01 Feb Pursuit: A New Semester
This semester, Pursuit is taking what we learned in the Truth Project to the streets! In other (or, more accurate) words, we are applying God’s truth to our lives in real and meaningful ways through the application of spiritual disciplines. The Lord is really refining our church right now through the Spiritual Formation class, and we are seeing many breakthroughs. In light of this, Pursuit wants to join in on what God is doing and continue these practices for the rest of the semester. Last week, we discussed the power of journaling and its influence on our spiritual journeys. People mentioned that journaling can be therapeutic, stress-relieving, and can help remind us of what God is saying to us, day by day. So throughout last week, we chronicled God’s activity in our lives and shared last night at our meeting.
Esther gave a short summary of our next two spiritual practices: Scripture Memorization and Meditation. Here are a few notes on what she taught:
- Scripture is God very plainly telling us about us and about Himself
- There is no substitute for the Bible
- There is a big difference between reading the Bible and really studying the Bible
- We are not memorizing some static facts and dates. We are memorizing something that is dynamic and has power
There are three main reasons why it’s so important that we memorize Scripture:
- For Spiritual Power. If we’re not memorizing, we don’t give God much to work with. Psalm 119:11 says that when we have His words in us, He can bring us “the word of the moment.” We can see what Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert – he used memory Scripture. Likewise, when we are challenged, we can say “it is written.”
- Strengthen Faith. Proverbs 22:17-19 says that when we apply our hearts to the teachings of the wise, our trust will be in the Lord. We will feel our own spiritual lives be built up in a way we’ve never felt before. In a way, you’re preaching to and encouraging yourself!
- Witnessing. If we internalize Scripture, we will be more prepared for whatever/whomever God brings our way, especially when we are not expecting it.
So, here are some quick tips when you’re trying to memorize Scripture:
- Sometimes it helps to write out the verse on a note card.
- Memorize the verse word for word so that you have a very high standard and it won’t get sloppy.
- Remember the goal: to soak in Scripture.
When we meditate on the Word, we are truly “chewing” on the Word, much like a cow might chew its cud (but with much less saliva involved!). I know it sounds kind of nasty, but when a cow chews on grass, it will regurgitate the same grass again and again to make sure it is safe for digestion. Likewise, if we spiritually “regurgitate” Scripture and continue to bring it to mind and allow it to sink into our hearts, we can really soak on it and allow it to change our lives.
Here are some ways you might want to practice meditating on Scripture:
- Read Scripture from different translations. Biblos.com is one helpful resource you could use.
- Another way to meditate on Scripture is the act of Lectio Devina
- Re-write the passage in your own words
- Put emphases on different words
- Speaking the verse out, slowly
The point of meditating on the Word is to truly focus on the deeper meanings behind the surface-level Scripture you might be used to reading. It is meant to bring you into close communion with the Lord and to hear His voice louder in your life.