“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
I can’t think of a more powerful method of transformation than beholding the glory of the Lord in the Word.
As I have memorized more and more Scripture, God has used it to transform me in many ways.
Prayer. The biggest change has occurred in my prayer life. Because I have memorized Psalms 103 and 23, I have instant access to words of praise that I can use in prayer. Memorizing Ephesians has given me large portions in chapters 1 and 3 that I can use to pray for others. But also, as I am praying and laying my requests and questions before the Lord, I have experienced time and again the Holy Spirit bringing Scripture to my mind that will counsel me and encourage me. This has been very sweet.
Thought life. All our minds wander. The plague of anxious thoughts can be relentless. It’s no wonder then that the Bible puts so much emphasis on the mind for transformation. We must be vigilant in patrolling the thoughts that enter. If I am in the habit of reviewing Scripture throughout the day, there is more room for transformation and less for wandering thoughts and anxiety. What fills our minds inevitably sinks into our hearts and drives our affections.
Bigger vision of God. Many of us have memorized selected verses here and there. I have found, though, that memorizing whole chapters and books has given me a bigger picture of who God is and who I am. Memorizing the opening greeting of Jude tells me I am beloved of the Father and kept for Jesus. Memorizing the beginning of Titus gives me a vision of a God who never lies and has been working out the promises of the gospel throughout all time.
Fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The more Scripture you hide in your heart, the more the Holy Spirit has to work with. What I mean by that is we have a part to play in sanctification. God is at work in us but we are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2). There have been many times when I’ve been reviewing a passage and can’t remember the next word and I pray and wait and then the Lord brings that word to mind. Or I am thinking of an issue and the Lord brings a pertinent Scripture to mind.
The Bible is not a dead letter. It is the living Word of the the very Word, Jesus Christ.
Next time I will get into the nuts and bolts of memorizing, but for now watch this excerpt of a John Piper sermon.