7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. - John 15:7-8
Letting His words abide in us isn't just reading scripture or listening to a sermon on the weekends, it means so much more than that. It is intentionally seeking the Word of God as living and responding to it. It means we do everything we can to allow His living Word to impact our lives, our relationships, our emotions.
The reality is this can be more than challenging in our fast-paced, chaotic world that screams in opposition to everything we learn in Scripture. When we're alone with Him, or we're in community with other believers, we feel His very presence and His Truth permeates our souls. But as soon as we step out into the world, it seems we are slammed with the demands and expectations of this broken world, and the negativity and lies can be overwhelming.
How do we stop that all that noise? We let His Word abide in us by storing it in our hearts - we memorize scripture. When we take His living Word with us, it's literally our armor in the battlefield of life. When I memorize scripture, His living Word is active inside of me, which allows me to stand firm against temptations and the enemy's attacks. We are weak when we are not filled with the Spirit, and memorizing scripture fills us with the Spirit. Memorizing scripture guards our minds. It allows us to detect the lies of this world rather than getting pulled into them. When we memorize scripture, we can be meditating on His Word anywhere - we know that meditating on scripture brings us to a deeper understanding of God and His ways. It also strengthens our faith - faith comes from hearing the Word - when I am replaying a passage in my head during the day, He is strengthening my faith. When I memorize and meditate on scripture, it changes my perspective of the world and my situation to His perspective - I tend to see things from an eternal perspective than a situational one, and I don't get lost in the lies of this world. When I am meditating on His Word, I am given the strongest and sweetest words for loving others, and helping those in need. And meditating on His word provides me constant fellowship with Jesus all day long because it is how He talks to me.
We can't make memorizing scripture something we do to prepare for small group, a box we check to be obedient, it is so much more than that. Take His Word with you throughout the day, write it on notecards and put it in your car, on your desk, in your kitchen, wherever you move during your day, and allow His living Word to abide in you.
Because I have spent so many years memorizing His Word, I have a number of verses stored in my heart. They have been critical to the peace I have found in this trial. I may be increasingly physically weak as this treatment wears on, but my heart remains strong because I know His promises. Whenever I falter, whenever my thoughts go to that dark place, I don’t need to find my bible and look anything up (though I do this often!) because His Word is already stored in my heart. It doesn’t take long for the Spirit to prompt a verse or two to battle my negative thinking and change my perspective. With that verse comes a very real sense of His purpose and the supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding. So many people have remarked on my strength through this diagnosis - I don’t have some special strength that others can’t access, I simply have His Word stored in my heart. Through it, God is able to give me all the strength I need.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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