"You have made know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." ~Psalm 16:11
Saturday, June 21, 2008
A form of godliness that denies the power.....
For quite some time I have had this phrase swirling through my mind....." a form of godliness that denies the power." (2 Tim. 3:5) This verse sums up most of my Christian experience. Christians, myself included, that seek godliness, but don't know or live in the power of God. The bible says .."avoid such people." Wow!! It almost seems to say that there is no point to being a Christian, if we don't experience God's power.(my interpretation here, feel free to disagree) I mean should there even be a Christianity that is simply just learning how to be more holy and pursuing godly ways of doing things? Without His power we simply are denying the truth of His word and the Gospel. When the Gospel is preached, truly truly, there should be evidence of people getting saved, healed - signs and wonders should follow the one true Gospel of the New Testament. Paul says to the Corinthians, when I came and proclaimed the mysteries of God, I didn't do it with lofty speech or wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. (1 Cor. 2:1-5) I wonder what exactly he meant by "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"? I simply can't ignore these kinds of verses any longer. Jesus also always preached and demonstrated in power God's love and desire to heal all who He touched. Everywhere He went, He taught and healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and set the captives free. Why is it that modern Christianity does not look like the Christianity of the Bible? Why are people so skeptical of the Lakeland Revival and the outpourings of the Spirit's power going on there? Do we not read our Bibles and believe the whole thing? For me, a lot of it has been naivety, a lot of it has been a wrong focus when I did study my bible and some was the teaching I received and believed to be true, that never once taught me about the power of God or understanding the Holy Spirit's job in the life of a believer. A lot of my own issues were fear of man or seeking approval of people. That truly was a fetter keeping me back from moving on in the things God truly has for my life. But, thankfully, the Spirit will lead us into all truth, as we seek to be led and are hungry for God and long to know Him at a deeper level. And He is truly doing this in my life!! Hebrews 2, talks about Without His Holy Spirit working in us and through us we cannot generate genuine fruit. Real fruit comes from the inside out. Not from applying biblical standards and disciplining ourselves, etc, etc. - but is the priority of our whole life to be focused on our own walks or on the big picture, seeking first the kingdom of God, seeing the lost saved, the captives set free, the cripples walking, the blind eyes opened. This was Jesus main ministry!
Last night Todd Bentley preached a wonderful message at the revival. He has come under much criticism and last night shared that people want to know why he wasn't preaching the gospel. He went on to share that the gospel is not just preaching a message, but it demonstrates the power! The same "method", that Jesus Christ and Paul the apostle used. He preached the on the Lord's prayer and gave a compelling message( which unfortunately I did not take notes and eventually fell asleep before hearing the whole thing), that we should pray thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. On earth as it is in heaven. What is it like in heaven? Well go look in your Bibles and study up on what heaven is like, and then you will know what to pray for. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, it is for now. We do not have to wait for the whole shebang until we die and go to be with our Lord. God wants us to bring heaven down to earth and invade it for His Kingdom and for His glory!!
Another thing, what does salvation mean anyway, does it simply mean you are forgiven of your sins, which that in itself is amazing?! Salvation in the Greek is sozo, which means healing, provision, wholeness and preservation. By His stripes we are healed. Not just from the power of sin, but from sickness and poverty and emotional deprivation! Folks this salvation we have is far more amazing than we realize. I want to live in it! No longer do I simply want to pursue a form of godliness that denies the power of God in my life!!