SOAP: Day Fourteen – Open Your Eyes!

I’ve gotten behind on SOAP and I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not that I haven’t been in the Word and in prayer and seeking how to live from His righteousness and not mine.

And it’s surely not because I haven’t been writing, the evidence is all over my page as I press into the stormy waters of my emotional pains from the past and seek deeper understanding and surrender.

But I committed to doing one SOAP per day, and the reality is, I de-prioritized it.

It doesn’t do any good to beat ourselves up if we don’t hold steadfast to an intention, goal or desire, but it is important to take ownership of the decisions and not make excuses.

Instead of skipping days, I will now seek the discipline needed to catch up and stay on course. That means I will have to do at least 2 one day soon, and that’s ok. And if I miss another, then there will be three.

The choice is always ours, where we are in life is directly related to the priorities we set and the actions we take, period.

Scripture

John 4:27-42  (NIV)

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

34 My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Many Samaritans Believe

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Observation

  • v27 – But no one asked…
  • v34 – My food is to do the will of him who sent me
  • v35 – open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest
  • v36 – harvest a crop for eternal life
  • v36 – So that the sower and the reaper may be glad together
  • v39 – many believed…because of the woman’s testimony
  • v40 – they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed 2 days
  • v41 – because of his words many more became believers
  • v42 – [we believe] [not because of what you said, but because of what he said]
  • v42 – this man really is the Savior of the world

Application

v27 – Nobody asked Jesus why he was talking to “the Samaritan woman”. Gee, I guess not being willing to talk about the elephant in the room has been around a long time. Was it out of fear or respect?

  • How often do I question God in my heart when events unfold in a way that makes no sense to me? 
  • Am I honest enough to go to Him with my concerns or secretly despise Him in His apparent failure? 

v34 – Food = doing God’s will? Clearly, he’s talking about spiritual sustenance, and this is a wonderful passage that shows the importance of not just praying, worshiping and going to church to receive from God, but that we must also be doing the work of the Kingdom to maintain our spiritual health.

  • In what ways am I serving God and doing His work? 

v35 – Open your eyes and look. Man, this one hits home. If you want to know how you can begin doing the will of God, simply ask Him to break your heart for what breaks His. You will begin to see pain, suffering, oppression, poverty, loneliness, fear, sickness and a host of other human sufferings that God wants to use us to step into, to be His heart, hands, and feet. But we can’t do that until we see through His eyes.

  • Have I opened my eyes to the needs of others? 
  • If so, how do I respond when I see a need I could fill? Avoid eye contact? Cross the street? Justify it by thinking “it’s just a Samaritan woman”?

v36 – A crop of eternal life. Again, this is so convicting. I do pray, I do worship, I do share the Gospel (somewhat anonymously through this blog), I come alongside other believers. But we are talking about the Salvation of souls.

  • How much urgency do I feel to talk to friends, family, co-workers, or complete strangers about the Good News of Christ for fear that if they don’t wake up, they are going to hell?
  • Do I really believe eternal damnation is on the line for all non-Jesus followers? 
  • Would my insecurity in sharing my faith matter at all if I truly believed the people I know and love are going to experience eternal suffering without Jesus?

v36 – the purpose of sowing is to make a harvest possible. And with that, both the sower and the reaper are rewarded with joy in seeing lost souls saved.

  • Do I get excited when witnessing baptisms?
  • Do I get emotional when others respond to an altar call?
  • Do I even care about other’s faith journey?

v39 – Many believed because of one person’s testimony. If she had not told others about how God invaded her life and offered to change everything, the town would not have come to know Jesus, or find eternal salvation. One woman’s testimony.

  • Do I have a testimony for Christ?
  • Do I share it with others and excitedly say “come see”. 
  • Do I even believe my testimony matters?

v40 – They urged him to stay.

  • Do I ever pray to Jesus with urgency?
  • Do I open God’s Word with urgency?
  • Do I seek discernment, courage, and strength from the Holy Spirit with urgency?

v41 – Because of his words. The Word of God makes believers. Not my words, not my prayers for someone. Not my lesson plans, or creative ideas.

  • Do I invite people to religious activities or introduce them to Jesus? 
  • Do I see myself improperly as the harvester, or understand that I am just a sewer of His Words?

v42 – because of what he said. Again, my testimony, my grace & compassion, service to others, my loving-kindness and other Christ-like qualities draw people to me, but it’s critical that I hand them off to Jesus.

  • The same questions above apply, is my discipleship journey of redemption about me or Jesus?

v42 – This man really is the Savior.

  • Am I convinced?
  • Have I heard God’s word in my life? Have I seen His miracles in my life? And I convinced yet, that Jesus is who He said He is?

