04 May 2012

Becoming a Warrior Maiden

Dear Lissy,

 We've just come off a week of revival meetings at our church. My heart has been encouraged and inspired, and we saw a soul saved last night. Physically, though, I'm exhausted from being with people every night for a week. I'm using this afternoon to catch up on housework and spend some time alone.

Warrior Maiden by Alois Noette
I realized after looking back through the last year and a half of letters that I've never written on Scripture memory.

The Method To My Madness
I use a very simple method referred to as "first letter" to memorize.
I downloaded a hyper-linked Bible that I can access either from my phone or our Kindle so I can work on memory and review either at home or while out & about.  This tool allows me to easily toggle between the full text I'm memorizing and the first letter of each word in the verse.  Mrs. D uses a similar i-pod app for her memory work.

As I've grown older, I've transitioned from topical memory to passage memory.  Most Sunday School, camp, club, and college memory work is topical.  We learn verses that help us witness, understand the most important doctrines of Scripture, or allow us to defend ourselves in warfare with our flesh and the Devil.  These verses are  as vitally important as you start in your Christian walk as beginning forms are in swordmanship.  Once you have mastered the individual verses, however, it's important to move into more advanced work.  Learning passages of Scripture is akin to participating in actual fights.  You combine the forms in various ways, perhaps pick up a few new moves, and increase in skill.

Why Memorizing Matters
The Bible I downloaded gave dozens of reasons for memorizing God's Word, and there are thousands of articles on Bible Memory on the internet.   Here are my own top three:

The Bible is how you learn Jesus Christ. 
Your dad and I dated long distance for three years long before the invention of e-mail.  We learned more about each other through our letters than we ever did by talking.  God has chosen to reveal his character and person in His Word.  As you memorize it, and therefore meditate on it, you learn about the character of and become closer to your Savior, Brother, and Lord.

The Bible is the sword of the Spirit.  
The only words the Spirit has ever spoken to my mind were straight from His Word.  That often happens through the process of illumination while I'm reading/studying, or through the preaching and singing of His Word in church.  But often, when I'm weak, or weary, or battling, or outright sinning in real life, He speaks verses to my mind.  As I increase His vocabulary, he is able to comfort and come alongside me in ways He never could before.  Only His Word, the sharpest of swords, can divide the mind, emotions, and will of a human being from their spirit.
I increase my own witnessing vocabulary.  Nothing I can do or say outside of God's Word is going to bring a soul to Christ.  New souls are born of the Spirit and the Word.  Just like a midwife, the more I know, the more useful I become in facilitating that process.  Just last night our Pastor's wife was caught in the middle of "labor", and brought a new soul into the kingdom with only the Bible she had in her heart.  A true warrior maiden, she didn't miss a beat, and the our new baby sister arrived safely.
I increase my counseling/teaching vocabulary.  I will speak in public when asked, but the vast majority of the work God has called me to do is "life-touching-life" work.  Praying.  Encouraging my husband.  Raising and home educating my children.  Encouraging and exhorting friends.  Once again, the words of the Spirit hold far more power to comfort, encourage, exhort, or warn than anything my feeble mind will ever conceive.  My favorite definition of counseling is "people in need of change helping people in need of change."  As God gives me wisdom regarding the source and/or outcome of unbiblical thinking in another person's life, it is only His Word that holds the power to transform that friend's mind.

The Bible gives us extraordinary power in prayer.
My strongest spiritual gifts are prophecy and mercy.  God gives me the others on an "as need" basis.  The gift of prophecy is incredibly difficult to control, and wildly inappropriate for a woman (or so I thought).  At its essence, prophecy is a compulsion to speak against error. I don't see a cute little acorn of sin in that toddler, I picture the oak it will become when he's an adult, and used to go in swinging an axe.  I burst into tears and left a church service while visiting Aunt D because all the holiness was gone in that place and I couldn't bear it.  Needless to say, I hurt people.  Regularly.  After your Dad preached a series through the gifts of the Spirit, I understood both the strengths and the weaknesses of the gift of prophecy.  I got really upset that I'd been given prophecy, and I begged God to switch it over to exhortation or some other more socially acceptable gift.  He gently and lovingly taught me from Ezra and Isaiah that I was going to continue seeing sin, but that I should speak to Him about it in prayer instead of directly to that individual most of the time.  I pray hard for my friends and family.  When I see sin, I bring it before Him using His own Word.  I have learned over the last several years to do justly, but to love mercy, and in all that to walk humbly before my God.  I will have a lifelong challenge to keep my mouth shut until I'm in my prayer closet, but it's a battle that's worth winning.  I need only look in the mirror to remember that I, too, am a person in need of change!!!  Whatever gifts the Spirit gives you, you'll find they have incredible power in your intercessory prayer life if you are able to harness them with the Word.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of reasons to study, meditate, memorize, and implement the Word.  Learn your Weapon, well, my Dear.  God needs more valiant warrior maidens!



  1. Your post brings to mind the following passage of Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."

    I have the gift of discernment, but without love and wisdom, this gift can likewise be distructive! I too have had to learn lessons the hard way... Love, love, love your post.

    1. Thank you for your insight and encouragement. I Corinthians 13 hits the nail right on the head. Another one that frequently comes to mind is "the law of kindness is in her tongue" from Prov. 31. The word "law" is Torah. A virtuous woman is as concerned with kindness as she is personally following God's laws.

  2. Meant to say... I've added you to my Link Up page on my blog!

  3. I really want to memorize scripture and what I've been doing lately is listening to verses again and again. I've also tried drawing them. I've had some victories but not as much as I've hoped! Patsy from

    1. Your artwork is beautiful. I particularly liked the Hosea 2 piece :) I'm sure you must have to immerse yourself in a verse in order to create a piece of art from it. You may find as an artist that getting a CD of the words set to music or writing a little tune yourself helps you learn them better. I don't worry too much about fast (I spent my childhood with verse deadlines!), I just want them deep in my heart and mind.

  4. I had one of those "you, too?" moments when I started reading your post. I struggle with needing alone time. People drain me.

    Memorizing Scripture (or anything!) is becoming increasingly more difficult as I age. I still work on it, but it's much slower and not as effective. I have become so thankful for the chapters I memorized as a child and young mother. I created a unique method involving letters and stick figures. Everyone laughs when they see it, but it works for me!

  5. Lissy is blessed to have a mother who is so diligent in teaching her how to live a life pleasing to God. We are blessed with your sharing what you share with Lissy. Thank you for that.

  6. Have added a link to your post on my online favourites for this week :D

  7. I'm quite chuffed to be featured on a UK blog -- thank you!