My three-year-old loves babies. And they are all named…Baby. Not too long ago she loaded them all up in her stroller and buggy, plus a couple hanging limply under her arms and headed downstairs. That was all routine for us. But this time, in her right hand she also had a baby carrier….without a baby. Instead, it held a small plastic sword, confiscated from her brother’s room.
I asked why she was carrying a sword with her. There was no danger in sight. And her sweet answer was this, “I have to have it in case the bad guys come and try to huwt my babies!”
That precious one had prepared her heart and mind for a battle, imaginary or not. But how curious that she placed her sword, not in a sheath, but in a baby carrier.
Why a Sword?
That sword lying there in that baby carrier was a beautiful reminder that Jesus came as a gentle, helpless babe all those many years ago. But He didn’t stay that way. He grew up to be bold, strong, and courageous. He spoke love and truth with conviction of heart and mind. Jesus healed the sick and even raised people from the dead. He was anything but helpless.
And though he remained gentle in nature, He was prepared for attacks from the devil and encouraged us to be also.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (6:10-17), he shared that we should “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” After listing the belt of truth, the body armor of God’s righteousness, shoes of peace, and a shield of faith, he tells us to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The sword of the Spirit. The only offensive piece mentioned.
It’s interesting that we need to have four defensive pieces, and yet only one offensive. It speaks to the power of God’s Word. And how very important it is to carry it with you at all times.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT
I keep a small Bible in my purse so that I will have it with me when needed. There’s just something about holding a real book and reading scripture. I also have the You Version Bible app on my phone. Sometimes my phone is the only thing available. But more important than both of those is the Word I have hidden in my heart and mind.
There will be a time when you don’t have a Bible, or a phone, or Google to help you. And you will need to access God’s Word. It may be for yourself on a particularly hard day. It may be for a friend who asks you to pray for her. Or it may be a total stranger who gives you an opportunity to “give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). But you will need it.
Don’t wait for that time to come and pass you by.
Strategies for Memorizing Scripture:
- Write or print your verses on index cards or card stock and post them around your home, work (if able), and vehicle. Above the kitchen sink or stove, by the washer or dryer, on your desk, on the dash, etc. I have a friend who even puts them in sleeve protectors/lamination and puts them in her shower! Post them anywhere and everywhere that you can meditate on them if only for a couple of minutes at a time.
- Put your verses to music. I remember anything if it has a tune. Sometimes I just make something up. Sometimes I put it to a well-known song like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Either way, you’re sure to get some good eye rolls from your kids when you ask them to sing with you (and bonus…they’ll learn them too!). You can also search online. There are lots of great resources out there.
- Start small. In a couple of ways. Just choose one short verse per week. Ex. (“Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10) It is short and sweet and needed in almost any situation. If you are already a pro, challenge yourself with more than one at a time or one very lengthy one.
- Give yourself grace. I know a number of partial verses. Or I can paraphrase but can’t remember the verse location. This is not a perfect art. The idea is to root yourself in God’s word so that whether asked or not, you will naturally begin to share the Lord’s love and kindness.
“…For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34 NLT
I would like to say that I am armed for battle each and every day. That I never forget my sword. But that would be a lie. There are days that the busyness of life gets in the way, and I can barely concentrate on making sure I have matching shoes on, much less my armor, before I walk out the door!
My prayer is that no matter how many things I am trying to carry, even if they are hanging out from under my arms, I will make sure I always have my sword ready for battle. Just like my precious little one did that day.
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What strategies do you use to make memorizing scripture a priority? Easier to remember? Comment below!