As of today (technically yesterday, as it is after midnight), I finished memorizing Philippians chapter 1. However, now is a good time to ask two very simple questions: 1. Why do this in the first place, and 2. What now? Both of these are incredibly important questions when we take on any spiritual discipline, especially one that can lead to pride or arrogance in the person who is practicing it.
So, why do this? Right now it is one of the early days of 2019. We have had Bibles that fit in our pockets for decades. With the advent of smartphones, we now have the ability to carry around every translation available to the human race in our pocket. This means that memorizing the Bible is not about simply access, especially not in one of the most technologically advanced societies to every exist. Is it possible that some of us, like Paul, may be thrown into prison in the next year for preaching the Gospel in America? Anything is possible. Is it likely? Not really. Again, access is not the point.
Yet, this is about access in some way. I cannot (I should not) be reading my Bible while driving 60 miles per hour on the highway with other two ton vehicles going the same speed, if not faster, with me. What I can do is give my heart access to the word wherever I am and whatever I am doing. Whether I am driving, vacuuming, or drifting off to sleep, the word of God, the most potent and powerful “force” in the Universe, is always there with me, should I choose to access the word. In the end, this is the why. It has to be about more than the ability to memorize, or even the celebration of saying you are done with Philippians 1, all of Philippians, or all of the New Testament.
Why is this important? We live in a society that has been designed to suck up and siphon off as much of our time as humanly possible. Studies show that our phones are set up to keep us on them for longer and longer periods of time. Now, of course, technology is not wrong. Technology can be used to further our relationship with Christ and one another if used wisely and with discernment. But that is not most of the time, nor is that for most people. What memorization does (for me at least) is help reclaim my mind and time.
And why do I want my mind and time reclaimed? Because of Joshua 1:8. God tells Joshua that the key to success and prosperity (at least in God’s eyes) was to not let the word depart from his mouth. Joshua, despite his busy schedule, was to spend his mental energy meditating on the word of God, so that he would carefully obey it. If this is God’s desire for Joshua, I’m going to assume that he would desire the same for me.
And the “what now”? I am done with Philippians 1. The hard part is over. It’s not to say that the other three chapters are easier somehow. Rather having made it this far in, it is now a huge motivation to continue. I have already decided that I am going to move on to Titus after Philippians, continuing the process of writing and Resolutions. I am excited to use my mind in this way to build, not only memorization, but, more importantly, obedience.
Again, for all those who read this blog, thanks for coming along for the ride!