“Let us labor to memorize the Word of God—for worship and warfare. If we do not carry it in our heads, we cannot savor it in our hearts or wield it in the spirit.” (John Piper)
Memorizing Scripture is a widely neglected spiritual discipline. The benefits of this practice are numerous, and yet we evangelicals don’t do it very well.
There are a plethora of good—and even vital—reasons to memorize and study Scripture. But none may be more important than these: worship and warfare.
We live in an age where all people—regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof—worship something or someone. Worship is engrained in our DNA. We can’t not worship. So we must understand how important it is to worship rightly, or, shall I say, biblically.
In the Christian faith, there is one correct way to worship God—by spirit and truth (Jn. 4:24). However, there are different avenues through which we worship the Lord: prayer, Scripture reading, the preaching of the Word, etc. But one of the best paths is to worship God through Scripture memorization.
We memorize Scripture not to inflate our egos or puff up our pride, but to worship God. When we don’t have a Bible handy, the verses we’ve memorized will remain in our minds and we can also meditate on them and worship the Lord.
Take Romans 8:28, for example.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28
When we implant the message of Romans 8:28 in our minds—like how I get the theme song to Gabby’s Dollhouse in my head from my children watching it endlessly—its truths permeate our hearts as well and we worship God. We worship Him because we know, through memorization, that He works all things together for our good. Everything.
It’s in our darkest moments, our loneliest of days, our strangest of hours that memorizing Scripture benefits us.
Christians are at war—daily. The moment our feet hit the floor to the instant our heads hit our pillows, we are fighting in an ongoing battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil.
And because we fight in this seemingly never-ending war (until we die or Christ comes), it is imperative that we use our ammunition. That ammunition, of course, is the Word of God. And what better way to use it than by memorization?
Let’s use Romans 8:28 again. This marvelous passage should be the greatest piece of ammunition in our fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world. When society attempts to paint us as those on the wrong side of history or as hateful bigots, we know, according to God’s Word, that all things were together for our good and His glory. Even marginalization or persecution. People may attempt to harm us, but we are ultimately in the sovereign hands of God.
The flesh. All our moments of temptation, seasons of giving in, times of agony—these are instances when it’s so important to have memorized Romans 8:28. Though we battle with our flesh, we can fight the promises of sin with the promise of Romans 8:28.
The devil. Oh, how the devil thinks he can accuse us and get away with it. Unfortunately, we let him sometimes. But when we have the promise of Romans 8:28 in our minds and hearts, Satan can accuse us all he wants—we know it’s a lie.
To memorize Scripture is, put simply, to prepare our minds for the Christian life. Don’t just read the Bible—memorize it. Don’t just read it like a newspaper—study it. Use flash cards to memorize key verses like Romans 8:28. Make memorization a priority in your walk with Jesus. When you do so, we will be better prepared for worship and warfare.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you might be interested in my new book, Taking No for an Answer: How to Respond When God Says No to Our Prayers.
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Amen! Having it ready to say, “It is written….” when you are tempted, is truly using the Sword of the Spirit.
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