Written by: Amy Dalke
If I were asked to name the One Thing that I need more than my next breath or my next meal…my answer would be the Word of God.
(Some of you may have imagined I would say something shallow like, “Tory Burch shoes”. Granted, I am admittedly a sucker for that sort of thing, but by the grace of God, Tory doesn’t hold my heartstrings.)
The Word of God is my home. It’s my lifeblood. His words meet every fear I face, and they sustain me in distress. The words of our God give life, strength, hope, comfort, and salvation in any and all circumstances. His Word is everlasting, unfailing. It is our offensive weapon in the spiritual battles we face daily.
God’s Word is life.
Jeremiah said this to God, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart…” (Jeremiah 15:16)
God commanded the Israelites to “…lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul…” (Deuteronomy 11:13a)
Paul encouraged the Colossians to “let the Word of God dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16)
A person cannot change their behavior without first changing their thoughts. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…” Proverbs 23:7
Our minds are renewed and our lives are transformed by the Word of God, but that is not an automatic process for every card-carrying, Bible believing Christian. We must seek out the scriptures, and investigate his word like our lives depend on it — because they do!
We certainly don’t need the word of God pulsing through our veins in order to continue our physical lives on earth. Yet to FULLY LIVE, His Word is a necessity. To live beyond our circumstances, to reach under the ugliness of the current situation, and find the joy and peace our hearts long for – we have to take in His Word and allow it to change us.
I began to memorize scripture during my junior year in college. I didn’t do this because I was in the Good Christian Society. Far from it, mind you. My 22 year old self decided to tuck God’s Word into my heart out of desperation.
I walked through life with a daily ache for freedom…for deliverance…for healing…for salvation.
By the time my third year of college rolled around, I was a wreck. I had been a long-time prisoner, chained to the relentless throes of both anorexia and bulimia.
I was so far gone, there was no way that I could put my life back together on my own. It is only by the grace of God, that somehow, in all my mess, I had wisdom enough to seek God for help. I carried my memory verses to and from class. I rehearsed them over and over and over in my head, day in and day out. As I continued to store these words in my heart, I was investing…little by little…in my future.
God’s words were not a magic pill that healed me instantaneously, nor were they an “easy button” that I could hit to blink me into normalcy. There were times I rehearsed them aloud, praying that just speaking them would deliver me from my hellacious pit. It didn’t work that way, and somehow through this, I learned that the words needed to become part of my belief system, rather than just empty words of knowledge.
I did not know, as a girl in my early twenties, that I would be 27 years old before I began to fully recover from bulimia. I had no idea that life would get a lot worse before I even glimpsed the “better”. Through it all, I never gave up hope that God’s Word would be my deliverance. I knew that every time life seemed hopeless, God would “send forth His Word to heal me…and deliver me from my own destruction.” (Psalms 107:20)
Long story short…I am a living case study that God’s Word works. If not for His life-sustaining word filling up my mind, I could not walk in any degree of freedom today.
I have not arrived in the land of trouble-less bliss. I walk through the mud and muck on a regular basis, and I still face mountains that require me to continually steep my mind like a teabag in the word of God. Without it, freedom eludes me.
Writing scripture across my mind is indeed my salvation.
God’s Word has miracle-working power…life changing power. Reading the word, savoring the word, meditating on the word, is the way we plug into the power source.
What if this could be the year that you change?
What if 2014 is the year you start to fully live?
What could life look like if you actively ingrain the Word into the fabric of your mind?
You don’t have to be an ever-loving mess like me to reap the invaluable rewards of memorizing scripture.
Chuck Swindoll said it perfectly: “I know no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing scripture…no other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened…your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”
So here’s the deal: let’s do this together.
On the 2nd and the 4th Monday of each month this year, we will pick a new scripture to chew on, to memorize for the following two weeks. I’ll pick mine. You pick yours. I’ll post mine on the blog, and you can share your’s in the comment section. Here’s my first one:
Amy, January 6: “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hosea 6: 3, NASB)
What’s your verse?