We know that all scripture is God-breathed; the bible also tells us that it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Many of us put this concept into practice in our relationship with other sisters and with our children. But often we fail to realize that the most vital way we can live out this scripture in our own life.
The bible is God’s user manual for human life. It contains all the guidance, instruction, and values we need to navigate and walk by faith in this world. In Ephesians, Paul encourages believers to put on the full armor of God, including the belt of truth (scripture), which will help us stand firm in our faith.
The only way the word of God can benefit us is if we make it a priority to learn it, know it, and internalize it. That can be tough, especially for those of us who have trouble with memorization. While we should make it our aim to read from or meditate on the word of God daily, in addition to that, much power in lives can be gained from memorizing scripture so that we can call it to our minds in time of challenge or struggle. There is also great power in speaking the word of God out loud.
Scripture can help us renew our minds and navigate our way through daily life challenges. So instead of memorizing random scripture, I created a system for myself that empowers me in various areas of my life and simultaneously helps me memorize scripture. It’s a win/win.
I call it ‘the 5′. Basically if there’s an area of my life in which I am feeling challenged or convicted or an area in which I simply want to grow in, I use this system.
Step 1 – Search
I begin by searching the Bible for scriptures that relate to that topic. In addition to my bible itself, I use a few other helpful tools including a topical bible, biblegateway.com, and Google search. As I locate scriptures that speak to my spirit regarding this subjects, I write them down in a notebook that I keep for this purpose.
Step 2 – Narrow
Once I have located about 10 or so relevant scriptures, I narrow them down by picking one for each of the following five categories:
Truth – a scripture that tells a specific truth about God, who he is, his nature, or the relationship between God an man
Reality – a scripture that speaks to how that truth manifests itself in my life or circumstances
Obstacle – a scripture that addresses the obstacle(s) or challenge(s) to accepting and living out that reality
Action – a scripture that provides specific direction or suggested action(s) for how to overcome that challenge
Glory – a scripture that speaks to how God can be glorified through that action(s)
If you look at the progression of the scriptures, it kind of comes full circle. The last scripture brings us to glorifying our father which we are called to do because of who he is, his holy nature, and our relationship with him through Christ. That, if you back, is the ‘truth’ where our first scripture starts.
Step 3 – Write
Once I have chosen the five scriptures, I write them down in a few places. I write them in my journal, on a note card I carry around with me. I also write a sticky note or type a version I can print out and post somewhere in my house like on the fridge or on my desk. This way I can read them often and keep them fresh in my mind.
Step 4 – Meditate
I try to think of the scriptures often as I go throughout the day. I meditate on the underlying meanings and how I can put them into practice in my daily life. I turn the words over in my head often. The more I think about them, the more and deeper insights I get.
Step 5 – Recite
Whenever I feel specifically challenged or tempted by sin in that particular area, from either memory or my written versions, I recite the scriptures out loud. I find that speaking the words out loud, rather than just thinking about them or reading them, makes them much more powerful at a moment of weakness, frustration, or uncertainty.
That’s it. Pretty simple once you get into the swing of it.
If you’d like, you can read some of the 5’s that are really helping me with some current challenges in my life: renewal, weight-loss, house-cleaning.
Hope this system or the ideas will spark some new insights and growth in your own ‘oikouros’ journey!