For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (Gal. 5:17 NIV)
The verse above reminds us that there is an internal conflict between good and evil inside every Christian. The outcome of this battle can determine whether or not we have an intimate and enjoyable marriage, respectful and respectable children, and a life that truly counts for God.
How do we win the battle within? What do we do when our spiritual enemies (the flesh, the world, and the devil) tempt us to be anxious, angry, selfish, depressed, and out of control? The most powerful tactic is memorizing the word of God. Paul calls the word of God, “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17). Indeed the Spirit resides in us, but it is like a weapon with no bullets if we have not memorized verses of Scripture for the Spirit to use. Jesus Himself used this tactic with the devil, simply responding to his temptations with “it is written…” (Mt. 4:1-11).
Decide today to give the Spirit some ammunition; bullets of Scripture that specifically speak to areas of weakness in your life. Memorizing Scripture is a lot harder than simply reading it, but its a lot more powerful too. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a few might do. One simple method to “write them on the tablet of your heart” (Pr. 3:3) is to devote ten days to one verse, repeating it by memory ten times the first day, and one less time each day after that. At the end of ten days, that verse will be loaded in your gun and available for the Spirit to use when sin comes calling. What’s encouraging is that not even sin likes to be shot at, and as you shoot Scripture at it repeatedly, you’ll find it doesn’t show its face as often as before. So load up Christian, its huntin’ season!