Appearance of godliness but denying it's power
I was asked to write a short blog for a ministry newsletter recently and thought I'd share what I wrote here!
Recently I have been meditating on 2 Timothy 3:1-5, particularly the last few words. In the end days, there will be people who have the "appearance of godliness, but deny its power" - people who care more about looking godly and less about actually being godly. As I prayed through this, I asked God to show me the areas in my own life where I have denied His power. Sadly, there have been several areas where I have appeared godly; however, if I am honest, the power of God is absent.
I don't want to be like that. I don't want to go through life regularly involved in the church but seeing how often I missed out on the power of God being displayed in my life and the life of the church. My fear is that this is the story of many in the church today.
Paul tells Timothy to avoid people like this. It is sad that often instead of avoiding these people, we become these people.
When is the last time you really felt or saw the hand of God actively in your life? Have you seen His power step in and completely change a circumstance? Have you asked God for His power to be made manifest in your life and in your ministry?
At the end of October, I was involved in a local interdenominational and intergenerational women's conference in College Station called You Are. We had several women from our community under one roof, worshipping and learning about Jesus. It was a beautiful, powerful weekend and many women were set free from years of guilt and shame. Many were called to purpose where they previously felt purposeless, God healed people physically and emotionally, He convicted sin and poured out forgiveness-I could go on and on with all He did - it was overwhelming! As I began to reflect on the conference the following week, I realized we really did nothing special at the conference. We didn't have big names or fancy staging. We didn't do anything "over the top." All we did was create a space where God could move and women could minister to one another through prayer. We asked women to come hungry and expectant. We invited God and His power. He delivered above and beyond anything we could have asked or imagined.
I was struck as I processed through all this ... why don't I come as hungry and expectant as I did in that conference every Sunday when I come to church or any time I am getting together with a group of believers? Why don't I begin my day telling God I need Him and His power in my life? Why don't I pray for more opportunities to see His power displayed in and through me throughout my day - whether at work, the grocery store, or with the waitress at lunch?
So over the next week, I began to pray for God's power to be present in my life, and He answered. I felt so much more aware of His presence and His voice throughout my days (and still do!) Conversations looked different, I had a much softer feeling toward others and looked for opportunities to minister to people around me. I felt a deeper stirring for the church to experience and know God and had a clearer vision for our ministry - all just from praying and asking him to move. James tells us that Elijah was a man just like we are, and when he prayed for God to move, God did. I pray we all, like Elijah, take hold of who God is and begin asking God to move, asking in full faith and expectancy.