Scripture Points the Way
Where are you going in life? Is there a path you pursue? What is your GPS? It is so easy to lose our way among many life options, or situations that get thrown at us.
When I was living in the Chicago suburbs before GPS was available in public markets, I was constantly getting lost by taking wrong turns on busy streets and missing my exits on freeways. Being so lost was frightening! To find the right road to my destination, I'd pull off when I could, and check the map.
One of my concerns as a counselor and life coach is to help women to follow Jesus Christ according to the “Map” God gave us. That is, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.
Whether learning to cope because of your wrongdoing or as a victim of an other's wrong; or simply choosing to follow Jesus in your good, bad, or really ugly circumstances; in all life scenarios, the Scriptures provide the only reliable route. As a matter of fact, the Word of God is a ”light to [our] path” (Psalm 119:105) and it “impart[s] understanding” (Psalm 119:130). More, if we hide God's Word in our heart (Psalm 119:11)—that is, memorize His Word—we are less apt to sin against God.
Wanting to point my clients in the right direction from the start of counseling them, I first check their Bible reading and have them increase their intake of the Holy Scriptures. Following that, I have them memorize Scripture verses specific to their situation.
Memorizing Scripture can be intimidating and difficult, but God upholds us in our efforts and helps us along the way. I grew up being religious, but did not become a Christian until my later 20's. I didn't start memorizing Scripture until my children were in AWANA memorizing their Scripture verses. At that time, I learned Bible verses right along with them. I then continued to memorize Scripture.
Later, as an empty nest-er, there were a couple times that memorizing Scripture was particularly difficult. The first was more out of fear that I might not be able to commit upcoming intense Bible information to memory. I was in the middle of my distance education Bachelor's studies, and someplace over 50 years old. To practice remembering details, I decided to memorize Scripture.
I prayed, “Lord, I am at an age where people say it's useless to try to memorize, but you have not put an age limit on hiding Your Word in our hearts. I really want to glorify You and not me with what I learn. Therefore, I trust You to help me, even making it easy.” I proceeded to learn some of Psalm 119. The first eight verses were quite a challenge. After that, I moved forward more easily, memorizing the first 68 verses of Psalm 119 in several months.
Another time Scripture memorization was especially difficult was when I decided to memorize Bible verses in Spanish. Since there are many Spanish-speaking people in the area in which I lived and we had been developing friendships, I wanted to share meaningfully in our conversations. Scripture holds the most significant meaning to anyone of any language.
Though I hardly recall much of my high school Spanish, I purchased a Spanish-English Bible and started right away with the “Roman Road” which is a short presentation of the Good News of salvation from the Book of Romans. It includes the verses Romans 3:10; 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; and 10:9-10
“As it is written, none is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.”
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
In the middle of memorizing the first verses in Spanish, my brain seemed to freeze in the frame: “this-is-so-hard!” I got down on my knees and implored God's help. He helped me through those verses. Again, I was privileged to experience God's assist throughout the endeavor.
Not only did I commit Scripture verses to memory, but also I was more cognizant of God's continual Presence and guidance. Further, my heart is more alert to the Holy Spirit shaping me into the likeness of Jesus Christ (That's “likeness”; not “being.” Only Jesus Christ can be who He is.)
Dear Reader, my aim with this series is to encourage you to saturate your soul with God's Word, to draw near to God, and to find that God through Jesus Christ is your only true Navigator. In this series, I will talk about the spiritual discipline of memorizing Scripture: its process, hurdles, and some helps. It is my prayer that, as a result of reading the articles and understanding details of memorizing, learning Scripture will be easier for you, too. As well, that it will be more of the God-worshiping experience it is meant to be. And, that you will see God pointing your way to Him from the pages of His Word.
I hold out this challenge to you: whether you are younger or older, decide to memorize Scripture. Memorize more. It doesn't matter in what language you memorize Scripture or what verses you choose, the process requires so much repetition that, if you are willing, your heart will be wonderfully transformed (that is, changed) by the Word as you learn it.
God bless you!