Our brains are like sponges that soak up everything the world throws at us. Every song we listen to, TV show we watch, and conversation we participate in throughout a day all have a part in making up the foundation of our brains. What we let our brains dwell on defines who we are.
With this in mind, we would be wise to obey the instructions of Romans 12:2 (NIV) by, “…not conforming to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds….”
The word “transformed” in its original language is the same word we use to describe the process of a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly as a completely new creation. And just like a caterpillar, we too want to shed our old, sinful ways of thinking so that we can truly become that new, wholesome person that God created us to be.
That’s where memorizing and meditating on God’s Word comes into play. Instead of filling our minds with all the garbage that’s on the radio, TV, and in the tabloids, we should fill our minds with God’s Word and let His truth be what shapes our minds, words, and actions. Memorizing and meditating on God’s truths help us in two major ways in our spiritual walks: “offensively” and “defensively.”
Offensively speaking, hiding God’s Word in our hearts is the quickest and surest way to truly find the peace of God. The apostle Paul wrote about this in Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV) when he laid out God’s one-step plan to finding this peace when he said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Paul says that if we think about the right things, our minds will be overwhelmed not just with the “peace of God” but even better—“the God of peace.” Not only will we have the gift of peace, we will have the Giver of peace!
And what exactly do you think Paul was suggesting we meditate on in those verses? Should we think about who we should start on our fantasy football team this week, what we should cook for dinner, or what movie we should go to? Certainly those aren’t the “things” Paul was referring to in verse 8, are they? No way! Rather, what is more true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy than meditating on God’s Word? Nothing! God’s Word is the key to opening the door to God’s peace. Without His Word, you can’t have His peace.
On the flip side of the coin, when we look at the benefits of memorizing God’s Word from a defensive standpoint we quickly realize that His Word is the sole source of our victory over temptation. Psalms 119:11 (NIV) very simply puts it, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” That’s what Jesus did when He was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4. Three times Satan tempted Jesus and all three times Jesus responded with the same three words, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) then proceeded to quote a Scripture that combated whatever temptation Satan threw at Him.
If Jesus, the perfect, spotless, almighty Son of God thought it was important to memorize Scripture so He could find victory over temptations, who are we to think any other way?
Do you really want victory over your sins and the peace of God to rule your life? Memorize and meditate on God’s Word. Because it’s when we memorize and continually meditate on the Word of God on a daily basis that we allow God’s truth to be the filter that dictates all of our thoughts, words, and actions.
What are you memorizing today?
Grant Gaines is the Dean of Men at the Kanakuk Institute and graduate of the University of Arkansas.