You and your friends are on a road trip. You’ve loaded up your 2008 Toyota Yaris to the brim and you’re flying down the highway. Two hours into the trip your car starts making some strange noises. You reshuffle the bags around in the boot, but the noise remains. So you take the car to the nearest petrol station and clean the windshield, but as you continue to drive, smoke starts coming out from under the hood. You take the car to the carwash, surely this will fix it, but it doesn’t. Finally, the car breaks down, and sitting by the side of the road your friend speaks up, “Maybe the car needs a new paint job.”
Often, this is how we approach our relationship with God. We try to fix the external when what really needs changing is on the inside.
God promises to shape your life so it looks more and more like Jesus day by day, but sometimes you might feel like that process stops. Perhaps you used to have a real passion for sharing Jesus, but now you’ve lost it. During these times it’s tempting to fix external things – trying to be more dedicated or changing certain behaviours – but God shapes us from the inside out.
How does He do that?
The Bible is God’s tool for growing you and shaping you. When you read the Bible God changes you from the inside. Slowly. One piece at a time. God’s desire is that you’re motivated to share Jesus more and He starts with your heart. A study by the Barna Group found that only 9% of Christian adults were interacting with the Bible with enough frequency that it was influencing their relationships and choices.
Is the Bible changing your life?
If you want to read the Bible in a way that gives God a greater scope to change you, try the S.O.A.P. method.
S – Scripture
Choose a verse or passage from your daily reading and write it out in full.
O – Observation
Take note of what you observe about the passage. What’s the ‘big idea’? Who is speaking? Who is the audience?
A – Application
Write down how this applies to your life right now and ask some reflective questions. Does what I’ve read change the way I perceive God, others, or myself? Are there attitudes I need to adjust? Is there a promise I need to hold on to?
P – Prayer
Take time to talk to God about what you’ve learned. Ask Him for understanding and help to make the changes you need to make.
You will find greater meaning in the Bible when you can apply it to your life.
Make active Bible reading and reflection a priority and let God change you from the inside out!
Grab a journal, write S.O.A.P. down the left-hand side of the page and use this structure for your daily Bible reading. The outcomes will surprise you!
Romans 8:28-29 – God changes us to be like Jesus
About the Author: yesHEis provides various resources to help share your faith in relatable ways.