“Yes, please pray for me” was the response as I asked if I could pray for her. There are few people who turn down prayer when offered. Is a respect a person has for prayer and for God enough to save a person, set them apart, move them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God? Are outward forms of appearances of doing good, being kind, acting generously, and having upstanding conduct adequate to be accepted as a child of God?
2 Timothy 3 begins by telling us soon before Jesus returns the times will be full of danger, harsh, and irksome. Men will be easily annoyed, displeased, and irritated. The writer of 2 Timothy explains the reason for this is due to selfishness, following personal agendas, and being unthankful. Further explanation concludes men will have an appearance of godliness, obtaining it by their own means.
What is lacking, what is the missing link between a respect for God and right form of godliness? 2 Timothy 3:5 declares men will have a form a godliness but deny the power. In these last days, people will “appear to be godly”, but deny the power. They are missing the ability. They disown and fail to possess the reputation of God’s power to give them the proper inner response to the things of God.
In other words, individuals will have a respect for God and value for God but miss the power in life to be internally distinguished, morally excellent, and lack the internal ability to display God’s nature. They are ultimately refusing God and saying, “no thank you” to God. They are declaring, “I’m good.” These individuals are relying on their own power to bring about godliness in their lives instead of the power of God to work to bring about the intrinsic nature of God.
What is the power that is necessary to truly be godly before God? Romans 1:17 says “the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” The good news of God sending Jesus to be made in the likeness of man, to take the place of man in death on a cross, be buried, and raised on the third day. It is the message that is the power.
When individuals have a respect for God, but disown the primary declaration of God’s plan for deliverance from failure and the means by which they can possess eternal life; they have a form of godliness without power. Lacking ability to intrinsically have the nature of God, they make up their own image of what they think God is like.
1 Peter 1 tells us it is the power of God which protects us and keeps us saved. It is the might, strength, force, and deeds of God which deliver us from failure and enable us to be transported from the domain of darkness to the domain of God’s own Son.
Today, if you are concerned you are working an outward godliness without the ability or power of God, choose today to give a concentrated effort to learn the message from God. Study the thought and act of God that enabled him to send His only Son, Jesus. Remember how Jesus was completely perfect before God. Meditate on how Jesus took your place on the cross, dying there for you. Decide today to partner with Jesus in both His death and His resurrection. Put away your outward appearance of “doing all things godly” and lean into the ability of God in Christ Jesus to work His intrinsic nature within you.
Trust the power of God established through Him sending His only begotten Son that whosoever (including you) would believe (receive/take in) would not perish but have everlasting life. Thus, you will have a form of godliness and own up to the power by which you possess it.
Written By: Anne W. Gurley