Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
As he finished his sermon, the guest speaker closed his Bible, looked out into the congregation and cited Ephesians 5 - without looking at the Bible or any notes. My friends and I stared at each other in awe at this man's memory. The rest of the congregation seemed to be in awe as well. When finished, he hit us with this question, as if in reply to our astonishment: "How many of you have songs or lines from movies and tv shows memorized?" Ouch. His point was that we should know the word of God by heart, since it is our life.
The definition for "word" comes from the Hebrew word 'imraw or 'emrah. It means "commandment, speech, word." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)
The definition for "heart" is interesting (to me, anyway). Its original Hebrew word is "leb" (pronounced labe). It refers not only to the heart, but to the "feelings, the will, and even the intellect." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)
One could almost interpret the psalm as "I have hidden your word, your commandment, and your speech not only in my heart, but in my will, my intellect, and my feelings so that I might not sin against you." His word soaks into our very being. First, through knowledge and memorization, then into our heart where we can recall it when necessary.
This may sound daunting, but it's important. I believe it ties into being a disciple of Christ. If we do not know the Lord's commands, His words, or speech, then how are we to know the Lord? Jesus knew the word of the Lord. He replied several times using the phrase "It is written."
Why should we know the word? The psalmist answers that question. So that we won't sin against God. If we do not know that coveting is a sin, is it still a sin when we covet our neighbor's new car? Yes, it is. The Lord makes it clear in the Ten Commandments not to covet.
Don't get me wrong. I am not the best when it comes to memorization. That is why I depend upon the Holy Spirit. I feel if I take the time to memorize the word, then at some point, when I need it, the Holy Spirit will bring it to mind. It may not be word for word, but the point is still there.
Knowing the word of God should not be a grade-school task, but rather a gathering of sacred knowledge sent to us from our Father so that we may live lives pleasing to Him.