I apologize that it has been so long since I wrote a post that was not a review of some sort. Things have been very busy with work lately. (Perhaps I should read Crazy Busy again.)
I did want to make a quick post just as an encouragement.
I finished memorizing Philippians finally, and I have had some time to reflect on the memorization process, especially meditation, as well as the idea of applying what I am learning.
As I was reciting the other day, I felt a check in my spirit about whether or not I was living out what I was memorizing. Here I am reciting phrases like “do not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV) and “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4, ESV), and I found myself wondering if I am actually doing this?
Am I living the Scriptures and letting them transform my mind (see Romans 12:1-2), or am I just storing up information that is not making a difference in my life?
All of the memorization, reading, and study we do means nothing if it does not bring about life change. That is the goal, after all: to know Christ more intimately and to be transformed into His image.
This comes about not just by memorizing Scripture but by meditating on it, praying it, and making a conscious effort to apply it and live it out rather than just hoping something will happen without my actively putting forth effort.
Sure, life change comes about as a result of grace, but like Dallas Willard said, “Grace is not opposed to effort; it is opposed to earning.” God’s grace enables me to put forth the effort it takes to walk in the Spirit and live out the word. I am to “work out [my] own salvation with fear and trembling, because it is God who works in [me], both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13, ESV).
I want to encourage you to actively begin committing Scripture to memory. Take it with you in your heart and mind so that you can think about it throughout your day and let it seep deep down into your soul to change you into the image of Christ. Then make a concentrated effort to live out what you are memorizing. You will never regret aligning your life with the living word of God.