When I was a boy growing up in rural Alabama, my buddies and I never scheduled a camping trip. We just went camping on a neighbor’s land or down by a nearby river whenever we felt like it. We would pack a cooler full of sodas, grab a sleeping bag, a few fishing rods, something for supper, and we were ready.
I don’t know what camping looks like for you – a remote Airbnb, an RV with a queen-sized bed and flatscreen television, maybe backpacking deep in the Rockies. No matter your preference, there is one thing we all do when we camp…pick a spot and spend some time relaxing and enjoying that location.
Spiritually, I would like to teach you to camp in God’s Word, choosing to spend time in the greatest place I know: God’s presence.
Whether you are a new Christian trying to establish a lifelong habit of daily being with God in His Word or you’ve been studying it for decades, the CAMP method will equip you to really see, explore, and experience the Bible like never before.
So, how do you CAMP in God’s Word?
CAMP stands for Copy & Comprehend, Apply, Meditate, and Pray.
Copy & Comprehend
Comprehending God’s Word begins with determining what a given passage actually says and what those words actually mean. God’s Word is not written in a secret code. It is meant to be understood according to its original meaning. Zeroing in on a few key verses helps you think seriously about truly comprehending the entire passage. Writing them engrains them in your mind. I highly recommend that you find, borrow, or buy a good study Bible. This is super helpful in answering the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions as you look for the main truths of the text.
Next, you must ask yourself, ‘How does this truth apply to my life?’ Application of the Bible can only happen correctly once we have determined the correct meaning of a particular text. As Christ followers, we can become misguided when we misapply God’s Word. But once you do the work of understanding the true meaning of a passage, the applications unlocked can and should be life-altering. When ‘CAMPing’, take a moment to write a few sentences or paragraphs describing the application of this passage to your life right now.
Most people associate meditation with religions like Buddhism. They picture a monk on a Himalayan mountain sitting in a temple with his legs crisscrossed, eyes closed, and perhaps humming in a low pitch. For Christians, mediation could not be more different. Unlike other religions that often see the goal of meditation as an ascent to emptying the mind, God’s people meditate by filling our minds with His Word! Our goal is not to disconnect, but rather to connect more deeply to Christ as we draw near to Him through His Word. After you have understood and applied the truth of the daily passage, you are then ready to sit before the Lord in deep reflection over these truths. When ‘CAMPing’, there is no writing requirement for this specific section. The only requirement is to be still and let the Holy Spirit speak.
By this point, you should be looking down at a journal entry for the day that is almost complete. The passage has been studied, applied, and meditated on before the Lord. Praying the passage then becomes a natural next step. Writing out your prayer may seem awkward or cumbersome, but it’s a good practice to make. Think through these steps as you write your prayer: recount, recall, repent, request.
Recount before the Lord what He has taught you, and worship Him for doing so.
Recall the steps He has challenged you to take.
Repent of any sin His Word has revealed to you.
Request His grace to live out what you have learned.
In one to three sentences, write down your prayer before the Lord as the last portion of your journal entry.
That is it! You have camped in God’s Word!
Before you get up, there is one more simple, but powerful step: share your campsite! Every morning after I CAMP in God’s Word, I pull out my phone, snap a pic of my campsite (a.k.a journal entry) and send it to my two oldest sons, my accountability partner, and the guys in my small group at church. They do not read my words because that is not the point. The point is accountability. Together, we hold each other accountable to be in God’s Word daily. Share your campsites with a small group of people you trust and encourage them to do the same.
[Want to practice? Download your free printable CAMP guide HERE.]
Find resources to help you start CAMPing in Scripture today!
Dr. D.J. Horton has written several different Bible study resources that are designed to provide a reading plan and a journaling guide as you pursue a closer relationship with God through consistently spending time in His Word. You can purchase his newest resource, 40: A Discipleship Journey, along with many others in our store.