“Those who forever seek the will of God are overrun by those who do it.”
~ Reinhard Bonnke
Hard to add any thoughts to this very obvious truth. Jesus said if you love me, you will obey me. James said what good is faith if you don’t have works born out of that faith? Seeking God’s will and simply living it out can be two distinct things. At times, “seeking God’s will” can be a cloak for our unwillingness to do it. May it never be.
A few years ago I had a final earthly meeting with a precious saint, Toni Nobles. She and her husband helped disciple me as a teenager. The one thing she taught me that I will never forget is the need to and power of memorizing Scripture. I have not met or heard of anyone else in the whole world who memorized more of God’s Word than this career housewife with a simple high school diploma. Toni was not deeply educated in the classrooms of universities and seminaries. She was, however, deeply educated by a profound depth of training by the Holy Spirit through His Word faithfully hidden in her heart.
When I first met Toni she was already retired and in her 60’s. I’ll never forget the awe of hearing from her how she was challenged to memorize Scripture some years before as she lay in a hospital room on her back for an entire year due to an accident. A friend visited her and challenged her to hide God’s Word in her heart. Toni was reluctant stating that she couldn’t memorize Scripture. Her friend wouldn’t accept that answer and proceeded to give her some simple tips on memorizing: word by word, phrase by phrase, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. That simple.
Toni didn’t know where to start but her friend encouraged her to start memorizing a book of the Bible that Toni treasured most. At that time in a discouraging hospital room, she chose the book of Psalms which she said gave her much peace and comfort.
I remember thinking at this point in the story that Toni could not have ever memorized the entire book of Psalms. I was right. She told me she was no where close to doing so after her year in the hospital, but she continued working on it for four years after leaving that hospital bed. After 5 years and countless hours of work, she DID finish memorizing the Psalms. OK, so I was wrong!
She told me that the repetition involved in memorizing such a quantity of Scripture caused her to know the book so well that she could recite the entire book from verse 1:1 to 150:6 verse by verse forward AND also from 150:6 to verse 1:1 verse by verse in backward order! She really did know the Psalms backwards and forwards!
I lost track of Toni and her husband after I left Florida for college in 1985, and I didn’t see John again. About 10 years ago I discovered that Toni was in a nursing home in my parents’ town and that John had died a few months before. We went to visit her there a few times before learning several years ago that she left this world for her Shepherd’s arms.
In one of our last visits with Toni I asked her if she had memorized more than just the Psalms and Proverbs and Matthew and Romans (which I knew she had completed years before).
She replied, “I finished memorizing the New Testament and then the Lord led me to memorize the Minor Prophets which I did.” (yes, all 12 of them!)
I asked her if she was memorizing anything else now.
She chuckled and said, “Oh no. I’m through with my memory work. If only I could live all that I know from God’s Word, I would do well. I haven’t done that yet, so that’s what I’m working on now.”
…overrun by those who do it.