I am still thinking about the verses my friend sent me commanding: "Do not fear; be courageous." I remember the time another friend told me to "put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness," based on Isaiah 61:3. Some weeks later he checked back and asked how I was doing with it. "It's beautiful," I said. "Never mind 'it's beautiful'---are you doing it?" he asked impatiently. I hadn't been. I felt pretty stupid.
Then there was the time the Isaiah 61 friend listened to me whine a while and then broke in, "Andrée, got a Bible handy?" "Yes," I said. "Open to Philippians 4:13," he instructed ("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."). I did. "Andrée, got some white-out?" "Yeah," I said, getting uncomfortable. "Why don't you white it out; you're not using it anyway."
The commands of God are "beautiful." But it's no good unless we do them. They remain locked coffers if we only admire them from the outside. I have started opening those coffers by obeying them.
I find the Psalmist was not waxing lyrical, or dutifully pious, when he said, "I find my delight in your commandments, which I love" (119:127). It's really true. When we are caught in the sin of fear, and then suddenly remember God's command to not fear, and when we then rebuke fear (out loud, if necessary) and say with Jesus "I will put my trust in him" (Hebrews 2:13), we find instant relief. It is not a psychological event, in the way the world construes psychological events, but the Spirit's blessing on obedience.
The corollary is that it has to be a moment-by-moment laying hold. No voter registration card Christianity here.
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