One facet of my devotional life that is a struggle is Scripture memory. I can read, ponder and pray Scripture – but a real battle is memorization. It is not so much the difficulty of memorization, but the work. But, here is the truth, to grow deeply and to be prepared for battle with the enemy memorization is required. The Bible says this:
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
Jesus knew the Word.
In a very strange way that I cannot completely comprehend, the Word of God who is Jesus, knew the Word of God and used the Word. We find Jesus in Matthew 4 doing face to face battle with the enemy in the desert. Jesus was hungry, thirsty and no doubt tired; basically vulnerable in every way. At this point of vulnerability, the accuser tempted Jesus. Jesus’ response was to quote the very Word of God.
Waiting for the battle to know the Word is too late.
Jesus knew the Word before the Word was needed. Do you know the Word in key areas now? The Bible relates that we all are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13), yet God provides the way of escape. The Bible says we should resist the devil, submit to God and the enemy will flee. The Bible says that we are all tempted in much the same ways:
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. I John 2:16 ESV
A key way to recognize temptation and the lure of sin is to know the Word of God. If you know His law, you can recognize what breaks it. God’s Word also gives the offensive weapon, the Sword to defeat temptation.
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, Eph 6:17 ESV
Let me say again, this key area is a weakness for me. As I share this post with you, I am convicted to return to the verses I have placed in my heart and continue to add to them as this is a key foundation of spiritual health and maturity!
Tools to help in memorization:
There are old school and new school ways to memorize.
An old school way is long hand. I still have a box of memory cards in my desk. Believe it or not, but I found using some of my own old business cards was perfect. I use the backs of these perfectly sized and sturdy cards. I also have some old school memorization card holder packs and starter verses from familiar discipleship organizations.
A new school way is on my phone. There are some cool apps like The Bible Memory App. One of the highlights of this app is the way it helps you memorize with totally easy first letter typing of the verse in chunks.
Another new school way is using the Bible App. I do not believe there is an actual memory function yet as I read through the Bible each day, I highlight scripture that stands out to me. This app lets me scroll back through highlighted portions – especially those portions I would like to commit to memory.
And finally and my current go-to (and don’t judge), I simply take a screenshot of the passage I am currently memorizing from the Bible App screen on my phone! Cheesy – yes. Functional – extremely! I can scroll back through the verses and passages I am learning. Currently my screenshot scroll is 1 Peter 5:2-4.
What to memorize?
Another post could likely be an entire portion on what to memorize. Care can and should be taken in what to memorize. There are folks committed to areas of Christian growth and discipleship like memorization. Check out this resource at the Navigators.
A great way to memorize is to think of key areas such as these:
Confession of sin
God’s Law and Commands
Christian growth and maturity
I would love to hear how you plant God’s Word in your heart!