When my children were young, I assisted our local church with a Bible memorization program for youth. Teams from area churches competed against one another in a game show quiz format. Regional, state, and national tournaments took place. To prepare, team members memorized entire chapters and books of the Bible.
The premise was to saturate the hearts and minds of the youth with the Word. The quizzing season ran in conjunction with the school year. Each season I gained some new youth and lost graduates.
One season I wanted to emphasize the reason we participated in this program. Imagine yourself as a tween or teen and you’ve decided to join in Bible Quizzing. It’s launch night—you’re meeting team members and coaches. You’ve been asked to gather in the auditorium. As you enter, people happily chatter and find seats.
I step on the stage to begin.
You and the others quiet down. I make introductions and give a brief overview of the program. Suddenly, the lights go out and everyone is embraced by total darkness. You can’t see your hand inches from your face, and you hear a lion’s ferocious roar. You scream as panic rises, and your heart pounds.
From the stage, I hear startled gasps mixed with nervous laughter. I turn on a teeny-tiny light, smaller than a pen. The palpable fear dissipates as you begin to see me silhouetted in the darkness.
I rhetorically ask the attentive audience, “Why did I have the tech crew turn out the lights and generate the lion roar?”
“From Scripture we know we live in a world that is darkened by sin and the Bible tells us that the enemy is, ‘prowling around like a roaring lion.’ That can feel frightening and cause us to panic. Yet, as believers, we are children of the light with the power to defeat the darkness, through Christ.
“How do we do that? The Bible says, ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.’ Just like this tiny little light has begun to reveal more of me and I can shine it at my feet if I were to try and move from this spot.” I point my light out into the darkened room and it doesn’t help. The lion roars again and I continue.
“If the lion were real this little light might be better than nothing but I wouldn’t want to test that theory. Let’s go back to what the Psalmist said. God’s word is a lamp and light. Who controls the size of the light?
I explain, “We do, by how much we know and have hidden in our hearts. Many people know a verse or two. Let’s say this little light represents one verse. Knowing John 3:16 for instance is good but is it enough to feel safe, secure, and confident against Satan—a prowling roaring lion?”
As the lion roars again,
I turn on a handheld flashlight. “Let’s say this light represents learning 5-10 verses. It’s a bit better than the previous one but this still doesn’t brighten the auditorium or help me see where the lion is.”
I incrementally repeat this with larger lights going up to an industrial-style light which can be shined into the front few rows of the auditorium. With each progression, I’m illuminated more by the light I hold. I conclude by turning on a flood light.
“Think about this. Just as each transition to a larger light illuminates more of me, knowing more scripture reveals more of God and His nature. Knowing the enemy is lurking around looking for an opportunity to devour motivates me to want full illumination. I want the awareness of the enemy’s approach and the tools to defeat him.
“Do you remember what Jesus did to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the desert? He quoted Scripture. With each temptation, Jesus’s rebuttal was, ‘It is written. . .’ ”
“Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart” (1 Peter 5:8, TLB).
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105, CSB).
“. . .believe in the light so that you may become children of light. . .” (John 12:36, CSB).
“But you, believers, [all you who believe in Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him as God’s Son] are not in spiritual darkness [nor held by its power]. . . for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We do not belong to the night nor to darkness. So then let us not sleep [in spiritual indifference] as the rest [of the world does], but let us keep wide awake [alert and cautious] and let us be sober [self-controlled, calm, and wise]” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, AMP).
Dear reader, ponder the title question. How big is your light? Do you sense a need or desire to memorize or learn more Scripture? If so, the Holy Spirit will help.
Dear Father God, thank you for providing a means to see more clearly through the darkness in this fallen world. I long to see more of You as I grow in knowledge and understanding. I want to be a better student of Your word. I want to be prepared to defeat the enemy just as Jesus role modeled. Holy Spirit, teach me as I read, study, and memorize Scripture. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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