When was the last time you heard a song on the radio that you fell in love with? So you downloaded a copy off of iTunes and played it over and over until you knew it by heart. You know what happens when you do that. The song sticks with you. It’s almost like background music to your day. No one else can hear it, but you hear the melody and the words running through your mind. It takes root in your heart.
You downloaded this song because it resonated with something deep inside of you. While you’re singing or humming that song, you’re thinking of why it’s important.
If it’s a love song, you may be thinking about the one you love and the next time you’ll be together. If it’s a get-up-and-move song, you may be thinking about where you want it on your workout playlist. After you’ve listened to it several times while working out, you might even envision yourself mid-stride during certain phrases of the music.
Maybe you have a letter containing the last written words of someone you loved. Those words are written not only on the paper, but also on your heart. You’ve read them over and over, and you’ll never forget them.
This is what happens when you take in something you love. It takes root in your heart. Those words are always with you, surfacing with the slightest hint of something related to them.
When we take time to study and memorize God’s Word—turning it over and over in our minds—thinking about it all day long, it settles deep in our soul. This is feasting on the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
When God’s Word takes root in your heart, the Holy Spirit can bring it to the surface at just the right time.
As we spend more and more time in God’s Word, we want to be more and more like Christ.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:9, 11)
Certain sins simply won’t appeal to us anymore. We don’t have an appetite for them.
However, each of us has areas where our appetites are stronger. It’s then we need the strongest weapon available to fight temptation. That’s when the Scriptures that have taken root in our hearts come in. They become power to overcome sin.
Jesus is our Example
At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to fast and pray. At the end of that time, Satan came and tempted Him. Remember, Jesus was fully human—just like you and me. After 40 days of fasting, He was hungry and vulnerable.
When are you most vulnerable to temptation? For me, it’s after a long, hard day. It could even be a wonderful day—but it was long and took a toll on me physically. Somewhere in there my flesh craves the things that aren’t good for it—unhealthy food, maybe even a glass of wine. (I’m not saying a glass of wine is not good. But sometimes—not so much.)What am I going to do? Am I going to feed my flesh? Or am I going to feed my spirit? If I want my spirit to win over my flesh, then I must feed my spirit—with the Word of God.
What am I going to do? Am I going to feed my flesh? Or am I going to feed my spirit? If I want my spirit to win over my flesh, then I must feed my spirit—with the Word of God.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)
This is what Jesus did. First, Satan appealed to His physical needs by challenging Him to turn stones into bread. Then, Satan challenged Him to prove His identity by jumping off of a cliff, so His Father would send angels to rescue Him. Finally, Satan challenged Christ’s purpose, by offering an easier way to win the worship of the world.
Jesus was physically weak. Since He was human and experienced temptation in every way, just like you and me (Hebrews 4:15), I think it’s safe to say that He was emotionally and mentally weak as well. But He was strong in His Spirit. With each temptation, Jesus quoted Scripture. He refuted the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word. You can read the whole story in Matthew 4.
This isn’t new information. And it’s an area I still struggle with. I’ve memorized a lot of Scripture. But often, when faced with temptation, I choose my flesh over my spirit. But I don’t want to live like that. I know it’s not God’s best for me. And it’s not God’s best for you.
God’s best for us is to walk in victory over our enemy. When God’s Word takes root in your heart, we want to remember it–every, precious word.
So let’s spend quality time in Bible study, meditating on God’s Word. (Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 2:15)
Let’s let the Word of God dwell richly in our hearts and minds. (Colossians 3:16)
Let’s choose key Scriptures to hide deeply in our hearts. (Psalm 119:9, 11)
Then, like our favorite music, at the slightest hint of need, the right Scriptures will surface. We can (and will want to) fight our enemy effectively.
To encourage your heart, I made some beautiful Scripture Memory Cards for the verses I’m currently memorizing. Click here to get yours!
Blessings to you as you allow God’s Word to take root in your heart!!