Friday, January 9, 2009

Warfare--Sword of the Spirit, memorization

One of the things the Lord has really impressed on me for this year is the importance of memorizing scripture. I have heard many excuses for avoiding this Christian discipline. However, the reality is excuses are just that--excuses. They are a justification for our not wanting to take responsibility for doing the right thing--the thing that feeds our soul, attacks a situation, brings down mountains, and breaks forth life. The Word says the Sword of Spirit is the Word of God. Why do we make excuses for refusing to pick up a weapon so powerful that it brought for the universe in six days?

If you have chosen to pick up your sword, one way you learn to wield is by memorizing scripture. I want to share a few methods for memorizing scripture.

1. Repeating aloud. Simply read the verse aloud repeated. For people who learn by hearing, this is great.

2. Technology aided. You can record it on an iPod or MP3 player and let it play back to you. Say it as it plays. This is great if you use your iPod for exercise or copy it to a CD to play in your car on the way to work or run errands. Hit the repeat button and let it go. Listen to it and repeat aloud. After awhile, you should be able to turn off the voice or CD and simply say it alone. Again, this is great for those who learn by hearing.

3. Write it down...over and over and over. I use this method because I remember what I see or read. One of the blessings of a photographic memory. There are 3 tactics for this. I use different ones at different time.
a. Break the verse or passage up into pieces, such as sentences or phrases.
Example: My children learned this in one day.
I command you to brave and courageous.
Do not be terrified.
Do not lose hope.
I am the Lord your God.
I will be with you
in everything you do. (Joshua 1:9 NIrV)

I wrote it on the white board that way. We read it several times. Then I started erasing words.
I command you to be brave and
Do not be
Do not
I am the Lord your God.
I will be with you
in everything you do.

More words were erased.
I command you to be
Do not
Do not
I am
I will

At that point, they had it memorized. Then we simply went through it a few times each day.

By the way, they each have their own journals, and they write down the verses they memorize and the date. We are building a foundation for them, and these are part of the bricks we use.

b. I write the scripture over and over. Each time I try to write more without having to look at the text. Usually, I have to write it four or five times to make it stick, and I try to keep my focus text under five written lines. If I am doing a long passage, I do it in sections. Today I worked on James 1:2-4. I worked on verses 2 and 3 by themselves.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Then I worked on verse 4.
Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Then I put the whole section together and wrote it several times. I use a simple spiral to write these in.

c. The last method incorporate color coding. An example is:
This is what I am commanding you to do.
Be strong and brave.
Do not be terrified.
Do not lose hope.
I am the Lord your God.
I will be with you
everywhere you go.

I use this with the children a lot. I make multiple copies on the computer and put them around the house. I put one in the bathroom, by their beds, on the wall so everyone can see it from the kitchen table. You get the idea.

Our goal is one sentence at a time. Breaking them up in colors makes the bites edible and not overwhelming.

Don't forget!!!
And that brings us to my final suggestion, put it everywhere so you can review it.

My friend Debra has verses on the wall in front of her toilet.
She has them on the cabinets in her kitchen.
She puts them like posters and post cards all around her bedroom.
If you walk in the door and turn to the side, there are verses.
You cannot walk into her house or move from room to room without seeing the verses.
She also has a packet in her purse at all times.
She takes them out and read them when she is waiting for her children.
She hands them to her girls to read while they are in the car driving from place to place.

Standing Together
Find an accountability partner or two. Tell them what you are memorizing and give them (or every other day) updates. Memorization really is a daily exercise. It takes about 27 days for something to become a habit, so try to make a goal of reviewing a verse everyday for a month. You can work on multiple verses at once. Write them all down in an email to your Accountability Warrior every day. If you are doing a whole section, and it takes two weeks to memorize, then write the whole thing you have memorized each day from the time you start that passage until a month after the last part is memorized. Does that makes sense?

After a month, the passage should be concreted in your brain.

So tell me, what scripture are you memorizing? Why? What is the Lord speaking to you through the verse(s)? You can email me through my profile if you want it private or share on the comments. Make it as long as you like. You never how much a fellow warrior may need what the Father is speaking into you, so share.

Blessings, Warriors and Warriors-in-the-Making!

This is what I command.
Be strong and brave.
Do not be terrified.
Do not lose hope.
I will be with you
everywhere you go.


Amelia said...

That's a good idea. I'm constantly amazed by Kayleigh's memory; I bet she's old enough to start getting more serious about learning the Word. So far all she knows is "Dear friends, let us love one another. 1 John 4:7."
I'm working on Romans chapter 12. "I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God..." because lately I've had trouble with being a "living sacrifice;" I keep trying to crawl off the altar and do my own thing, and I think I need the renewal of my mind and the reminder never to pride myself on being better than I am. And I need conscientiousness and an eager spirit in my assigned tasks. Lots of chapter 12 speaks to me lately.

Debra said...

You bless me my dear friend and remind me, too! :) You are a prize and a priceless gift to me! Love you, Kay-leb

Jan Parrish said...

Great plan. I'm with you on this one.



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