We are currently in the season of LENT and I shared in my earlier post what LENT is, (click HERE if you want to read it) and what I felt led to write about for the next several weeks during this Lenten season. Since LENT is a time of reflection and repentance, I felt the Lord say to write about the sins that seem permissible in this country that are doing great harm to us and those around us.
The gospel is that Jesus died one time for ALL of our sin. That is great news! He made the way for us to live free! So, since Jesus died for your sin, He doesn’t look at you and see what is wrong with you: He already died for that! No, He doesn’t see what’s wrong with you, He just sees what is missing. And here’s more great news: He gave us His Spirit to reveal what’s missing and to then empower us to be trained in what’s missing! It’s as if He cleaned out our souls to make room for what He wants in there: the fullness of Himself!
God doesn’t see what’s wrong with you, He sees what’s missing.
Many of us around this time of year are ready to get healthy, or to get our “beach bodies” on! We start focusing on our health and exercise. We jump into eating better and working out more. Some of us will even go and employ a “trainer”. This trainer coaches us in the gym as we exercise, so that we can develop the muscles and loose the weight that we desire. With a particular end in mind, we go into strict training.
Why will we train our bodies but not train our souls?
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“Train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7b
Permissible Sin #1: UNGODLINESS.
An acceptable sin in our country today, that we must address is UNGODLINESS. Now, for many of you, just like me, I thought, “That doesn’t apply to me! I am not ungodly!” We respond in this way, because we have defined wickedness and ungodliness the same way. Ungodliness is a sinful attitude toward God, while wickedness is sinful actions. Ungodliness can lead to wickedness if we don’t recognize the true meaning of ungodliness and train ourselves to overcome ungodliness with godliness. Ungodliness is defined as “living one’s everyday life with little to no thought of God, making Him irrelevant“. Ouch.
The truth is that many of us live our lives with little thought of God. We may read our Bibles in the morning and pray for a minute, but then, we go about our daily activities and live as though God doesn’t even exist. We very rarely think about depending on Him, inviting His help with our everyday activities, or including Him in our day at all. If you think about it, a nice person who doesn’t know Jesus lives like that: God never being in his thoughts.
How does this manifest itself in our lives? Two ways: 1) we make plans without consulting or depending on Him, and 2) we forget about our accountability to God and our responsibility to live according to God’s Word. We forget that God is with us, whether we acknowledge Him or not. He is with us and He sees everything we do and everything we say. As a Christ-follower, it is His heart and will for us to live like Him.
All of life is to be lived out in God’s presence with an eye to pleasing Him.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
We must REPENT from ungodliness.
God sent Jesus to die for that, so His will is that we put the old self off and put the new self on. He sees what’s missing and sent His Spirit to help us develop GODLINESS in its place.
Godliness is defined as “living one’s life with God being the center and consuming focus of one’s life“. Every circumstance and situation is viewed through the lens of God’s Word. It is having what many call, a “Biblical Worldview”. We see everything through the eyes of God and His will in that situation. We see how He wants us to respond in every situation that comes our way.
SO how do we “train ourselves in godliness”?
It must be our goal to consistently pursue a conscious awareness of the presence of God with us, working in us and through us in every circumstance. We must develop a growing desire to please Him, but also know that we are responsible as His child to accurately represent Him to the world around us. Therefore, with that responsibility comes a total dependency on the Holy Spirit to help us do that. Responsibility and Dependency must go hand-in-hand.
Responsibility and Dependency must go hand-in-hand.
Questions to Consider: How much of your life is spent with no to little thought of God and His Will for your life? How differently would your life look if you were more consciously aware of God’s Presence in your daily life? What can you do to remind yourself of His presence with you 24/7?
What do I do now? Confess your sin of ungodliness to your Father. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Ask His Spirit to help you train in godliness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify areas in your life where you are forgetting God’s Presence, and to make you more and more aware of God’s Presence with you throughout your day. (I have daily reminders on my phone that say “I am with you” and “Don’t forget about Me” on them)
May you know that you are on His mind ALL the time and seek to reciprocate.
You are loved,