21 Days in the Word - Tool 11 - Pronounce and Personalize
The beautiful truth is that the more we get into the word the more it gets into us. I especially want to encourage the meditation in the word. As I’ve mentioned that the word means to ruminate, to go over and over, muttering it to yourself. It has been described as a cow chewing its cud. The cow has a couple of stomachs and swallows and spits up the food several times for re-digestion. I know this sounds gross, but what an image this is of us taking the word in and chewing on it until we are soaked in its truth. The repeating of certain scriptures is also key to memorization of the word. I can testify that one of the most powerful things in my life has been Scriptures that I have memorized over the years. I vividly recall memorizing a verse when I was 15 years old. “He who spared not his own son but gave him up for us how shall he not also freely give us all things.” (Romans 8:32) It is no doubt that I have repeated that hundreds of times and it has been a foundation for expecting God to do great things in my life.
These two “P’s” help so much in this process.
One of the great ways to memorize a verse is to pronounce each word of a scripture one at a time, pondering on the significance of each word. For example Philippians 1:6 NIV “… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
The first thing I would do is to say it starting with one word, then two, then three.
Being, being confident, being confident of, being confident of this…
Having done this, I would then consider the significance and pronounce the meaning of each part of the verse. Here’s an example how I might write this out in my journal and/or speak this to myself.
Being confident-Jesus says I can live in a state of being confident that is because of this promise I can go today from a lack of confidence to great confidence.
Of this… what he is about to tell me about completing the work of grace in my life
He who began… I didn’t choose God He chose me and began what is now my faith by drawing me to himself, this gives me confidence that it didn’t depend on my initiative to start this thing and it won’t to finish it either.
...began a good work… It is a good work God has begun in me. Let me think of all of the different good things I’ve seen God put or stir up in me… a grateful heart, a desire to dwell aware of his presence, and be generous, victory over a lot of different bad habits
He will carry it on to completion… God is going to motivate and empower me to continue in these pursuits. He is also going to work continuously and miraculously to bring victory to all other areas where He has begun a work... in my family relationships, ministry pursuits, attempts to learn new habits and skills for Him and so forth.
Another powerful thing to allow the word to become powerful in your life is to put yourself in the stories that you read and try in every way you can to experience it in your imagination. The more you can imagine your thoughts, emotions, body, and reactions being part of the story in the Bible the greater and longer lasting the scripture will stick with you.
Some examples could be:
Jesus heals a leper. (Read Mark 1:40-45)
Be the leper. Imagine an area of your life where you are desperate. Imagine what it feels like to be an outcast and untouchable person. What can you imagine your heart and mind feeling as Jesus embraces you and you look down and see the leprosy has left your body? What can you imagine Jesus’ face looking like and that of other people around you experiencing this? What does it feel like to be treated with dignity after so long? Who can you imagine needing this kind of touch? What is an area in your life you can imagine Jesus walking into to bring healing and life?
Jesus calms the storm. (Mark 4:35-41)
Imagine what it is like being in the storm bailing water out as you feel you’re about to sink. What do you feel when you find out Jesus is asleep in the stern? Remember a time when you felt like Jesus wasn’t noticing as you went through a crisis. What do you say?
What do you feel when Jesus invites you to step out of the boat? What would make you want to do it and what would make you feel terrified? Imagine what it feels like when you step out and when you sink but Jesus’ arms are there under you. Think about an area of risk Jesus may be calling you to. Imagine yourself stepping out boldly as Jesus calls you there and what it looks like.