Scientists have identified a cell in the brain that explains my problem with directions. They attribute the ability to navigate to “grid cells.” University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Joshua Jacobs clarifies the results of the study: “Without grid cells, it is likely that humans would frequently get lost or have to navigate based only on landmarks.” 1
I don’t have grid cells—at least not very many. Actually, I usually know where I am, but I can’t be sure how I got there. I wish I were more like my husband. His grid cells have taken over his brain. But I digress . . .
Inattention makes my problem worse. I should concentrate when someone else drives, but unfortunately I don’t focus on the route if I’m not behind the wheel of the car. “Turn by the Krispy Kreme” and my trusty GPS are the reasons I make it from point A to point B.
Grid cells may keep us from getting lost in an unfamiliar city, but we can’t rely on them for spiritual guidance.
Grid cells don’t whisper in an ear or touch a heart.
God knew we would need something more than our own brainpower to navigate the world we live in. He has graciously given us His Word to be our guide and His Spirit to prompt our response.
When we internalize Scripture we will find ourselves relying on God’s Word to direct our decisions. Reading and studying the Bible is critical to our spiritual development, but something deeper happens inside of us when we begin to let the Word of God penetrate our hearts.
Implement these four steps and your quiet time more will be more than a sweet devotional experience. Your time with God will become the air you breathe and the food you need to survive.
- Come to God’s Word with a prayer on your lips. Ask God to open your eyes to His truth. Ask Him for understanding. Give God permission to show you your sin. Ask Him to awaken your passion for Christ and to show you your purpose. Ask God to speak to you so that you can understand what you need to know.
- Approach God’s Word in a personal way. See yourself in the Bible stories. Take the time to identify with Moses at the burning bush or Ruth as she gleans in Boaz’s field. What did Paul and Silas feel in the jail cell? How did they manage to sing and worship in such a dark place? How will you worship in the midst of your difficult situation today?
- Reflect on God’s Word throughout the day. Sometimes a principle or truth you read that morning will be demonstrated in your everyday life. The Holy Spirit will prompt your memory when you stand in line at the grocery store or answer the phone at work.
- Memorize God’s Word. Don’t bail on me here. I know memory work isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. Until recently I was pretty lackadaisical about the whole idea. I agreed in principle but I didn’t care enough to do the work. A series of events caused me to begin carrying Bible verses (written on index cards) with me as I walked. God spoke to my heart in a powerful way as I repeated the verses aloud. Scripture memory changed everything about my life— how I get up in the morning and the way I fall asleep at night; my relationships and the way I think. The Spirit uses the verses I learned to prompt me and teach me throughout the day.
Psalm 1 tells us that the man who meditates on God’s Word becomes strong like a tree that is planted in the right place. The tree has plenty of water to survive all the seasons of life. The tree produces fruit. This tree reaches its full potential.
I can’t do anything about my lack of grid cells except cope with the situation. By God’s amazing grace I am able to learn to navigate my life according to the principles of Scripture. I can begin to think and respond to the world like Jesus.
When you and I meditate on God’s Word we find out that the Bible is more than a book about God. We discover that God uses His Word to transform our thinking and the way we live. The truth of God allows us to become the women He created us to be.