2 Timothy 3:5 Holding to a form of godliness, but denying its power. These words are ringing in my head when I am facing difficulties of any kind lately. When I find myself overwhelmed, I need to check this first. I know that you know and I know that we are to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us. I know that you know and I know that we are to trust and obey, for there's no other way. So, why the panicky feelings? Why the fear and the doubt? Why the temptation to walk away from the Lord and figure it out on our own?
As believers, we can hold the tools that we need and actually not use them. It's the best trick of the enemy: to convince us that we don't have what we need when we really do have what we need. We can love God and even serve God, but struggle in the same areas for years without seeing any real progress. Why?
Where have I been holding on to my form of godliness, but denying its power? How does that look for me? I can "work" for the Lord, using my own ideas and my own strength. I can sign up and sign on for a list of good projects and yet deplete my own resources for the projects that He has specifically assigned to me. This summer, I was sure that the Lord asked me to table some of my good ideas and pursuits and invest time into the ministry of BetsyB.TV. Obedience feels good, but more importantly obedience will bear fruit. I know because of the many times that I missed it and missed out.
A religious spirit can appear to be a form of godliness. Christians can carefully obey God's written word. That is a form of godliness. They can sow and reap and plant and have harvest. But there is a cap on the godliness that we pursue through our religion. Religion will only take you so far. The power of God is the ever present help in time of need. The power of God is the only way we can see the fruit of the Spirit. The power of God is the way that we can maintain a lifestyle of obedience even when we missed our daily devotions that morning.
Let's study this passage more, because I want godliness PLUS the power! Do you?