The idea of ‘SOAPing” through God’s Word is a powerful way to capture when God is speaking to you. I think He is speaking to us all the time when we read His Word. We are just usually expecting a booming voice or we are too much in a hurry. This method allows us to slow down and instead of going through God’s Word, let God’s Word go through us.
So today, when you are reading your Bible, when a passage stands out to you, stop and lean in. Write down your observations. What is standing out? Then, answer the ‘so what’ question. What can you do about it? Then ask God to seal His Word in your heart knowing that He can help you walk it out.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”1 Timothy 6:6
It’s always important to read various different translations so you can get a full picture of what the original language is saying. In the NET translation, this scripture says, “Godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.” The NLT says, “Godliness with contentment is great wealth.” The MSG paraphrase is perhaps my favorite because it says, “A devout life brings great wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.”
The secret to having everything in life is realizing you already do. Too many of us spend our lives feeling “less than” because we look at other people to judge our effectiveness. Ephesians 5:1 tells us we are only to look in one direction for the measure of how we are doing by saying, “Be imitators of God as beloved children.” Have you ever watched a toddler around their parent? They are trying so hard to be independent. One of my little girl’s favorite phrases was “me do it.” That was her way of saying she didn’t need our help. However, when she didn’t think we were looking, she would watch us to make sure she was getting it right.
I think our walk with God is like that. God made us all unique for a reason. Just like there are only a few primary colors that can then become an endless variation of colors, we all have certain characteristics expressed in certain ways to make us all one of a kind. When we realize we are not supposed to be like anyone else but our own unique of expression of following Christ, we will realize we have nothing to prove and no one to impress.
So, if I were to paraphrase this verse, it might read, “Chasing after God and realizing that’s all we are supposed to pursue, we can have peace with ourselves and others.”
- Check my heart. Am I following after God or following after the approval of others?
- Check my mind. Am I thinking with contentment or with desperate striving to matter?
- Check my actions. Am I walking in love and security with who I am in Christ or am I living to please others?
Father in Heaven, help me to know You so I know how to live.