Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Don’t face the lion without your sword

A prowling, hungry lion

What would you do if there was a hungry lion in the streets — and you had a sword that would always protect you?

You’d take the sword with you.

Satan is a hungry lion seeking to devour us (1Pe 5:8).  The Word of God is the Sword the Spirit uses to protect us (Eph 6:17).

So — to live by faith we should always take God’s Word with us.

One way to do this is by memorizing it.

Why memorizing is so important

There’s lots of reasons people don’t memorize Scripture —

  • It takes time.
  • It involves mental effort (especially as I get older!).
  • It requires persistent, disciplined repetition.

But it’s worth it.  Here’s why —

Sin quickly gains ground

It’s shocking how quickly I can move from trusting Jesus to nursing a grudge.

So if I have to wait until later to get God’s Word — my heart might already need a defibrillator.

How much better to have God’s Word immediately accessible — because it’s memorized.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ, not vague generalities

Faith is not strengthened by vague generalities like — “It’s going to be OK,” or “God will work this out.”

Those are rubber daggers, not the heat-forged and razor-sharp Sword of the Spirit.

What strengthens faith is the actual Word of God (Rom 10:17).  We need it available always — which means we need to memorize crucial passages.

You will always have your sword to defend yourself

If I’m awake at 4am it’s usually because I’m battling anxiety, anger, or discouragement.

That’s when I’m thankful that I’ve memorized Scriptures like Psa 86:4-5; Jer 29:11; Jer 32:40-41; Rom 8:28.

Dozens of times I’ve started praying over these verses — and the next thing I know the alarm is beeping and it’s time to get up because I’ve fallen back to sleep.

You will always have your sword to defend others.

How many times have you been with someone who’s being attacked by the lion — but you all you’ve got is a rubber dagger?

Think of how much help you would be for God’s people if you had the sword with you all the time — memorized.

How to start

Here’s what helps me —

  • Pick a favorite Scripture you have not yet memorized.
  • Write it out on a 3×5 card.
  • Pray and ask God to help you memorize, and to meet you as you memorize.
  • Start by memorizing the reference.  Repeat it to yourself slowly maybe five times.
  • Then add the next phrase of anywhere from 5 to 8 words.  Repeat the reference with that phrase prayerfully five times.
  • Add the next phrase.  Repeat the reference, the first phrase, and the second phrase all together prayerfully five times.
  • Maybe stop once you’ve memorized the reference and maybe the first three phrases.
  • The next day review and see how much has stuck.  Sometimes I need to start all over again with the reference.  Don’t be discouraged.  God will give you grace.
  • Keep doing this every day.

Next steps

Do you have feedback, suggestions, or a testimony about Bible memorization?  Leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture is White Lion Male 5 by doc at stock xchng.)

Category: Help with Bible-Reading


6 Responses

  1. This is brilliant. So many people overlook the importance of Scripture memory. I often refer to Scripture memory as the “red-headed stepchild” of spiritual disciplines. As one of my FinishYear 2012 projects, I am going to memorize 1 John, James, and Romans 5-8, in addition an assortment of other verses and Psalms. Your tips were great. Thank you for posting this.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I agree about how memorization is overlooked. But now I absolutely love it. And what a great list for your 2012. With this list of passages God will make you powerful against the lion.

  2. Orion Kubow says:

    What you say is true, Steve! I especially like the rubber daggers analogy! – When I was brand new to the faith, I was struggling with a lot of fear. A brother of mine ministered to me and began reciting verses from memory. Among others, he recited 2 Timothy 1:7. I’ll never forget how that verse seemed to supernaturally cut through all of the pain and confusion. It was like a beam of warm light, and a glimmer of hope that flashed past me for just a moment. It would become the first verse that I would commit to memory. The first weapon in my spiritual arsenal. I’m grateful that my brother took the time to memorize that verse.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Orion. And what a great testimony about the power of God’s word in your life. Deeply encouraging.

  3. Katherine F. says:

    God’s led me to memorizing scripture in the past year, and I am loving it, too! So encouraging. He led me to an easy way to remember which verses I have memorized so I can review them all in my head without needing any prompts later – one verse from each book of the Bible, and then one verse from each chapter in certain books. Easy to bring them all to mind that way. So powerful. You can find the verses I’ve been memorizing (or plan to memorize) at (there are two pages plus another page for more Psalm verses that cover every chapter in the Psalms).

    Another great help is to use a flashcard program on my iPhone (Flashcards Deluxe, so I always have all the memory verses with me an a very easy way to review the ones that I most need to work on (it brings up the ones I know the least well more than the others).

    I summarized my memorization tips from experience here:
    and more specifics:

    Thanks for this encouraging post.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Wow, Katherine — what a great website! Jam-packed full of wise counsel and dripping with passion for Jesus. I love it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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