The best way to understand the STOP method of Bible studying is to physically participate in a study using it. Remember that you have your essentials all ready and you have your “GO!” questions written somewhere on your page where you can easily recall them (link to the whole method here). Let’s begin with 1 Samuel 17 because everyone thinks they know the story of David and Goliath.
So the first part of the STOP method kicks in. You’re going to read the entire text once per question (which means a total of three times). You might want to read it out loud after stating the first question you wish to answer. You will only answer one of these questions per reading—in other words; don’t start off the reading trying to answer all three questions in one shot.
Assign yourself the task of getting any one of those three questions (you don’t know or care which one) answered. With this Target you will insure yourself of working at getting something and not aiming at getting Everything. If the text gives you answer to all three questions, fine but you know that the Bible will always give you an answer to at least one of the three “GO!” questions.
Start from the top of the section holding only 1 question in Your mind. Start at verse 1 and Stop at verse 1 asking the “GO!” question. Move on to verse 2 and STOP at verse 2 asking the “GO!” question. Proceed through the text holding one and only one question in your mind per reading of the entire text. It is painful since by the second reading you are sure you know it all but if you’re doing this orderly you will only be looking at the text for one question at a time. The next reading will be a hunt for a different treasure.
Pop “GO!” Questions
Do it each time you hit a verse. By being Steadfast, Targeted, Orderly and Popping ONLY Go! Questions into your mind you must ignore making application of Giants in your life or if the stones stand for Faith, Hope, Knowledge, Wisdom and Action—just one question per reading. Remember
- Question 1) What does it teach me about God’s Person? That would be “what is this saying about God and who he is?” That’s “God’s Person” . Then GO! And write the answers.
- Question 2) What does it teach me about God’s Plan for His People? That would be “what is the text saying about what God desires from his people or from this king or from this person or this unbeliever—not what I think it says, but what does it say?” Then GO! And write the answers
- Question 3) What does it teach me about God’s Purposes? That would be “what is the text saying about how God works and what He is planning for later on?” Then GO! And write the answers.
If you do this properly you won’t be shooting for the moon but trying to get some things that will greatly influence your understanding of who God is, what He expects from His people and what He is planning. You might not get all three answers in any given text but that doesn’t matter: you will get at least one in every text.
In this text I went through and I got the following GO! Answers:
- Question 1) What does it teach me about God? The Lord God is the Living God. The Lord God is put in contradistinction to whatever gods of the Philistines. The Lord God delivers. The Lord God would not have His name to be blasphemed.
- Question 2) What does it teach me about God’s plan for His people? That the man armed by God is always better off. That God may want his people to stand in opposition to the false proclamations of men
- Question 3) What does it teach me about God’s purposes? I didn’t learn anything here since I started with 1 Samuel 17. If I had started with 1 Samuel 1 and worked my way up to 17, in an ORDERLY fashion I would definitely have gotten something based on the context.