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|
The Method To My MadnessI 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 MattersThe 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!