“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Several years ago I was reading a devotion before bed, and it closed with this scripture. I remember sitting on my bed reading, reciting, and rereading this verse until I learned it by heart. In high school I attended a private Christian school. Scripture memorization was something we did a lot, and we were tested on it. Like many students, I would cram right before we were tested, learn it enough to pass, and promptly forget.
Psalm 119:11 represents a clear command to learn scripture for the purpose of remembering it when there is a temptation to sin.
In high school I was learning scripture just to pass a test. I undervalued the importance of memorizing scripture. I believe that by reading scripture, we are making deposits in our memory bank, and the Lord honors that. In moments of fear, temptation, joy, or sadness, we are able to recall scripture. Certainly I believe the Lord is able to provide divine revelation. I have heard amazing stories about people who were able to recite scripture they had never read before, some even before they came to know the Lord. But this passage emphasizes knowing scripture to the point that you breathe it.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Luke 6:45 teaches us that what we put into our hearts we get out. In response to temptation, God’s word will spring forth from our hearts if this is the very thing we are putting in on a daily basis.
Developing a habit and finding the time to read our Bibles and pray daily is hard, but the Lord honors a faithful pursuit. Be encouraged today that even when you read scripture and you don’t “feel” anything, you are still making deposits.
We believe that the Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and when we store it in our hearts transformation takes place. We don’t store scripture in our heart just to memorize it. We learn scripture so that God will speak to us and through us.
Allow scripture to take root in your heart, and your life will be fuller for it.