In my last Connecting With God post, I talked about memorizing Scripture. That should have been easy for me, since I’d been acting ever since the 6th Grade Talent Show. Nope.
Memorization was the thorn in my theatrical side, and the cause of a couple of serious on-stage meltdowns. So when, in the fall of 2013, I was offered the talky lead role in an independent film Promises to Keep, I did two things:
- Gleefully pumped my fist
- Had a panic attack.
Just days before filming began,“Father Abraham” popped into my head. Not the Jewish patriarch but the Sunday School song, famous for its silly hand motions. So I began making up goofy gestures to go with my lines—not to perform on film, godforbid, just to help with the memorization process.
It worked! First day on set, my leading lady, a wonderful actress named Christine Jones, said, “You are so good at memorization!” “Hah!” I snorted. But by the time shooting ended, I’d actually begun to think of myself as a good memorizer! (I knew most people were visual learners, but had never thought to make word memorization visual.
Meanwhile, I was struggling through yet another dry spell when that still small voice whispered, “Ahem, Father Abraham.” Could memorizing and meditating upon Scripture upgrade my spiritual life?
Yes! The Bible is full of statements about the benefits of storing God’s word in our hearts:
- “Keep these words I am commanding you today in your hearts (memorize them)” (Deuteronomy 6:6).
- “I have hidden (‘treasured’ or ‘stored’) your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
- “Welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, not merely hearers” (James 1:21-22)
For years I’d savored the complex flavors of God’s word, but had never made it a true meal, the food I lived on! It was time to start hiding God’s word in my heart, implanting it in my mind. And with my memorization issue resolved, I had no reason not to try!
I began reading with an eye for My Verses, passages I felt led to memorize. As new verses made their way into my prayer canon, I began noticing that they weren’t just filling empty space on my mental hard drive, they were displacing falsehoods and deceptions I still unconsciously believed.
Submarines rise to the surface by displacing water with air. Spiritual growth is also a kind of displacement. It is, as Rick Warren observes, “the process of replacing lies with truth.” Filling ourselves with truth enables us to rise above the surface of a lie-polluted world. (Nothing short of God-given truth can accomplish this—man-made platitudes always digress into leaden recitations.)
My spiritual life has been revolutionized! I no longer struggle to maintain meaningful prayer. With this God-given grid in place, I look forward to viewing each day from God’s perspective. I pray My Verses, using them as jumping off points to talk about the day, to pray for others, to hear God’s living word, that still small voice, and reflect upon the written word embedded in my heart!
Could this be a step God is calling you to take?