There are so many spiritual disciplines in which we can engage to grow and mature in Christ. Prayer, service, solitude, fasting, and worship are just a few of the valuable practices in which disciples of Jesus have engaged for centuries.
Dallas Willard says something in his book, The Great Omission, with which I wholeheartedly agree:
“If I had to–and of course I don’t have to–choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life and take only one, I would choose…
Here are three reasons why I believe memorizing portions of Scripture is an indispensable spiritual discipline.
1. It feeds well other spiritual disciplines. We can pray the Scriptures. We can meditate on them in solitude or while we’re fasting. Memorizing them can be the fruit of our study. And they can inspire our worship. It is a powerful way to fulfill the highest of all the commandments, loving God with all our mind.
2. We need truth to counter the lie of sin. “I have hidden your word in my heart,” the psalmist wrote, “that I might not sin against you.” Nothing helps us see through the flimsy, empty promises of sin like the solid, hearty promises of God we find in His Word. This thought, which I’ve seen attributed to both John Bunyan and Dwight Moody is so very true: “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.”
3. The thoughts in our minds become the content of our lives. We’ve heard it said that our thoughts become actions, and actions become habits, and habits become character. Our thoughts are the software of our selves. The question is: Who’s writing the code? Our minds are always being filled with something. We have a responsibility to proactively determine what that should be. Referring to Scripture, Willard asks, “Can anyone really imagine that they have anything better to keep before their mind?”
I encourage you to try this if you’ve never done it, or try it again if it’s been awhile since you’ve memorized some Bible. It is one of the earliest and most repeated of God’s directives. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…” (Deuteronomy 11:18).
What verses or passages of Scripture have you found especially helpful to memorize?