It Is Written: The why & how behind memorizing scripture

Post written by Sara Gilmore

When I was in college, I had a dear friend and mentor challenge me to memorize scripture with her. As I was walking through a hard season of my life, she and I began to memorize and pray God’s word together. I remember her quoting Isaiah 55, telling me that the word of God never returns void. These were not just words we were memorizing and praying together. They were promises.

That season of scripture memory changed my life and my walk with Jesus forever — so much so that eight years later, I’m still doing it. This practice of writing scripture on my heart wasn’t just good advice from a trusted friend; it’s a biblical command.

Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is alive and active, sharper than a double edged sword. Ephesians 6:17 calls the word of God “the sword of the Spirit” — our weapon against the schemes of the enemy!

I’ve never carried an actual weapon before, but if I did, I would want to know how to use it before I just started walking around with a holster on my belt. You get where I’m going with this?

Our Bibles are not just an accessory to carry on Sundays. The word of God is a powerful weapon, and He has equipped us with everything we need to use it effectively.

My favorite Biblical example of the power of God’s word is when Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness in Matthew 4. Over and over, Satan tries to twist the word of God to tempt Jesus, and every time, Jesus’s response begins with three words: it is written.

He looks the enemy in the face and he says, “It is written, [insert Biblical truth]” and do you know what the end result is? It says in Matthew 4:11 that the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

So the progression went like this: Satan tries to deceive Jesus. Jesus fights back with the word of God. Satan leaves. Angels replace him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be attended to by angels instead of deceived by the darkness of our world!

So what does this look like practically? Here’s what I usually do:

-  Identify the lies I’ve been believing or the places in my thought life that need to be “rid of the devil and replaced by angels.”

-  Identify truth in scripture that directly combats that lie! Example: I’ve recently struggled with a lot of fear and anxiety. So I’ve been memorizing Psalm 91, a passage of scripture about God being our refuge and our fortress; our shield and defender.

-  Do whatever it takes to write this truth on your heart and in your mind! >> Keep a small spiral of note cards in your purse, your car, your desk at work, etc. with scriptures you’re memorizing written in it. >> Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. >> Pray it out loud during your time with God in the mornings. >> Write it down daily until you can write it from memory.

-  Start with a little. Don’t try to memorize a whole passage at once. Pick one verse that you want to be written on your heart, and when you have that down, go for more.

I remember being amazed when I first started memorizing God’s word at how easily it all of a sudden started rolling right off my tongue in prayer. My prayer life changed because I was speaking forth the promises of God instead of the pleas of man!

Friends, if Jesus needed the word of God written on his heart in order to resist the devil, how much more do we need it? I have found more freedom from sin and darkness in memorizing scripture than anything else in my walk with God.

You’re armed with everything you need! Open up that double-edged sword of yours and let’s start waging some war on the darkness. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. That’s a promise (Isaiah 54:17).