Every week, my kids memorize a Scripture passage having to with the Bible topic we are studying. As we’re making our way through Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven right now, they’ve been learning a lot of verses about a Christian’s life after death. It’s been a refreshing look at our future and a good reminder that this earthly life is just a tiny fraction of our eternal lives.
I make a game attempt to memorize the verses along with the kids, but it doesn’t always happen, my excuse being busyness. But lately, the Holy Spirit has brought to mind the importance of learning verses–hiding them in my heart, as David says in Psalm 119:11, and why it’s so vital to do so.
Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Last night, as I usually do, I prayed before I went to sleep, thanking God for the blessings of the day, asking him to forgive me for my failures and change me, that I might not so easily slip into my most “common” sins–you know, the ones that no matter how hard we try, we seem to fall into time and time again.
I’m not alone in this struggle, I know: I can sense the Apostle Paul’s frustration as he said in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” I sense that like me, Paul was rather type-A, always used to being in control, taking care of the details, not always suffering fools gladly (II Corinthians 11:19). But thanks to his pre-conversion education as a “Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee,” (Acts 23:6) he knew a LOT of Scripture, and he could wield it in his battle against his besetting sins, whatever they might have been.
Reflecting on this was sort of a light bulb moment for me. I considered how my Scripture memory has tapered off to almost nil since I started home-schooling my kids a decade ago, and admitted that the reverse should be true. If the Holy Spirit is ever going to be able to purge me of those besetting sins, I need to be fluent in his language, the Word of God. Here’s that verse again: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart.” Why? “That I might not sin against thee.”
Have you made memorizing Scripture a habit? Has it helped you conquer your flaws? I’d love to hear how you make it a part of your life.