What are my thoughts on that? As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” In the book Leading on Empty he talks about taking your daily devotional to a deeper level by journaling out a passage of scripture that stood out to you for that day using the SOAP method.
S = Scripture
O = Observation
A = Appliation
P = Prayer
If you are familiar with any type of medical reports or patient assessment, this acronym is also used as a template for how medical professionals dictate their notes, except of course with a slighlty different meaning.
S = Subjective (What the patient reports – pain in abdomen, trouble seeing, etc.)
O = Objective (Concrete evidence found – lab reports, diagnostic / imaging results, etc.)
A = Assessment / diagnosis
P = Plan: Treatment plan by provider (Repeat labs in 6 weeks, start physical therapy, etc.)
Being a nurse, the SOAP method just made sense to me, as I said God knows how to bring to our attention what we need in a way that will be useful for us. It was natural for me to incorporate this concept into my daily routine as I read through many SOAP notes daily, now it is just with a spiritual twist and I will be the one taking an active role. I have been writing out my SOAP notes daily for a few weeks, but as last week was closing out, I thought why not start to share them on my blog. I am already writing them out so what is the difference in typing it out. This holds me accountable to the practice and might inspire someone else to dig deeper into the word of God. I probably won’t share publicaly every day becasue there are times when devotional is deeply intimate between you and God.
Today’s scripture popped up twice for me in two different books. When that happens I take notice. My mom gave me a women’s journal at the beginning of the year called “Listen to the Quiet” by Shauna Hord. (Did I mention God has really been working on me to be quiet / calm / rest?) I started it today. You take one scripture and each day throughout that week meditate and journal on it. I also started to read Heaven to Earth by Anthony Mangun, a book about the prayer plan of Praying through the Tabernacle. In the first few pages of Heaven to Earth he discusses the same verse that is the verse of the week in Listen to the Quiet. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Scripture: Exodus 14:13 – 14 (NLT): But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Eyyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
Observation: Staying calm is a verb. It is action. It is an act of surrender to God knowing that we cannot fight every single battle that comes our way. Remaining calm and trusting in Him is the best way to fight.
Application: When bad news comes, or things look like they are getting worse it is not my job to hyperventilate and try to control the situation. I only need to remain calm. Today I will take each moment as it comes, knowing that God is enough for that moment.
Prayer: God help me today to stand still and remain calm as You go before me and my family. I come against the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus that it would not take hold of our minds, spirits, body, attitudes, speech, or households. We know that You are a God of detail who knows every aspect of our lives. You know the enemy and things that oppose us better than we do. I surrender today God to your plan and no matter the noises or taunts of the enemy I will remain calm, because You have all power.
Have a great day!