15

Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

15. That one number has proven to make all the difference. For me, no matter what the Count says, 15 will always be “the number of the day” (sorry, just wanted to throw in a Sesame Street reference for my good friend, Josh Battles). 15 simplified things for me. It made life easier. 15 gave my life greater value and meaning. 15 has become a guiding force in my daily Christian living. On those days when I just don’t “feel” like it or I don’t think I can do it anymore, I remember 15 and I find perspective, I find encouragement, I find the necessary strength to go forward. 15 has become such an essential part of who I am now that it is hard to imagine living without it. That is how important 15 has become to me. 15 has become life to me.

Here’s how it started…I have the amazing ability of taking a simple task and making it unnecessarily difficult. So much so, that it becomes nigh impossible in my mind. Keep in mind, I haven’t even started attempting the task in question. Haven’t even made any effort yet. All I have done initially is create an oversized excuse in my mind that prevents me from even starting. I have convinced myself that I cannot do it before I have even tried to do it. Given up. Already quit. Convinced myself that it cannot be done…at least not be me. And so I never even try. 15 changed all of that. 15 made what had once been impossible a daily reality.

In my early years as a Christ follower I would stand in awe sometimes of other Christians. I found myself literally amazed by their Bible knowledge. They knew the book. They knew the stories. They understood the lessons. They actually knew where to find Obadiah. When the pastor said, “Turn to the book of Hezekiah,” they knew it was a joke. But the one thing that truly left me speechless was their ability to quote scripture. Not some vague sense of the verse, but a word for word recall. Sometimes, I would think to myself that I could never be that person. I just wasn’t smart enough. I lacked the ability. Lacked the discipline. 15 changed all of that. Because of 15 I have watched myself over the years grow in my knowledge of God’s Word. More importantly, as a direct result, I have watched my relationship with the Lord mature to a place I never imagined possible. I owe it all to 15.

Are you ready for this? It is really so simple. Years ago I had a moment of divine revelation, a spiritual epiphany. It could not have been any clearer if God had spoken to me in an audible voice. God challenged me with one thought. It’s the same thought I share with you today. For me it was life-changing. My prayer is that it will be the same for you. Ok, here we go…”Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Count the words in that verse. Seriously. How many are there? That’s right…15. My thought was this…”You mean to tell me that in the course of one 24 hour day you can’t memorize 15 words?” That’s it. Not the whole Bible. Not one book. Not one chapter. Not even one passage. Just 15 words (give or take depending on the verse). In that moment I had to make a decision. 15 would either continue to be an obstacle or by the grace of God I could transform it into an opportunity. Was I really going to let 15 words be the thing that kept me from spiritual growth? Yeah. When you say it that way it sounds silly. Laughable. But it really has been that simple for me. 15 changed my life.