Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hide the Word: How?

The method is simple enough: Read the verse 10 times out loud, then cover the page and recite it 10 times out loud, peeking if you need to. And you're done for the day. The next day, review yesterday's verse first. Recite it 10 times out loud, looking if you need to. Then move on to the next verse, reading 10 times and reciting 10 times. Next day, review yesterday's verse first. Recite it 10 times, then recite all the verses you know once, then move on to the next verse. (For more explanation and tips, click here. I, like Piper, don't bother with the verse numbers--I know what chapter it's in, and approximately where, and that's good enough for me. I'd rather not have the numbers interrupting the flow of the passage.)

I started with Romans 8--and I was amazed at the impact it had on me. I found that lines of precious truth would run through my head at various times during the day, like song lyrics would. And I couldn't believe how many opportunities God provided to quote and apply the truths I had committed to memory--to remind myself of a promise, to encourage a friend in a struggle, to direct a prayer.

I also couldn't believe how easy it was--or how well this method encouraged long-term retention. How many of us have crammed for tests, only to forget all the information just hours later, let alone days or weeks? I know I've memorized Scripture before, only to have it fade from my memory eventually. But with this method, you're repeating what you know every day, which helps it to stick. And once you're all done with the passage, you continue repeating it once a day for 100 days. Sounds like a lot, but it doesn't take any time out of your busy day at all, because you don't have to look at your Bible to do this. So you can recite the passage while you're walking the dog, or doing dishes, or taking a shower.

You know what? It works. Three months later, I can still rattle off all of Romans 8 without even having to pause. It comes to mind every now and then, so I go through it--which keeps it fresh, and of course has the benefit of bringing my focus back to God and His truth during the mundane moments of the day.

And I'm convinced. Deliberately hiding God's Word in my heart has been a really meaningful practice for me, so I've continued with other passages. Soon I think maybe I'd like to tackle a whole (short) book. Or maybe Hebrews 9-10--I saw a video a while back of a man dramatically reciting these two chapters on the cross, and it was powerful! (As an aside--the method recommended in that link is the same one I'm recommending to you.)

I find it difficult to set my mind and heart on things above. It's so easy to be distracted and bogged down by the routines and demands of everyday life--or to shut your brain off and go on autopilot. But this discipline of spending just a few minutes a day (it really doesn't take very long) seeking to saturate my mind with God's Word helps me to keep my eyes on Jesus just a little more often every day. And isn't that the point?


Anonymous said...

I read the exerpt that you linked yesterday about the method. Very interesting! I am excited to try it out. Thanks for the link.

By the way, Rabbit Rabbit!

:) Love, Sandra

Jamie said...

I'm going to use this with the girls for school :)