July 29, 2010

Powerful Truth

Stand against godlessness. Pray for power. This list at the opening of 2 Timothy 3 makes me tense. It is all of things that we are carefully guarding to NOT happen in our families and in our relationships. This passage is addressing the godlessness of the last days. We are living in last days. So we pray for Spirit fruit to be grown and enjoyed in this home. We, along with our friends and our parents are praying to NOT be a statistic of the list that Paul wrote here.

We ask to enjoy our children. We pray for children who love others, who build up others, who forgive, who obey their parents, who are grateful, who love good, who are thoughtful and humble, and who love God. We are looking for ways to encourage our kids to embrace godliness and God's power. (We specifically ask for the inverse of verses 2-5.)

Unload the sin. Receive the truth. Paul describes these people as "loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning, but never able to acknowledge the truth." This describes a frustrating cycle that we see in people who have been seeking God for a long time, but can't seem to grasp the freedom and the power of walking with the Spirit. How many discouraged people say that they want change, but cannot do better? They are loaded down. They are stuck. I have been there. And although I have compassion for stuck people, I know that compassion is not going to unload their burdens. Power IS!

The powerful truth is that Jesus already paid our debt and offered to carry our load. We really don't need to help Him. This may sound un-American where we are taught that hard work yields the best harvest. Actually, strong seed, good soil, bright sun, and rain from the heavens will tend the crops better than perfect harvesting. (Funny that Jesus referred to the Father as the gardener in John 15. He also instructed us- His disciples- to remain or abide in Him if we want to bear fruit.)

So, I see the truth of how my very best for myself or for our children is to watch for these symptoms of "last days sins" in my life and then quickly unload them. I don't want anything to block my understanding of Spirit things. I want to have hands that are free from burdens and ready to receive. This passage is preaching itself to me lately. Thanks for letting me share.

Stand against godlessness. Pray for power. Unload the sin. Receive the truth.

July 27, 2010

Denying the Power

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?