I'm all about "knowing your why." I've been on the topic of Scripture memorization a lot lately, and I want to pour out a little of my "Why Memorize?" to you. I also have a free printable resource to help you memorize more easily (further down in this post).
Oh, my friend--when we memorize God’s Word, its richness sinks into our souls. Memorization prepares us in advance for what is ahead of us. It helps us to learn about and then remember who God is and what He is like through the many circumstances and challenges that come our way. When we hide Scripture in our hearts, the Holy Spirit brings His Words of truth right to our minds and our lips at the very moment we need them.
To Know God and His Truth
We so desperately need to know the truth about who God is. John 8:32 says that the truth will set us free. The truth keeps us focused--keeps our eyes fixed on Jesus. The truth keeps us strong and secure and it fills us with hope through even the darkest of days. It teaches us who God is. It proves His character and how much He cares. It reminds us that He is constant and Sovereign and loving and good and faithful and gentle and strong.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit,” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
To Know Yourself
If we can think of some of our tendencies, our common battles, our tasks, our fears, or our typical responses to others, we can memorize verses to prepare our hearts in advance for some of the things we will be likely to face. Here are some ways to think about this:
- What are your day-to-day responsibilities? Choose verses that will uplift you, give you strength, and remind you of who God is throughout your day.
- What are some of your most common reactions when you feel offended? Look for verses that will remind you of the humblest and most loving responses.
- What are some of the things you tend to struggle with most? What are you often tempted by? Find verses that will bring you strength, truth, comfort, resistance, or peace through those struggles.
- Who are the people in your life? What do you want for them? How do you need to interact with them? Choose verses that will help direct you in how to pray for these people and how to live in loving relationships with them and around them.
To Know Your Enemy
We have a very real enemy who wants more than anything to pull us away from God. He twists God’s truth and tries to use it against us. He even did it to Jesus (Matthew 4:1-10). Jesus knew the whole truth, though, so He was able to combat the enemy’s lies.
- The more of God’s truth we can lock into our hearts, the stronger our resistance against the enemy will be and the greater our ability will be to combat his lies.
- Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God, and our only offensive weapon is called the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
- The more of God’s truth we know, the more we will recognize the enemy’s schemes and the way he deceives.
The Proof is in the Text
I could never begin to convey the immeasurable value of God’s Word and of knowing it by heart. Psalm 119 is one of my favorite places to look for what learning and living by God’s Word gives to us. Check out just a FEW of the things that knowing God's Word is good for, based on this one Psalm:
- “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” (v. 105).
- “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (v. 11).
- “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word,” (v. 9)
3. Joy and Focus.
- “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight,” (v. 143).
- “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long,” (v. 97).
- “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me,” (v. 175).
4. Confidence and Peace
- “Yet you are near, Lord, and all your commands are true,” (v. 151).
- “May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise; then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word,” (v. 41-41)
- “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble,” (v. 165).
- “The unfolding of your words gives light; It imparts understanding to the simple,” (v. 130).
- “Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees,” (v. 66-68).
6. Strength and Comfort.
- “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word,” (v. 28).
- “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life,” (v. 50).
- “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight,” (v. 76-77).
- “I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word,” (v. 107).
- “My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word,” (v. 81).
- “May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. (v. 74).
- “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word, (v. 114).
8. Desiring God.
- “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times,” (v. 20).
- “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts,” (v. 45).
10. Knowing God
- “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures,” (v. 89-90).
- “You are righteous, Lord, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy,” (v. 137-138).
Oh...and it can be super fun!
9 Steps to Easier Memorization
I've put together a resource with are nine tools to help you memorize Scripture more easily. This is the model that you’ll find laid out in the Hidden: Scripture Memory Journal, available at ToChooseJoy.com.
If you sign up for my email newsletter right here, you'll receive an email with a link to this PDF resource. You can download it and print it, or view it on your computer or phone. My prayer is that it's as useful to you as it has been to me.