Have you ever had a secret stash? A place where you hid precious things. Maybe you secreted chocolate (hidden that is not oozed… though oozing chocolate has potential) for later, when no-one else is around so you don’t have to share. Maybe a stash of books to be read at your leisure, and you look at the pile and hug yourself because you know hours of pleasure are hidden inside the covers. Maybe you were a pirate in your youth and buried treasure on the beach til you made your escape and could come back and claim it – if you remembered where and the tide hadn’t come in. Maybe you have a stash of money hidden in your mattress or the bank. Maybe you have a stash of photographs, pictures, letters that you look at and that transport you to happy memories.
I am creating a new stash. One that will require hard work and take the rest of my life but that will have an enormous effect on that life, bringing change and balance and hope to me and to others. A stash of God’s Word. I have the sort of memory that makes it hard to memorise verses. I know that sounds odd but because it feels like I know the verse my mind gets bored fast. I can learn the words quite quickly but the reference is much harder for some reason. I have a box full of squares of card on which I have written my favourite verses as well as verses I feel God has pointed out to me and also some verses every Christian ought to know (in my humble opinion). Each week I select up to 4 from Psalms, Proverbs and two more from other books of the Bible. Then each morning I practice them – reference, verse, reference until they are burned deep on my heart. Why you might ask?
First and foremost:
Habits take time to form, bad habits don’t seem to take as long as good but I suspect that is because bad habits come easier to us. I want to be in the habit of thinking like God, of having my mind transformed to be like His, to take every thought captive and weigh it against His Word. To think like God I have to know God. How do I know God? Through His Word. We become what we spend time doing. That’s why skateboarders, footballers, athletes do the same move over and over and over until it becomes muscle memory. That is what I want. I want the first instinctive reaction when I am faced with a choice to be to weigh it against God’s Word.
I want to have wisdom that is His to share with other people. The Word of God is powerful, it can free people, heal, restore, bring salvation; I want to have it not at my fingertips but on my tonguetip so that He speaks through me more easily.
Psalm 119 is a spectacular psalm. I recommend you read it and see what the Psalmist has to say about the value and benefit of hoarding God’s Word. Then maybe you can start your own stash.