Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
When I lived in Atlanta in the early 90's, I had become somewhat lax in my devotion to the Church and to my walk with the Lord. Although I was assured of my salvation and my beliefs were solid because of six years of sitting under one of the great preaching and teaching pastors of all time. However, it was clear that something was missing in my life and growth as a Christian. I was asked to become a part of a men's small group meeting after work in my office. The leader had been encouraged by his pastor to begin a bible study in a corporate setting. He was not as knowledgeable of the bible as I was so he asked me to help out with the bible study part.
One of our weekly assignments was to memorize a short passage of scripture. I had never been part of a men's small group before nor had I memorized scripture before. It was really difficult that first week; I spent a lot of time trying to get my verse right and I was pleased when I was able to get my verse right in front of the group. After several weeks of this we would begin to rib each other if we could not get it right. The peer pressure acted as a great motivator. I soon discovered that my investment of time would dwindle away as my memory of the first week's verse would fade. That really bothered me so I became determined to review all my verses every week to keep from loosing them. After a year, I was thrilled to realize that I had about fifty passages of scripture that I could recite at will.
The most amazing discovery was the impact on my spiritual life that scripture memory had on me. These memory verses were gems of great value, power tools to use for counseling, witnessing and teaching. The promise of this verse came true as I was able to defeat sin and temptation with the power of God's word ready on my tongue. My life began to change rapidly as my fellowship with the Lord was restored and grew more intimate. I really do attribute the power of God's word hidden my heart to the radical change that occurred in my life.