heart and mind

Too often our relationship with the Word of God is very externally oriented.  We see the Bible as simply being a piece of leather with “lightweight offset paper” with black and red ink on it.  In contrast God commands us to let “the Word of Christ dwell in us richly” (Co. 3:16).

Lou Priolo wisely asserts, “the Sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17 is not the logos (the written Word of God).  It is the rehema (the spoken Word of God.)”  That which the Spirit of God uses to most effectively transform you and those you influence into the image of Jesus Christ is the Word of God that has been so internalized, it is in one’s heart and on the tip of one’s tongue to be accessed whenever and wherever it is required.

May I encourage you to not minimize the power of Scripture memorization and meditation in your life:

Memorization-allows the Bible to dwell richly inside your head.

This is a discipline greatly lacking in Christendom today-starting with me.  We have the Bible so readily available with the saturation of radio, internet content, and mobile device apps that we have lost the value of committing it to memory.  May I remind you that these inventive resources are all EXTERNAL!  The main weakness of these props is that they produces a packaged and finished product that often devalues our appreciation for each syllable, phrase, and context that together make up the Word of God.  To memorize requires a breaking down of the pieces to assemble a memorable whole.  I have found the best way to memorize is to write out a verse on a 3×5 card with each line containing a complete thought.  We cannot get that mental “feel” on our iPhone.

Meditation-allows the Bible to dwell richly inside your heart.

While “familiarity breeds contempt” in the physical realm, the spiritual richness and depth of God’s Word allows it to become increasingly sweet and significant.  We all have to fight the temptation to thrill in the obscure passages of Scripture and “ho hum” our way through the mainstay portions of the Bible.  Are you willing to uncouple from the “I have heard/read this before” mindset in your personal devotions and your church’s public preaching?  Remember as one author said, “When you turn away from the Bible, you turn away from God.”

In his book, The Christian’s Daily Walk in Holy Security and Peace, Henry Scudder elevates the significance and value of internalizing the Word of God:

Merely reading, hearing, and having transient thoughts of biblical truths do not leave half that impression of goodness upon the soul, which they would do, if they might be recalled, and fixed there by serious thought.  Without this meditation, the good food of the soul passes through the understanding and there is quite lost.  It is like raw and undigested food, which does not nourish those creatures that chew the cut, until they have retrieved it back and chewed it better.  Meditation is the Christians way of chewing the cud.  All the outward means of salvation do little good in comparison, except that by meditation they are thoroughly considered, and laid up in the heart…Meditation digests, engrafts, and turns the spiritual knowledge gained from God’s Word…into the very life and substance of the soul, changing and transforming you according to it, so that God’s will as revealed in the Bible and your will become one, so that you choose and delight in the same things He does.

All people of influence know that it is “a battle for hearts and minds.”  Your relationship or lack thereof with God’s only Book determines if God is getting the victory in yours.  

He 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

While it is more comfortable to keep God’s sword on the outside, will you join me in committing to the disciplines necessary for its supernatural penetration INTO our hearts and minds?