Last week I told you why I prioritize memorizing scripture. I loved hearing from many of you about your “why”.
Maybe you’re someone who likes the idea of memorizing scripture but the actual practice of it is intimidating. It feels too hard and sounds like too much work.
I hear you. I’ve been there too.
A couple years ago, when I was confident that the skill of scripture memory was beyond me, I sensed the Lord challenging me to memorize a large piece of text (specifically the entire book of Colossians). I blew off the idea for months, thinking there’s no way I could do it. But, I couldn’t shake the idea or the growing desire to try.
Although I was afraid to fail, I was sure that the Lord had put the desire in my heart for a reason, so I decided to give it try.
It took me four and a half months, but I did it. 95 verses. 1 verse at a time.
The process of memorizing this large portion of scripture absolutely blew my mind. Verse by verse, God opened my mind to learn, absorb and retain His Word. It was crazy and humbling and so very precious to me.
Now I know I was right; Memorizing scripture was beyond me.
But, it wasn’t beyond the work of God inside me. God did this for me, and I’m confident He will do it for you too. Will you allow God the opportunity to dazzle you with His ability to feed your mind with Truth? He does NOT disappoint!
Here are a few tips that have helped me along the way:
#1: Include God in the process.
This may seem obvious, but it wasn’t for me. Every other time I tried memorizing scripture, I did it in my own strength. I didn’t include God in the process. I never even asked Him for help.
But when my assignment was an entire book of the Bible, I knew I was in over my head. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I knew I needed Him to do the work for me.
Realizing this changed everything.
The Bible is unlike any other book. It is God-breathed and God-inhabited. It is living and active, with the supernatural powerful to convict, comfort, guide and transform. A supernatural book requires a supernatural approach. We can’t do this on our own.
So, before you attempt to memorize scripture, pray. Ask God to open your mind to receive and retain truth.
#2: Memorize one verse at a time.
This is how I memorized the entire book of Colossians. 95 verses at a time is ridiculously intimidating. But one verse at a time, I could do that.
My challenge to you this year is to memorize one verse each month. Not only is this doable, but it is a great place to start.
#3: Write the verse by hand five times.
When memorizing Colossians, I wrote down my new verse five times in a row in my journal. Usually by the fifth time, I could write the verse by memory. If I still needed practice, I would read it several times out loud.
#4: Keep the verse in front of you constantly.
Write your memory verse on sticky notes and put it in places you will read it often. Write it on your bathroom mirror and rehearse it before you go to bed. Put it on the dashboard of your car and practice on the road. Save the verse as the lock screen on your phone. You know you’ll be looking there often.
#5: Meditate on the verse throughout the day.
The purpose of memorizing scripture is not just learning words. It’s about incorporating its truth into the fabric of our lives. We do this by meditating on the meaning and purpose of the verse.
Meditate means, “to think deeply or carefully about“.
Throughout the day, let the verse roll around in your mind. Soak in it. Let it become part of your conversation with God. Talk to Him about what the verse means and how He wants to incorporate it in your life. Ask Him how it could change the way you think, how you talk, and how you live.
#6: Find practical ways to apply it.
Then, do what He says.
Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
When we start putting God’s Word into action – when we become doers of the Word – that’s when His Truth becomes the substance of our lives. That’s when real life transformation happens. That’s when God’s Word begins to speak in you, not just at you. (Dallas Willard)
#7: Find someone to hold you accountable.
Lastly, find someone to memorize with you. Accountability helps keep us motivated and focused. Find a friend or a Bible study group to memorize with you.
If you need someone to keep you accountable, tell me! I’d love to encourage you and cheer you on as you pursue His Word.
I hope these tips are useful and encouraging.
Do you have any great tips that I missed? If so, please comment below and let us know.
Your challenge for today: Start!
If you’d like to join us in memorizing 11 verses to grow your faith in 2017, here’s our first verse:
You can read more about it HERE. I’ll post the second verse on February 7th.
Until then, practice, practice, practice.