by Pastor Tim Burt
I have never known a devout Christian who hasn’t wished their faith in God was stronger! They want greater strength to obey God’s Word, greater strength to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and greater strength to restrain themself from temptation.
Spiritual strength equates to power—power from God. When we think of power, we should think of the inherent power of God’s word. God’s word declares its own power! Hebrews 4:12 NLT2 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
When you need strength, don’t you usually need it right away? Don’t you want that power the moment you actually need it? That’s what the Word is when you take those words written from God as personal, truth, alive, and a promise to you! They were written to you and they are alive, quick, and powerful. For this reason, it is so great to commit scripture to memory.
These verses talk about keeping God’s Word in your heart and the strength and value they bring to you!
Psalm 119:11 NIV “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 19:7-8 NIV “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
Romans 15:4 NIV “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.”
Here’s what some great men of God have said about committing scripture to memory.
Billy Graham: “I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.”
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization”
Charles Swindoll, Insight For Living/Dallas Seminary, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture…No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”
C.H. Spurgeon said of John Bunyan, “Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.”
When the Word of God is believed, it has the power to strengthen you instantly, pulling you from discouragement into a place of hope and faith. It has the power to give you direction, or comfort, or supernatural peace. It assures you of God’s love and grace toward you! It is quick and powerful! When you have the word memorized in your heart, you’ll find that you have greater and more frequent conversations with the Lord where you sense Him speaking to you through the word you’ve hidden in your heart. The primary way He speaks to you is through His Word. When verses are in your heart, He pulls them up to talk to you through them. And as Psalm 119:11 which says, it helps you restrain your thoughts, tongue, and behavior. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Of all disciplines to take on, start with this one. Write a scripture that speaks powerfully to you on a slip of paper and put it in your pocket. Look at it over and over and say it until it becomes a part of you! The transformation of your intimacy with God and strength of spirit in a short time will be astounding!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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