Ever have one of those days when you just don’t wanna? Yesterday morning, every room in the house I walked into needed some kind of chore. It was overwhelming. The situation made me want to crawl into my favorite chair and rewatch season one of Poldark. We all need days like that, except the Lord has been convicting me lately of my laziness. (Recently, Proverbs 31 had a great article on this. It’s funny that when the Lord is convicting me, suddenly the concept appears everywhere I go!)
The desire to escape into an imaginary world instead of facing the daunting task filled my mind. Thankfully, a friend texted me to discuss some verses. In order to respond to her text, I needed to meditate on the verses. I ran through them in my mind. Pondered their meaning. After our conversation, I found I had the energy to power through the day. Which brings me to the last benefit of memorizing scripture—battle.
It’s All in Your Head
Whether you are struggling with fear, anger, bitterness, or a million other temptations, the battle begins in your mind. As James 1:14,15 illustrates, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
Say, you’re dieting. One afternoon, you start thinking of a delicious DQ Blizzard. You might resist that thought for several days. But as each day passes, your mind becomes more and more consumed with thoughts of the cool, creaminess of the soft serve, the subtle bite of the chocolate, and the sweetness of the cookie dough. Next thing you know, you’re in the drive-through telling yourself you’ll only order a mini. On the menu, you see those full-color pictures, and, now, a mini looks too small to be truly satisfying. Suddenly, you’re ordering a large, eating it hunkered down in your car, and throwing the cup away in the outside trash, so Hubby won’t know you’ve eaten ALL that ice cream. The ice cream misadventure didn’t start in the drive-through; it started with the first thought.
While light-hearted, this exemplifies how all battles start in your mind. I describe my anxious thoughts as horses that have stampeded out of the gate, and I can’t get the gate closed again. So, they just keep running and running. I have no idea how to corral them and lead them back into their pen. That is, I had no idea until I started memorizing scripture. The second my thoughts start to buck and kick at the gate; I recite scripture. Sometimes, I need to speak verses out loud. The meditation focuses my mind in another direction, reinforcing the gate, and calming my thoughts.
Galatians 6 states: Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Most of these armor pieces aid in defense. Only one item functions as an offensive weapon—the sword of the Spirit. God’s word attacks your doubts, attacks your temptations, attacks the enemy. When you use God’s word, He fights the battle for you. No matter what temptation you are fighting, scripture memorization helps defeat the enemy. And it conquers the battleground of your mind.
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