One of the things I found annoying as a Young Life Church Partner was having to memorize short pieces of scripture, because they were often proof texts to a contrived evangelical message.
Today, I was reminded of the power of God’s word that becomes imbedded into our hearts, not by our forced memorization but by God’s constant speaking to us.
I just received one of the most difficult phone calls of my ministry of someone in crisis, and I felt as though I failed mesirably. Seeking God in prayer afterwards; hoping that God could clean up the bigger mess I just made a simple verse came to mind: “Father forgive us, for we do not know what we are doing.” Not only a prayer for this person, but more importantly a prayer for myself. Reassurance that as some Reverend Pastor guy, I am still forgiven for my ineptitude.
This small piece of scripture coming to life gave has given me the biggest sense of peace.
And it recalled another time where scripture came alive. Having just learned about my cancer the verse of the leper resonated on my heart: “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.”
Neither of these verses were part of the Topical Memory System implemented by YL. Neither had I exegeted or heard a profound sermon exposit it’s merit. Rather these scriptures emerged deep from within; These experiences help me understand what we talk about God’s ability to have the Spirit move through our situations to place God’s word upon our hearts.