An Interview on Memorization
First Free Women are gearing up to hide God’s Word in their hearts this fall. Here’s an interview with Lindsey Claassen, whose desire to memorize the Word of God is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and goodness to those who are called by his name.
What inspires you to memorize God’s Word? Has there been anything/anyone specific that prompted you to do this?
Scripture memorization is a discipline that has had highs and lows in my life. Growing up I would often hear the importance of "hiding his Word in my heart" and be encouraged and challenged to memorize in places like Sunday School, Awana, and church camps. Now, as an adult, those promptings to have God's Word settled in my heart -- in the core of who I am -- come from convictions as I read the Bible daily, from godly women around me who I know are memorizing, and a personal desire to continually know God and the words he has given me in an individual way.
What have been the benefits of hiding God’s Word in your heart? How have you seen it impact your faith walk, your family life, your friendships, your intimacy with God, etc (generally and/or specifically)?
Numerous benefits have presented themselves when I am continually working to know by heart God's Word. Most importantly, I'm able to grow in my relationship with Christ. Committing to memory the precious words that he has given me allows me to really meditate on it throughout the day as I repeat his words over and over. I can begin to internalize his characteristics, his commands, and his desires for me in a way that turns them into MY characteristics, commands and desires. Not that my selfish and humanly wants don't get in the way often (and they do!), but that the more I see God's Word forefront in my mind and heart the more I can begin to align God's will with mine.
I've also seen firsthand the comfort and peace and confidence that having God's Word can provide when it is hidden in my heart and not just in a Bible in front of me.
- At times when I've been nervous to witness to a friend, God's Word memorized has given me confidence and a solid foundation. Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1: 23-25
- At times when my first reaction is to snap at my children in frustration or anger, God's Word memorized has reminded me of a better way. Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 6:20-23, Psalm 199:24
- At times when I am not sure of a right path for my life, God's Word has been my dependable authority. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Isaiah 55:10-11
- At times when I'm tempted to doubt my future, God's Word is my inheritance and success. Acts 20:32, Ephesians 1:11-14
Do you have any favorite ways you go about memorizing the Word? Do you follow any plans, guides, or use any practical ideas to help you?
Currently the best way for me to memorize scripture is to use a small spiral bound notebook that can be carried with me throughout my day. As a busy mom I'm not always promised a set time to sit and memorize. But, there are times during the day when I'm stuck behind a train (there are lots of these in Valley Center!), when I can sneak an extra minute or two in a bathroom, or when I'm doing a mindless task like dishes or folding laundry and I can place a verse in front of me and memorize.
I also have found that I will only memorize with accountability. This is a personal fact that frustrates me greatly as I really do desire to memorize God's Word out of a deep personal need to have his words pour out of me. It seems like that should be enough to get me going on my own. But the truth for me is, I need someone else alongside encouraging and checking in on me. In the past, I've done it with a friend and we've texted each other on the 1st of the month what our new verse will be. On the 15th of the month we recite our chosen verse to one another and text our new chosen verse for the remainder of the month. While there is part of me that wishes I could do it without this external motivation there is also a sense of joy and encouragement found in watching another fellow believer grow in knowledge and understanding of God's Word as well as the accountability to keep me going.
Is there any word of encouragement you would like to share with the women of First Free, as they begin and continue to memorize the Word of God?
I have been so blessed and lifted up by the women of First Free and their heart to know God's Word intimately. I know that the discipline of memorization can be a challenging one and often we like to tell ourselves that because it is hard, it is just not our "gift" and we let ourselves off the hook for doing it. That is where Satan is working. He knows if he can make us discouraged and uncomfortable with putting God's Word in our hearts that the good that will come to us in memorization can be blocked. Don't let Satan win! Power through, try different techniques, encourage one another and pray!
"My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. " Proverbs 4:20-22