Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MMM: Why Bother to Memorize?

*As we gear up for Mega Memory Month, I'm reposting from my archives in an attempt to inspire you to join me in memorization. This post is a composite of posts originally published on January 31 and February 1, 2007 .*

For years, I sort of pooh-poohed the idea of deliberate, methodical Scripture memorization. It's not that I didn't believe it was important to know God's Word. I just never got on board with sticking index cards everywhere, or repeating a verse every day so you could recite it at Sunday school. I did have a lot of God's Word in my heart, but it was from years of regular reading and studying, not from using flash cards. I couldn't tell you the exact chapter and verse, but I could tell you that the end of Ephesians talked about the armor of God--and I could find it pretty quickly if I had my Bible. Or I may not get every word precisely right, but I could tell you the gist of it and again, verify it with my Bible. In the end, though, I think my resistance to the idea was mostly laziness and pride.

I don't know what changed my heart, but sometime in late 2006, I decided to try being more intentional about memorizing God's Word. Rather than learning a verse here and a verse there, I liked the idea of knowing large chunks of Scripture, and I remembered a method John Piper had outlined in one of his books that he claimed was incredibly effective. So I gave it a shot.

I was astounded at how God used it in my life. I started with Romans 8, and I found that lines of precious truth would run through my head at various times during the day, like song lyrics do. 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.

Scripture memorization is a valuable weapon in the fight to take every thought captive, to preach the gospel to yourself. Personally, 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 the discipline of memorization, seeking to saturate my mind with God's Word, helps me to keep my eyes on Jesus just a little more often. And isn't that the point?

1 comment:

Ann Kroeker said...

Amen, sister! Good stuff!