‘Total Recall’ was a 1990 science-fiction film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The plot concerns an apparently unsophisticated construction worker, Doug Quaid (Schwarzenegger), who is either a victim of a failed memory implant procedure or a freedom fighter from Mars relocated to Earth. He attempts to restore order and reverse the corrupt influence of commercial powers, all while faced with the possibility that none of these events are real and pursuing them could damage his brain.

Much as I love science-fiction films, I wasn’t thinking of the film when the phrase ‘total recall’ began reverberating in my mind this week! I was thinking of Jesus’s words to his disciples: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matt 10:19-20)

So often, we read God’s Word and it seems to wash over us. We can’t always even remember what we’ve read immediately after we’ve closed our Bibles! But if we make a habit of meditating on God’s Word and letting it wash us (Eph 5:26), if we work at memorising Scripture even though it feels at times like a dry chore, we will find that we reap rewards in unexpected ways.

God is able to remind us of His Word at just the right time. He brings His Word to life when we’re least expecting it, reminding us of verses we’ve barely registered reading, showing us just what we need to fight at just the right time. The Holy Spirit works in us to bring the word to life.

We might not always be able to remember the chapter and verse, but the living God is able to bring His word to life in us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” My prayer is that we feed on God’s word and find something of its nutritional benefits as God brings it to our remembrance, giving us the recall we often find elusive, at just the right time that we need that word of encouragement, hope or admonition.