God spoke to Joshua following Moses’ death and gave him explicit instructions on the crossing. Apart from the specific details of how to proceed towards Jordon, Joshua was commanded to “keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it” (Joshua 1:8). As believers, we are called to keep His Word on our lips and to meditate on His truth in our minds. It is a life-changing spiritual mandate to speak and think about God’s Word. Memorising scriptures creates a discipleship platform so that believers may purposefully speak and think of scriptures. Therefore, scripture memory is a spiritual discipline.
Scripture memory entails memorising the written Word of God. This discipline is like picking up an imaginary spiritual sword to complete a personal baldric. In this illustration, the sword is His Word, and the baldric is our mind. The Word of God implanted inside the mind of a believer becomes the weapon of truths against the deceit of enemies. This lost art, among many other Christian practices, must be revived so that believers may personally experience the truth of God. Such experiences are realised by taking hold of His Word internally and walking in His ways. As such, scripture memory can be defined as an internalisation of scripture whereby God’s Word is engraved in the mind and heart of a believer through focus scriptural meditation and repetitive practices.
This discipline is like picking up an imaginary spiritual sword to complete a personal baldric. In this illustration, the sword is His Word, and the baldric is our mind. The Word of God implanted inside the mind of a believer becomes the weapon of truths against the deceit of enemies.
Memorising scriptures does not produce an instant benefit. Instead, it is a long-term spiritual investment with a significant future return. It may seem tedious and laborious at times, but a convicted believer who pushes through the obstacles and perseveres to follow through shall reap an abundance of harvest in His time. For instance, in the face of a myriad of impossible questions of life, memory verses are recalled from mind to lips declaring victory, courage, encouragement and strength. The Bible verses that refer to God’s hope when memorised speak hope into a hopeless situation. Bible verses that project faith when internalised produce faith in believers when faith is required. This can be illustrated as a soldier who does not prepare for combat on the battlefield. Instead, he prepares in peacetime. He is constantly equipping himself with the necessary skill set, techniques, and strategies. Memorising scripture for believers is peacetime preparation for battlefield readiness. The Word of God found in memory flows from mind and heart to lips; in turn, it becomes Words that releases faith to overcome difficulties.
I learned that our minds are wired to remember the details of ideas we are interested in and understand. For example, kids never forget their birthday because they know it is a day filled with fun, privileges, and gifts. As such, interest and understanding are two essential components for memorising the Scriptures with ease and success. Here are a few easy steps to get started:
- Pick a verse of interest (example, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 1:1-2 or 2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Try to understand it (It is easier if you have some grasp of the meaning)
- Repeat out loud with the verse open in front of you (at least ten times. When you look, read aloud, and hear yourself, this visual & audible repetitive routine improves your ability to remember)
- Stow the verse away and say it out loud. (Do not worry if you are unable to do it successfully on the first try. Repeat the process from step 2)
These steps are not the only means of memorising scriptures. The key is to find a way that works for you, continue to hone it and don’t give up. Methodologies for scripture memory may differ or change, but the objective remains the same. The aim is to remember the scriptures. This spiritual discipline is not a determinate for salvation but necessary for spiritual growth. It is a spiritual discipline, not constrained by place or language. Therefore all believers should invest their time and effort in this spiritual discipline which promises personal revival.