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What springs to your mind when you think of the word “godliness”?
Do you think of religious people who have a “holier than thou” attitude?
Do you think of weird biblical characters, such as John the Baptist, who lived out in the wilderness and dined on locusts and wild honey?
Or do you think of modern-day saints, such as the late Mother Teresa?
Have you ever considered yourself as “godly” and if not, why not?
Having checked my dictionary, I note that the word “godly” is defined as follows:
(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
To me, those two words have negative connotations.
The late Bob Gass, writer of the UCB Word For Today* devotional, said this:
Godliness is an inside job. And the longer you think about it, the more convinced you become that a truly godly person is one whose heart is sensitive to God, who takes God and his Word seriously, and who desires more of Him.
And so dear friends, godliness is not an outside job!
Contrary to how others may have defined it, godliness is not determined by whether or not you wear hats, make-up, jewellery, or dresses that cover you from throat to toes. It is not embracing a poverty mind-set and maintaining a frugal or permanently penurious existence.
Godliness is a matter of the heart, a matter of your will.
Now God’s Word tells us that his eyes move throughout the earth, seeking those whose hearts are perfect towards him.
For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.
2 Corinthians 16:9 – The Living Bible
Now that word “perfect” does not mean faultless, never making any mistakes in our relationship with him or with others. It points to a fundamental mindset, desire and drive, to love God with all our hearts, live aligned to his Word and purpose and make him the “be all and end all” of our lives.
On the basis of these two definitions, how do you measure up?
And, if you were to consider a biblical character that lived up to these ideals, who springs to your mind?
I don’t know about you, but the person who immediately impresses me as someone who loved God unreservedly and served him wholeheartedly, is David.
The following extracts from the Bible, grants us insight into David’s relationship with God:
As a deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Because your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
The Psalms is littered with many more expressions similar to the above extracts and just reading these reveal David’s utter commitment and devotion towards God. They form a picture of his godliness and portrays what a godly heart and mindset entails.
We see that it incorporates, a love and hunger for God, a passionate and perpetual desire to please and honour Him, entwined with a holy reverence for Him.
If you would like to explore the subject of godliness further, I recommend this excellent article. Please click here.
I conclude today’s post with an extract from the above recommended article, written by the author, Jerry Bridges:
This is the heartbeat of the godly person. As he contemplates God in the awesomeness of his infinite majesty, power, and holiness, and then as he dwells upon the riches of God’s mercy and grace poured out at Calvary, his heart is captivated by this One who could love him so. He is satisfied with God alone, but he is never satisfied with his present experience of God. He always yearns for more.
If you enjoyed the article, or would like to read the book from which this extract has been drawn, you can purchase Bridge’s book, The Practice of Godliness, from Amazon – here.
Now let us pray.
Let’s ask God to stir up within our hearts and within the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, a fervent, genuine and increasing desire for godliness.
PS: Now don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!
Again and again, throughout your Word, I see your heart’s desire is to enjoy an ongoing fellowship with your people.
I see it as you walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. I see it in your relationship with Enoch, where you both enjoyed such a rich and rewarding fellowship with each other, you decided to bring him home with you to heaven!
I see it in your forming a nation for yourself from the enslaved children of Israel and I see it in your abounding love and amazing generosity of heart, in purchasing my redemption and setting aside a group of people similarly redeemed, which make up the Body of Christ.
Father God, I don’t want to be like those whom Paul decried as having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
I want to experience every facet of godliness and I desire genuine godliness to be the hallmark of my relationship with you. I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will have a similar burning desire.
Holy Spirit, I’m aware that this is not going to happen through my own might or willpower. And so I’m inviting you to come alongside me and help me.
I’m asking that you create an ongoing and increasing hunger and thirst for the knowledge and presence of God, both in myself and in my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Father God, I’m asking that you stir up within me and within your set-apart saints, a heart that reverences you, honours you and ever seeks to please you. May we, as members of the Body of Christ, pursue you and the things pertaining to your kingdom, far more than our own selfish desires and personal aspirations.
Lord God, deliver us from the Evil One. Thwart Satan’s blatant or subtle attempts to discourage, distract, or derail us from a godly mindset and lifestyle.
Enable us to adopt David’s strategy and cry out to you in openness and honesty, seeking your help and daily motivation, regarding our commitment and devotion to you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
© Carol Hind
FOR REFLECTION & SCRUTINY :
Has today’s post changed your concept of “godliness”?
What action will you take this week to become one whose heart is “perfect towards God”?
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Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers?
Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)
Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.
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Women of Warfare followers and visitors I wish you a blessed and victorious week!
*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF (UK and Republic of Ireland only).
For the online version visit: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html