The Joy Of Hiding God's Word In Your Heart
In C.S. Lewis’ book, The Silver Chair, the lion Aslan, the Christ-figure in the land of Narnia, gives a girl named Jill four signs that will help lead her on an epic journey. After giving the signs, he instructs her in this way: “But, first, remember, remember, remember the Signs, say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the Signs…And the Signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart, and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” (Lewis, C.S. The Silver Chair. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1978. Print.)
Isn’t this true for us as well? Just as Aslan tells Jill that nothing matters except for the signs, so Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” And the apostle Peter says, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
It’s been my experience that most of us are tempted to have the following attitude regarding God’s Word, “Yes, I’ve heard it, I’ve learned it, and I’ve got a pretty good feel for what’s in there.” BUT…
- · That’s not good enough when sin is crouching at your door and desires to have you, and your only defense is the Word of God. Psalm 119:9-11.
- · That’s not good enough when co-workers, out of the blue, ask what you think about gay-marriage. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
- · That’s not good enough when you find yourself in a time of trial, sinking into despair. Habakkuk 3:17-19.
- · That’s not good enough when you have the opportunity to lead someone else to Christ, and you’re wondering what to say next. Romans 10:9-10.
There’s so much that could be said about the value and practice of hiding God’s Word in your heart, but here are just a few things I’d like to share with you from the Scriptures and from my own experience:
- The more you abide in God’s Word, the more fruitful you will be—Psalm 1:1-3 and John 15:5-8.
- Memorizing and meditating on God’s Word takes work, but over time God will turn your discipline into devotion and your devotion into delight.
- Start with a simple plan, like memorizing/meditating on one key verse to be used for a specific purpose in your life, i.e. to overcome sin, to protect against discouragement, to tell a friend about Christ, to have an answer ready for those who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have, etc. Practice until you can say the reference before the verse, every single word of the verse, and then the reference after the verse. Once you memorize one verse, continue with another, but don’t forget to regularly meditate on the first one. Slowly build your supply of “arrows” until your quiver is full for a given need!
- Beware of our enemy, and resist the pride that may start to creep in as you practice this in your life.
Know that God loves you the same regardless of your commitment to this discipline, but also know this: there’s no better way to increase your joy in the Lord than by abiding in His Word!
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