I've got a bible app on my phone. Why download verses to my brain?
FIX THESE WORDS OF MINE IN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS... -DEUTERONOMY 11:18A
Memorize Bible verses? Why would anyone do that? We all have Bibles on our phones, right at our fingertips. Why would you need to memorize it? Want to listen to your Bible? There’s an app for that. Want to hear people talk theology? There’s a podcast for that. Want to know what the Bible says about justice, parenting, dating, anxiety…. whatever your Biblical question, just Google it. When we’ve all got Bibles downloaded on our phones, why would anyone ever download verses to their brains?
Well, there’s this funny thing that happens when you memorize something. Those words get into you, and they keep showing up in different situations, putting a lens over how you interpret things. Those words you learned come to you when you’d least expect it, refocusing your mind. They give guidance and wisdom and life. In every situation, but especially in difficult ones they ground you to the truth that transcends circumstance. I’d say, at least for me, memorizing Scripture has been the biggest agent of good in my day to day life. It’s how I hear God speaking to me, all the time, in his own words. I can only begin to show you some of the ways “fixing his words” in my mind have changed my heart.
Days are long. I need to refocus.
Even when I spend time in God’s Word first thing in the morning, by the time I hit the pavement, I’m head-down, task-focused, just trying to tackle all the things I have coming at me. I, for one, need CONSTANT refocusing. I need a reminder to rest in God’s goodness when I’m work-weary out (Ps 116:7), to rely on his Spirit when I am doing things in my own strength (2 Tim 1:7), and to take “kindness detours” from my plan for my day (Eph. 4:32). These are just three of the latest verses we’ve memorized for Dwell; and what an impact they have had on these last three months! God’s words in me constantly challenges me to live differently than how I’m prone to live. I’m reminded all day long to take those “inconvenient detours” that actually end up being the path God laid out for me.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
I am not wise.
We all want to believe that we have these disarming nuggets of truth to drop on people, the perfect words for every situation. The truth is, we just don’t. At least, I don’t! If I’m being honest, ANYTHING I ever say—anything of any value, anything wise or good or ture, anything at all—didn’t originate with me! I totally lifted it from the Bible. Praise God though! He’s not worried about plagiarism. He wants us to know his words and share them. And when we have his words on the tip of our tongues, we’ve got the best, right words for every situation.
God’s Word is life.
Jesus gives us this great illustration to help us understand the life-giving nature of his spending time with him and in his Word. He tells us in John 15 that we are branches and he’s the vine. And just like branches must remain attached to the vine in order to live, we too cannot live without staying connected to the life-giving source, Jesus. In verse 7, he tells us to remain in him and to keep his words in us. They are HOW we stay connected to him and know him. Now, this doesn’t mean if we don’t memorize Scripture, we can’t be connected to him. Surely, we can be in his Word in other ways. But, one really great way to have his words in us is by memorizing them. It’s a constant connection wherever we are, all day (and night) long.
Life isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs.
All of us have very real struggles in this imperfect world. We deal with loss and hardship, relational difficulties, work strife, failure, depression, and anxiety. When we memorize God’s Word, we have it with us, on the ready for whatever life might throw at us. There have been specific times in my own life when those words from God were my lifeline. I can think of moments on my floor, face-down, just repeating promises I had memorized, claiming them for myself, hoping in them when they were my only hope. When everything around us feels uncertain, we need connection with the truth that transcends our circumstances.
What about you?
Have you ever memorized Scripture? Do you have a favorite verse? Have you ever given Biblical words to your suffering or claimed promises by reciting them back to God or given someone else a verse to comfort or encourage them? These are very real things that God’s people do in the Bible and still do today. There is wisdom and life and hope there for us when we focus and refocus on his words. It only takes one verse to make a huge impact on our lives and in the lives of those around us.
What verse could you memorize to speak into your current situation?
How might reciting Scripture help you refocus your day when you get off track?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
We'd love to see you around.