Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mortifying Fear

On Sunday, I heard a (great) sermon on Romans 8:13-14: "If you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death [mortify] the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Convicted and inspired, I resolved to put to death the sins God has been speaking to me about lately--especially fear of man. I resolved to kill my fear, to execute it, to exterminate it. I resolved to show no quarter, "have no sympathy" with my sin, as the pastor put it.

Sunday I resolved this: I must fear God rather than man. And then Monday morning came, and I had a terrible fight with O. And then Tuesday morning came, and my phone rang with an unknown number, and when I answered, the voice on the other end was the familiar voice of accusation. Prime opportunities to fear--or to mortify my fear.

I do not have to sympathize with my fear. By the Spirit I will put to death the misdeeds of my body, and I will live. This was my resolution, this is God's promise.

The promise and the resolution have both been tested this week, and I don't think it's a coincidence, the timing of the resolution and of the testing. It's been hard. But it's also been good, because God is good, and His mercies are new every morning. Every morning: Sunday morning when the truth flows, God's mercies are new; Monday morning when your heart breaks, God's mercies are new; Tuesday morning when you hang up the phone, Wednesday morning when sleep leaves you hours before dawn, Thursday morning when you wilt in the gray-scale world--His mercies are new, new, new. O Lord my God, your mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.

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