If worrying were a talent, then I’d be a superstar. I was born a worrier. In middle school I regularly woke up with dread in my stomach. I was afraid I’d forget a homework assignment and distressed about fitting in with classmates. I cared a lot (too much) about what people thought of me. I analyzed “what ifs” until there were no “ifs” I had not covered. Insecurity threatened at every corner, like a giant wave constantly hovering over me.
My fears caused tears every morning as I begged my parents to let me stay home from school.
After weeks of the same scenario on repeat, I knew I couldn’t keep living every day the same way.
A simple habit I started in 8th grade broke fear’s hold on me, one sticky note at a time.
A Note and a Pen
I woke up early one morning, found a square notepad, and sat cross-legged on my bed with my Bible open. Pen in hand, I let the truth of Jesus’ words wash over me as I copied the verse onto my note:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
After reading it a few times, I tucked it away into a book I needed for school. I had a plan.
I pulled my book out at the beginning of English class. Feelings of panic lingered, but instead of giving in, I chose to fight. I opened to the note I had written earlier. John 10:10 reminded me that my feelings of anxiety were not from God. Satan was trying to steal my joy, to hinder whatever opportunities God had for me that day.
I read that truth seven times that day, once at the beginning of every class. I continued reading it each day that week. Thirty-five times I opened my book to read that Scripture before fear could stop me. By the end of the week, I knew John 10:10 by memory and declared the words to myself every time a worrisome thought arose.
Each week I asked the Lord to help me pick a new verse to focus on. On Mondays I scribbled with ferocity, determined to believe the words I was writing. By Friday, it was second nature to use that truth to fight my fear. At the end of every week, I would pin that week’s note to a bulletin board so that I could continue reminding myself of God’s Truth.
It didn’t take long for my board to be filled with verses, and I spent a lot of time scanning my notes to keep up my memorization. That bulletin board became my surfboard of truth. Instead of drowning in fear, I was now riding the waves.
From the Head to the Heart
Memorization sounds like a mundane task. We grow up learning to memorize math formulas, song lyrics, important dates, etc. The thought of memorizing God’s Word can seem like a chore.
The beauty of God’s Word is that it’s so much more than a book of words.
- It is Truth that is alive (Heb. 4:12–13).
- It is the message of great hope no matter what we go through (Heb. 6:19).
- It is the unbelievable news that we are loved so greatly that Jesus willingly died so that we can be forgiven from our sin and have abundant life.
What sets apart memorizing the Bible from any other form of memorization is that it changes us. It is a seemingly direct task that leads us to know Jesus better. To win battles of anxiety. To resist the enemy’s control in our lives and live out the Truth that sets us free. When you dwell on the Word of Christ, it begins to dwell in you. That’s why the book of Colossians reminds us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16).
While we live in a day of instant Bible access on our phones or online, nothing compares to having the Word dwelling in us, embedded in our minds and flooding out into our actions. We are in a battle. We need our weapons to combat the darkness (Eph. 6:12). When God’s Truth becomes imprinted in our minds and hearts, we can fight off the lies of the enemy before they have a chance to take root in our thoughts.
Have you ever tried memorizing Scripture? You can get creative with it—find the ways that most motivate you to draw near to Jesus and His Word:
- Make up a song.
- Print out a few verses and frame them on your wall.
- Write them on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror to see it every day.
- Tuck them into a book like my middle school self.
What helps you dwell on God’s Truth? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!