ENGRAVED ON THE HEART

 

After acknowledging His Presence with the “3 Prayers”, the first part of the Father’s “365—6 a.m. Challenge”, I recalled a conversation God had with Joshua. He, like me, was facing a new venture filled with uncertainties.

God's instructions were straightforward, reassuring and somewhat unusual. As he considered the daunting obstacles ahead, Joshua was to “meditate day and night” on the “Book of the Law”.(a)

This Book was to shape Joshua’s perception, evaluation and responses to the situations he encountered. It was to guide his thinking, feeling and choosing as he, together with his generals, formulated battle strategies.

This all-inclusive immersion in and implementation of God’s Word would require great strength of mind and courage of heart on Joshua's part.

 

I saw where these thoughts were leading me. Like Joshua, I was to “meditate” on the Scriptures. But when I prepared myself for Bible study, the Father stopped me short.

“I want you to begin by memorizing My Word.”

I was nonplussed. How is memorizing Scriptures linked to meditating on them? My understanding of “meditating on the Word” was intensive Bible study.

 

I was familiar with memorizing Scripture…

Back in 5th grade when we received our Gideon New Testaments, my friends and I challenged each other to memorize Bible verses. We were also encouraged to memorize Scripture verses in Sunday school. While attending university, I followed the Navigators Topical Memory System.(b)

…but I never connected it to meditating on the Scripture. I was willing to learn.

Right then, I determined to do some research on the benefits of memorization and of meditation. I needed to discover the link.

 

A significant difference I noticed in this present challenge was the shift away from individual verses to major portions of Scripture. I started a list. 

The Shema (c) was first on my list. It was familiar—an easy start on my new memorization adventure. It was also a good reminder of how deeply the Word was to penetrate the fabric of my life.

 

After practicing the Shema 3 or 4 times,(c) I again quieted myself to hear further instruction.

Another Scripture verse came to mind. I looked it up and read…

“This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”(d)

As I pondered, I heard the Father whisper…

“This is the covenant I will make with YOU…if you faithfully apply yourself to memorizing My Word.”

 

(More to come...)

 

(a) Joshua 1:3-8 

(b)  https://www.navigators.org/resource/topical-memory-system/ 

(c) Deuteronomy 6:4-9

(d) Effective memorization does not have to be laborious. As few as 3 or 4 repetitions daily for 28 days will embed the passage in our minds and hearts and establish a network of neuro-pathways in our brain that facilitate further memorization and meaningful learning.

(e) Jeremiah 31:33

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