Five months ago we moved North to serve in a new ministry in the state of Washington. We anticipated our home selling sooner so we only packed a few changes of clothes. Outside of the necessary bathroom items and study books, 98% of our stuff sits in storage.
While we have made a few visits to Value Village, we still live out of our suitcases. Many of my family's recent conversations include something our boys want out of storage. They are anxious to unpack the Legos, army guys and their Wii; which was "accidently" put way in the back of our unit.
A few weeks ago on our way to church my middle son made a profound comment that resonates in my heart today. As we turned onto the main road he calmly asked, "Mom, when can I get my Bible out of storage?"
Whoah! Silence filled the van. His comment hit me like a gust of wind. His remark pierced my soul and forced my mind to unpack the depth of his statement.
My son wanted his Bible so he could read it and take it with him to church. He needed his Bible out of our storage unit so he could store it in his spiritual unit; his heart. This is a penetrating analogy friends.
Maybe God is asking us the same question: When will we get our Bibles out of storage so we can put it in our storage? We need to open this gift of truth and STORE it in our hearts, not on our shelves! Truth is, the Word is being stored somewhere but it may not be occupying its rightful place.
Psalm 119:11 talks about our heart being a storage unit. The psalmist David shares, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." The Hebrew word for "hidden" is "tsaphan". This word is a verb and translates: to hide, treasure or store up. God's Word should be cherished. To the extent we value His Word will be the extent we store it in our hearts.
The second half of verse eleven makes a connection to our propensity to sin and our lack of storing God's Word in our heart. When His Word is in our heart our lure to sin is lessened. When God's Truth moves beyond our hands and head and actually punctures our heart it will then be lived out in our life. We are equipped to ward off temptation because the overflow of our actions is a result of the input in our heart.
The prior verse in Psalm 119:10 says, "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands." Later, verse fifteen declares, "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways." We cannot seek God with all of our heart if we are not storing His Word within us! This verse also makes a connection between seeking and straying. If we are not seeking Him it is easier to stray from Him. The two go hand-in-hand.
His Word is stored in us by reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on it. We should continually strive to challenge ourselves in order to keep complacency and stagnation at bay. We cannot grow in maturity if God's Word is not in us and being a student of Scripture is crucial to becoming more Christ-like.
Over the years I have learned the more I dig into God's Word, the more my desire and love for Him increases. His Truth gives insight and wisdom not found elsewhere. When I fail to be consistent with my time in His Word, distance slowly creeps in, the enemy's charm is more present and a gnawing within occurs because my heart knows I am not feeding it the nourishment it needs.
Spending time in the Word is not about checking off our list or marking a notch on our spiritual belt. Storing His Word in our heart is about loving God so much that our greatest yearning is to know Him more than anything else. This love is expressed through time with Him and His Word. This should be a continual process of growth in the life of a believer.
Many things can be stored in our heart, but they may not be the right things or the items God's wishes for us to store there. Some may need to clean out their storage unit in order to make room for the real treasure. Others may have an inadequate supply in their unit of God's jewels of Truth. No doubt all of us, must continually fill this storage unit with God's priceless, precious and powerful Word.
What's in your storage unit?
Write a love letter to God (He's written quite a big one for you) expressing anything that is on your heart regarding your walk with Him and your desire to hide His Word in your heart. Next, read this letter to Him from a position of humility (on your knees or prostrate).
As you read through the Word, start writing down verses on index cards that you want to memorize. Carry them with you and begin to hide them in your heart.
What items are currently hiding in your heart? (Novels, sports trivia, fashion etiquette, Hollywood news, decorating trends, exercise mania etc.) These are not necessarily bad things except when they take precedence over God's Word having a place of priority in your heart.
From the areas of spiritual growth discussed in this devotion, which one is the hardest for you: prayer, reading, studying and meditating on His Word?
What can you do with your current schedule and commitments to make more room and time with your Savior?
Heart Changing Word:
Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV 1984) "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads."
Job 22:22 "Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart."
Psalm 1:2 "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night."
Psalm 42:1 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
Psalm 119:15-16 "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."
Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. "
Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.