The Memory Sheath
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” -Ephesians 6:17
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” -Psalm 119:11
It is late in the day, and darkness is beginning to shroud the forested path as a young knight is riding on his way to the king’s castle. Suddenly, out of the shadowy gloom beside him springs a man clad in dark armor. The dark knight rushes the young warrior with sword drawn, closing the distance quickly. Instinctively, the young knight reaches to his side and unsheathes his sword in one fluid motion, then bears down hard against his approaching enemy. Swords clash in heated battle as the two knights meet, and after a few moments of fierce fighting, the young knight breaks free and gallops towards the castle unharmed.
In a spiritual sense, this is the type of battle that we as Christians face spiritually. We are on our way to the King, but there are many dark forces that constantly attack our minds and try to keep us from following God. Knowing this, God has given us His most effective weapon: "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). As Christians, we need this sword to fend off the attacks of the enemy.
We also need a place to store our sword—someplace where we can sheath it and be able to pull it out at a moment’s notice. Physical Bibles and Bible apps are good, but what happens if we don’t have a Bible when temptation strikes? When sin is knocking on our door, we often don’t have time to go looking for a Bible. Often, in the time that it takes for us to find the sword and grasp it, the enemy has already done his damage. We need something closer, more readily available—something that we can unsheathe and wield at the first sign of the enemy. We need to keep our sword in the same location we need to defend—our mind. "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it" (Deut. 30:14).
The "memory sheath" is where we store God’s Word in our mind. Committing God’s word to memory isn’t a guarantee against falling into temptation, but it makes fighting sin many times easier. It can be unsheathed and wielded as fast (or faster) than sin can strike. King David understood the value of having a “memory sheath” for fighting temptation when he wrote in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Jesus used it when He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil in Matthew 4. By storing Scripture in your memory sheath, you are drawing closer to God while at the same time defending yourself from sin.
The memory sheath keeps the Sword of the Spirit with you wherever you go. It doesn’t get misplaced. It doesn’t lose cell service or run out of battery. It can’t be broken or taken away from you. And even more importantly, it is easily accessible in any situation, ready and waiting to defend against sin. Will you keep the Sword of the Spirit in your memory sheath?