by Howard and Jeanne Tomlinson


CHAPTER 17

Developing a Biblical Mind

Have you ever worried about memory loss?  Did you know that there is a powerful technique that can develop both your mind and your spirit?  This tool not only strengthens memory, but also causes Satan to flee from you.  And it’s considered the most powerful weapon used in spiritual warfare.


When Howie and I initially investigated treatment for his brain tumor, a couple of doctors told us that surgery and radiation could damage his memory.  This prospect terrified us, for God had blessed Howie with an outstanding memory.  We searched for doctors who would do all they could to protect it and God answered our prayers by leading us to the right physicians.  We were very thankful that he came through both surgery and the daily radiation in 1993 with his memory intact.
    After that scare of possible memory loss, Howie was determined to keep it strong.  He embarked on a program of Scripture memory and asked me to type out a list of our favorite verses.  During the summer of ’93, he committed these Scriptures to memory.
    Howie was on a roll.  After memorizing several hundred individual verses, he started working on larger passages, like the Sermon on the Mount and several chapters of Romans.  Over the next five years, he also memorized six complete books of the Bible: James, Philippians, Colossians, II Timothy, I Peter, and I John.  Howie loved getting into the Word of God and getting it into him.
    To keep these books and verses fresh in his mind, he disciplined himself to review them each week, often reciting his verses while riding the train to work.  Rather than being a drudgery, Scripture memory turned out to be a major source of joy to Howie, for he felt God infusing him with spiritual power.  He often jokingly says if he got cut, he would like to bleed Bible.
    In addition to preserving his memory, Howie found out that memorizing Scripture was preparing him for spiritual warfare.  When Satan threw a fiery dart of doubt or tempted him to go astray, he quoted verses to make him flee.  And God was using the Scripture Howie memorized to help him build a Biblical world view.  “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4,5).
    Howie enjoyed studying the Word of God as well, using both his Ryrie and Inductive Study Bibles.  With the aid of his Donald Grey Barnhouse and John MacArthur commentaries, he spent nearly three years studying the book of Romans, the foundation of many Biblical doctrines.  Many great revivals in history began with the study of Romans in the churches, along with increased time in intense prayer.  Through his study, Howie was experiencing his own personal revival.  He was learning to draw close to God, develop the mind of Christ, and allow the Lord to use him as He saw fit.


Learning Bible verses will strengthen our memory.  It also provides encouragement as we face the trials of life.  When we feel down or discouraged, contemplating God’s promises like “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7) can lift us right out of the gloom and give us strength to carry on.
    Scripture memory is also the key weapon in spiritual warfare.  When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He immediately quoted Scripture and Satan left him (Matthew 4:1-11).  Rather than using weapons of destruction, God’s special forces use the “sword of the Spirit,” verses which are internalized and can be used at a moment’s notice against the spiritual forces of wickedness (Ephesians 6:10-16).  God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), His weapon that will accomplish His purposes.  When His Word is hidden in our hearts, we will have the resources to stand firm, resist Satan, discern error, and use Scripture to fight effectively against evil.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
(Song by Jeanne Tomlinson, based on Esther 4:14)

For such a time as this, God has called us to stand
In the battle for truth and the right;
For such a time as this, God has called us to fight
With His Word, in the strength of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God and stand firm;
Do not fear the enemy, for our God is King of kings!
For such a time as this, God has called us to fight
With His Word, in the strength of His might.


For Those Who Hurt

If you are concerned about your memory, why not try filling your mind with verses from the Bible?  Not only will it build up your memory, it will give you great hope and encouragement.  It will also give you strength to face your daily battles against Satan and sin.  “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11, KJV).  Memorizing Scripture can change you from a discouraged, defeated Christian to a confident victor in God’s kingdom.


 


 

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Chapter 16: Fighting On Our Knees Table of Contents Chapter 18: Opening Your Heart to Mutual Support