What if there was one, sure-fire way to memorize God’s Word?
A method that worked for anyone, studying any passage! A simple, streamlined method that we could just lay right out so you would never have to struggle again.
That would be amazing.
I wish I could give it to you.
But I can’t… Just looking at the science of learning tells us that. We have visual learners who might benefit from seeing the verse in color or with pictures. Auditory learners would benefit from reading it aloud. Kinesthetic learners might learn best studying while they are on a run or by writing the verse out several times.
And those aren’t our only learning differences!
On top of that come personality differences and situational differences. And the fact that, sometimes, different passages are better memorized in different ways.
But there is one common thread amongst the best ways to memorize. And that common thread comes straight from the Bible itself.
So are you ready to hear my favorite way to memorize Scripture? A way that I have both combined with many other methods and used entirely on its own? A way that deepens my study, plants the verse firmly in my mind, and helps me to better make real application?
Here it is:
Saturate your life.
Saturation – The Whole Point
Merriam-Webster defines the word saturate: “to fill completely with something that permeates or pervades.”
When memorizing Scripture, we should find ways to so fill our lives with that Scripture that it starts to infuse every part of us. Instead of just putting aside time each day to work on getting the words right, we can allow the Word of God to permeate our thoughts and to pervade our actions.
After all, that is the whole point of memorizing the verses in the first place, isn’t it? To make a change in your heart and in your choices?
That’s the purpose the Bible lays out.
Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (emphasis added)
And 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (emphasis added)
When I was a kid and my Sunday School teacher would tell me to work on a verse, I would obey. I knew it was important. I would say the words a few times or maybe practice with someone else. I usually got to where I could say the words back, but I didn’t care much about what the words meant to me.
I don’t want to ever sink back into that habit of memorizing for its own sake. I want to memorize so that I can grow closer to the heart of God, so that I can keep myself from sin, and so that I can be better equipped for the work that my God has for me to do.
What Does This Look Like?
How does one actually go about doing this in a practical way?
Well, in Joshua 1, we get to listen in to a conversation between God and Joshua. Moses has just died, which means that Joshua is now in command of the Israelites. He has to finish the job that Moses started of bringing the people into the Promised Land, and, more than that, to teach them to follow God more fully.
In verse 8, God says this:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.”
God was telling Joshua to find ways to keep His Word constantly at the forefront of his mind. To know the words, to think about the meaning, to find the applications.
And, as we do that, it is amazing how quickly we will find the words memorized.
So what does this look like for me?
It means taking the time to sit down and think about each phrase and about what it means. Sometimes it means journaling my thoughts about the verse and about how the words apply to my life right now.
As I study my Bible each day, I might always pull the verse out and read it again, thinking about it with fresh perspective. Or I might talk to my husband about the way God taught me more about Himself through the expressions of the passage.
Every once in awhile, I stick the verse all over my house, in places that I will see it and be reminded of it all day long. Each time I see it, I read it, and think about what it means for my life at THIS moment.
And as my life is saturated with the verse or passage, as I am keeping it always at the front of my mind and attaching personal meaning to it, I find that the words grow in me in a natural way that pushes me closer to Jesus in the process.
What’s your favorite way to memorize Scripture? Do you find ways to saturate your life with God’s Word as you memorize?
Meredith is the wife of an amazing husband, a lover of travel and baking, and a servant of the King of Kings. She writes at Life Along the Way, a project created with her husband as a place to share the ups and downs of their lives following Christ and to explore what it means to live life based on the Bible. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram!