If you have worked through Experiencing God, you should have come across this question about halfway through Unit 4, Day 3:
When you hear words like commands, judgments, statutes, and law, is your first impression negative or positive?
I expect to have a negative impression of such words. That just seems to be the response ingrained into our culture and our society. Everywhere we turn, someone is bucking against some law or constraint, and we live fearful that our government will strike down protective laws and enact others that rob more of our rights and freedoms.
Yes, I expect to feel negatively when I read such words.
I surprise myself by feeling joy, freedom, and delight surge within me instead. Then my surprise turns to even greater awe and delight when I realize why my response is positive, not negative.
Years ago I purchased several sheets of poster board and decorated them with Scripture passages. Some of them displayed favorite passages of encouragement. Others revealed verses I needed to burn into my memory for the sake of spiritual growth and discipline. I decorated my college dorm room with these posters, hoping to keep God’s Word before me even on those days when I let my schedule get in the way of time in God’s Word. In fact, I very strategically placed one poster directly across from my bed where I would see it first thing every morning. I wanted the words to remind me of the importance of being in God’s Word.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11
Do you notice familiar words scattered through the verses? Law. Commandment. Judgments. Each word, when combined with the phrase "of the Lord," connects to a positive adjective. Each word became beautiful to me over the years. Because this passage ingrained itself in my mind, my spirit now automatically responds positively to each word.
I cannot say that I automatically respond positively to the instructions given by the Lord, but that is another post. The point today is that we often doubt the power of God’s Word to positively transform our hearts and minds. We read a passage through once or twice, consider it good, and then move on. We neglect to ingrain it. We neglect to keep it before us at all times. We neglect to memorize it. To look at it. To repeat it in our minds. So, it remains ineffective. Not like a dull sword, but like a perfectly sharp one that we never pick up.
God’s Word is powerful!! But as long as we ignore it, we negate its power in our lives. Oh may we live day after day to ingrain Scripture into our hearts and minds that it may truly transform us.