God bless you in the name of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ who learned obedience by the things that he endured (Hebrews 5:8).
When we were training our children, we frequently repeated an admonition to help them follow through on instructions that we gave them. If they heard it once, they heard it a thousand times, “Listen, remember, and obey.” Once we had their attention we would use these three simple words, sometimes preceding instruction, sometimes following it, and sometimes before and after it, to communicate our desire and their responsibility.
We expected obedience. Listening and remembering were important steps along the way. In Deuteronomy 11:27 God promises a blessing for obedience. Listening to God’s Word and remembering what we hear are important because it affords us the opportunity to obey. Remembering with enough detail to carry out instructions involves writing things down or memorization.
Since short-term memory usually functions better than long-term memory, Psalms 119 shares a great key to obedience ― act quickly. We listen and as soon as we hear we act. “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments” (verse 60).
Remembering is also critical. In Psalms 119 the word “forget” comes up nine times. The psalmist adamantly declares, “I will not forget thy word.” “Remember” also occurs three times. We remember so that we can do what God asks.
I have awakened more than once in the middle of the night remembering something that I needed to do. Usually, startled, I get out of bed to go do it or, at least, write myself a note so I do it in the morning. Memory is usually a more direct function of the will. We choose not to forget; we decide to remember things that are important to us. If it’s a phone number or email repeating it a dozen or two times normally allows me to remember it until I can find something to write it down. When it comes to Bible verses it generally takes that same repetition repeated consistently over a week or two before I can access it anytime and repeat it word perfect. The way to get things into our heart so they issue in our lives (Proverbs 4:23) is by using our mouths and saying them over and over them again.
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
We use our mouths to get the words into our heart. When they get to our hearts we hold them fast by deliberate decisions of our will. Proverbs 4:4 instructs us to “let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” This is one of the obvious reasons for scripture memorization. Once we have hidden God’s Word in our heart we can remember it and do it.
The Hebrew word for “retain” means “to grasp, lay hold of, or hold fast.” As Charles Swindoll said in Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, “Scripture memory gives you a firm grasp of the Word—and allows the Word to get a firm grasp of you!” When God’s Word is in our heart it provides sure footing. We can more easily walk His Word when we know it.
The law of his [the righteous man’s] God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
Let’s get the Word in our heart so that we may do it. As Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Letting the Word light our way will make our footing sure and keep us from sliding off the path of God’s commandments.
Enjoy your day as you live with and for Him. I love you and am praying for you. You are God’s best and certainly God blessed.