Prayer

Abba Father, I am so incredibly grateful for your Words that set us free. The last few days have been a difficult deep dive into the memories and emotions of my childhood, but I’m getting through it. I believe that is only possible because the revival of reliance, the remembrance that you are not “just” god, YOU ARE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, AND YOU LOVE ME, AND YOU PROMISE TO ALWAYS BE WITH ME AND PROTECT, GUIDE AND COMFORT ME. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH YOU WHO STRENGTHEN ME. When my faith gets weak, my ability to cope weakens. My wholeness is directly proportional to my faith. I confess Lord that in recent seasons I had become complacent, got comfortable with You and forgot what it was like to worship You. Thank you for Your steadfast patience, You have always been there for me, and I’m grateful. 


Man, I love this stuff! This season of renewal is moving mountains in my life. Well established mountains that I didn’t believe were movable. That’s on me for not believing it and not on God for not moving them. He makes all things new, hallelujah!

How about you guys, getting anything out of this SOAP series?

About NIKAOS, JOR & LMP

Life is hard, and change is inevitable. Sometimes it is welcomed, and other times it is overwhelming. As a child abuse survivor who has struggled with mental illness such as anxiety, PTSD, ADD, OCD, addictions and mountains of self-worth issues, I now find myself resilient, empowered and filled with gratitude most days. But that doesn't come easy or natural. It takes intentionality. It takes faith. It takes patient endurance. It takes incredible amounts of self-awareness, honesty, humility, and courage to make choices that are the polar opposite of how you feel. It takes vision and determination, hope and healing. I'm glad you stopped by my blog, I hope you found something of use as I transparently share my journey with others, the highs and the lows, the wisdom and the blunders, in the hopes that my mess becomes a message of hope, encouragement, and strength for even one person. .
This entry was posted in bible study, encouragement, God's story, gratitude, hope, Jesus, love, S.O.A.P, Salvation, trials and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to SOAP: Day Fourteen – Open Your Eyes!

  1. Bruce says:

    Hi George, do you think that what you are doing with this series is lifting you up and may with God’s grace, lift up others? I think it is and does but only to those who understand the need to feed on God’s word and grow in communion with God. I see that in your writings and I understand the process. I am happy for you. Maybe the best student in your audience is you and that in itself fulfills God’s purpose in what you are doing. And, if only one other person identifies with what you have said, and it helps them to get closer to our Lord in a meaningful way, that sticks with them, that is an accomplishment. A word of advice if I may, never allow a self imposed schedule to determine the output. There is no rush, it’s not the numbers that are important, it’s what unfolds within what you produce that matters. Follow each turn that God’s word takes you to and when that is done, then move on to another.

    I marvel at the uniqueness of each of our experiences of endeavouring to walk with God, they are so personal, so deliberately crafted by our loving God.

    Keep doing what you are doing. May God’s grace, peace and blessings abound to you and yours. – Bruce

  2. Hey Bruce, you nailed it, brother!

    All of my writing is a very cathartic experience for me. Not in that it massages my ego but more I’d say, it is my attempt to provide an honest and unflinching look at my own human frailties and how The Gospel of Jesus Christ meets me (us) in our weak, hurting and afraid places.

    God offers so much more than for us to just “get by” each day, so much more.

    I discovered somewhere along the way that not talking about the elephant in the room, which is always tied to our sin nature (shame, resentments, unforgiveness, blame, fear, judgments, entitlement, expectations, complacency, indifference, selfishness, etc…) those are the primary cause for all relational separation; with ourselves, others and God.

    It is the plank in our own eye, and everyone carries those around to some degree or another, they are a part of our human nature.

    So many people just aren’t honest with our own fear and pain, and we spend time pointing fingers at what others have done to us and rarely take ownership for how we’ve done the same to them.

    We’ve been taught that admitting weakness and failure is weakness that we must hide from others (pride and ego) instead of asking for help with them (honest humility). At least that has been the struggle for myself and everyone I encounter in addiction recovery ministry.

    We first lie to ourselves to make ourselves feel better (denial), then impose that lie on others in the form of masks, pretending to be people we aren’t. God typically won’t heal what we don’t bring to Him, healthy people don’t need a doctor.

    As you say, if only one person can identify with any part of my story, and recognize how God has already given us the answers to our questions, the strength to overcome our weaknesses, and love for ourselves and others so we can admit our failures, and that the Cross secures our eternity, then mission accomplished.

    Thanks for engaging Bruce, I appreciate you brother!

    God Bless – G

  3. Pingback: SOAP: Day Fifteen – At The Exact Moment! | One Man's Journey of Redemption

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