Once a child went to fight a dragon. He underestimated his enemy, and the only weapon he found to defend himself was a pencil. The boy jabbed at the soft underbelly of his foe, but it did not penetrate deep enough. The dragon’s fire soon destroyed the lad.
Maybe you memorized verses like John 3:16 when you were younger. That’s great! All of God’s Word is inspired and helps us flourish. However, if that is the only verse you know, you might want to fortify your spiritual arsenal to something beyond a pencil so you are prepared to face the enemy when temptation comes.
We Need More Than Digital Data
Perhaps you have wondered why, with a world of knowledge at our fingertips through the Internet, would anyone need to memorize Scripture? Isn’t it easier to search online to find a verse than spend time learning passages? Yes, in the world of modern technology, I can pull up information quickly, but what happens when my phone is not nearby? What if I am tempted to sin, yet can’t think of any reason not to give in, and don’t Google reasons why to obey God? Despite the advances of technology, Scripture memory will never become antiquated.
Committing God’s truth to memory gives the Holy Spirit more room to change me from the inside out. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (NKJV). When my life is permeated with digital everything, my brain starts to atrophy. The Lord wants to transform my mind, which happens when I let Scripture nourish my soul.
Feed Your Mind on Truth
Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (NKJV). When all the riches of God’s Word dwell in me, I will have wisdom to face the challenges that society poses. Without God’s truth abiding in my heart and guiding my choices, I can fall prey to the trappings of this world instead of walking the straight and narrow. My heart rejoices when God’s Word rules in my life because I can give and receive correction in ways that align with good sound doctrine.
I desire to obey God, but first I must know what God has called me to do. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (NKJV). When I store God’s truths deep inside the wellsprings of my life, the Holy Spirit can use those verses as spiritual weapons to help fight lies from the enemy. Think of Jesus when He was tempted in the desert. He recited Scriptures to Satan to deflect the attack and left without succumbing to the lure of evil. What an example He set for us to follow.
Fight with a Full Arsenal
As I learned from the story of the boy and the dragon, I can much better stave off temptation when I have a wide array of truth ready to slay the lies. One way I can escape sin is when the Holy Spirit reminds me of specific verses that apply to my trouble spots. For example, when I am tempted to blow up in anger at someone irritating, the Holy Spirit reminds me of Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (NKJV). In the moment, that verse helps me to bite my tongue and pray for the person instead of stirring up wrath.
This type of targeted Scripture memory applies to a wide set of temptations. For those struggling not to lust or look at pornography: learn Psalm 101:3, for those caught up in gossip: commit Proverbs 16:28 to heart, for those prone to rack up credit card debt: study Proverbs 22:7. I’ve found that learning Scriptures that fit my circumstances lets me live in victory. If your struggles are different than the ones I noted, memorizing Bible verses that address your areas of difficulty can help you triumph too.
Now that I’ve sold you on the importance of remembering God’s Word, maybe you are moaning because the thought of committing Bible verses to heart is daunting. Here is a link to an article Know the Word that includes a list of ten creative Scripture memory tips.
As you commit God’s Word to heart, don’t forget to pray for the Holy Spirit to help you. Memorizing Scripture is much easier with supernatural power than with just your own ability. Part of the Holy Spirit’s role is to help you recall the truths you’ve planted inside your soul (John 14:26). Ask Him where to start, and He’ll help you throughout the process. His desire is to grow closer to you and equip you to handle the hassles, temptations, and opportunities of each day.
The Holy Spirit can give you the right verse faster than any Internet search with His personalized service to help you recall the right Scripture at the right time. Commit God’s timeless words to heart, and they will sustain you for eternity. A sharpened sword of Spirit, the Word of God, will defeat the dragon so you can overcome sin.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.