Hiding God's Word In My Heart
|Hiding God's Word In My Heart|
Do you struggle to memorise Scripture? It's been a long time since I was really serious about it. Years ago, I would regularly and easily learn Bible verses when I attended Sunday School and children's clubs at church.
Now I find it so much harder. I'm sure it's partly because of my age and partly due to having M.E. which has negatively affected my ability to concentrate and retain information. However, neither of these reasons are good enough to excuse me from trying to memorise God's Word.
This year I'm taking part in Kristi Woods' Scripture Memory Program. (http://kristiwoods.net/) The aim is to memorise the whole of Psalm 34 one verse at a time through 2018.
Why should you and I memorise Scripture?
Basically, I believe it's for our good. God commands it. Jesus modeled it when he walked this earth, and we are called to be like Jesus.
In Psalm 119:11 we read I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (NLT). Other Bible translations use the words 'treasured' or 'stored'. When I treasure God's Word I am treating it as it deserves to be treated.
We treasure those things which matter most to us. We hide in our heart that which is most precious to us, to protect, guard and keep them safe. If that is true then it leads me to ask the question: 'How precious is God's Word to me? Do I value it for the treasure it is?' As the psalmist said in the verse I quoted it is also a tool for keeping me from sinning against God. Jesus used it as such when tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
When Joshua was preparing to take over from Moses as leader of God's people, God said this to him Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success. Joshua 1:8 (VOICE)
When we memorise Scripture and meditate on it we find that it takes root in our hearts, our minds and our mouths. As we meditate on it we learn to apply it to our daily lives. It helps us to make good decisions, to build healthy relationships with God and one other, to live in a way which pleases God.
Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness. Colossians 3:16 (VOICE)
When we memorise God's Word it will 'richly inhabit' our lives and will result in us praising and worshipping God. It creates within us a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude.
I've already mentioned that I find it hard to memorise Scripture. However, I feel led to work at it this year. (You may remember that my one word for the year is perseverance. Well, memorising for me is definitely an act of perseverance!) I am finding that there are a few things which are helping me to persevere. Maybe they will be of help to you too.
Here are my strategies for memorising Scripture:
1. Get support from others, a close friend, your spouse, your sibling, your church home group. Or do as I'm doing and join an online group. It's not too late to join the group I'm in. (We began to memorise the second verse just this week.) Here's the link: http://kristiwoods.net/ready-for-our-first-memory-verse-word18-begins-today-psalm-341/ Or go to her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KristiWoodswriter/
It's so much harder when I try to do this on my own. We all need someone who will encourage and support us and who will provide us with some accountability.
2. Begin with small bites and chew on it slowly so I am not trying to memorise too much too soon. Be realistic about what I can achieve, otherwise, I set myself up for failure. When I try to do too much I fail, get discouraged and give up. This makes me reluctant to try again. What I like about the online group I've connected with is it's just learning one new verse, every two weeks. Two weeks gives me a reasonable amount of time to keep meditating and memorising the verse so that it becomes a part of me.
3. Write down the verses I am memorising. Don't just read it in my Bible or on my phone. Have it on small pieces of paper or flashcards so I can keep it to hand to look at several times each day until I have memorised it.
4. Keep feeding on it. When I go for a meal at a restaurant I usually order the same meal every time because I enjoy it and it tastes good to me. Likewise, keep meditating on the verse(s) you are memorising and enjoy the benefits which come from this healthy food. I repeat the verses when I take my dog for a walk, I use them in my prayer time with God, when I go about my housework, as I wait at the train station to collect my daughter from college etc.
5. Rely on the Holy Spirit to help in the process of memorising. I know my attempts to learn on my own are feeble at best, but with him, I have the best memory aide I could desire and he's just waiting to be asked.
Jesus said this to his disciples: But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. John 14:26 (AMP)
Not only does the Holy Spirit help us in this way, I believe that he is the one who gives us the desire to meditate on God's Word. But, I still need to ask him to give me that desire in the first place.
So, who's up for the challenge this year?
To Think About:
What reasons are there for memorising Scripture? What blessings come when you spend time memorising and meditating on it?
What do you think stops you or hinders you from memorising God's Word? When you've identified what these things are, what can/will you do about them?
If you decide to memorise God's Word, which of the strategies mentioned above do you think will be most helpful for you personally? Are there other things I've not mentioned which could help you?
If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon, now on Kindle as well as in paperback. (Its content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: