What do we understand by “godliness”’? What does it mean for you?
I think for different people it has different meaning. Some feel godly by burning incense for deities, some go for a long stretch of fasting, some beat themselves up as penance for their sins and afterwards feel holy and godly( once sins have been paid for). Some feed deities with fruits, some chant entire daylong to keep mind focused, few feed beggars after breaking their fasts and so on. The list is endless. People follow different faiths and relate it to godliness. Unfortunately many catchhold of various earthly teachers, who teach them the same things that are written in the scriptures centuries ago, as well as add on ( distorted truths) some messages for their personal gains, to continue donations for their organizations.
As I was growing up in a brahmin family, from childhood I saw my parents following many rituals. Starting from waking up early morning, taking baths ( that they may be worthy to offer prayers) and offering incense and fruits to deities and so on. I saw my mother bathing her deities too. That often would put a question in my innocentmind, “”can’t God even take shower Himself? “”
Endless days I worshipped same way. Had many queries I wanted God to answer, but I was really disheartened to know, not a single question was answered. My questions and prayers remained unheard, unanswered. And I was still in turmoil from within, inspite of my many prayers.
Yes, I was demoralized. All I wondered was, if there ever was a GOD, why isn’t he listening to my prayers. Is anyone even aware that I shed much tears in anticipation that someday my questions will be answered and prayers heard?
I998 I was saved, brought under Grace, and truly accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. It was then when I started getting answers to all the questions I had in my mind since childhood. And I realized, to get your answers, you need to know who God is.
Jeremiah 33:3 “”call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know””.
Isaiah 65 :24 “Before they call I will answer, while they are still speaking, I will hear””
Psalm 91:15 “He will call on me, and I will answer Him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him””.
What mighty promises !! The creator of the Universe, is going to answer me?Can you believe it? Yes, He answers, He hears.
Psalm 56:8 “” you keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.””
All these years I was wondering if God really saw my tears. And here I read He not only saw, but kept a record. All the scriptures were coming alive in my life. Anything I would pray for, I would see God taking prompt action, and not delaying justice.
He had to show who He was. I had to see and understand who He is 😊 . It was a beautiful journey of unlearning all traditions and rituals I grew up with, also a journey of learning to be in real fellowship with my best friend, my Heavenly Dad ……my God.
My joy was visible to the world, so was the peace He filled me with. From that day on, I understood Godliness as only a “personal relationship and fellowship with God””. Rituals do not matter, my bodily cleanliness doesn’t matter. If at a moment I am filled with an urge to worship, it doesn’t matter if I have taken shower or not. All that matters, is there are intense moments, when I just want to be in His Holy presence, and His glory washes me clean. Jesus was and is forever there to guide as God the Son….The obedient Son , who taught me obedience towards God’s ways, God’s beautiful unseen plans for me, God’s commands to trust in Him alone with a childlike faith. ( God has revealed Himself to mankind in three facets, God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit. Though God Himself is Singular. Deuteronomy 6: 4 records The Lord Our God is One).
I simply followed. The outcome was all the more beautiful. I learnt Who He is, what He wants out of my life, what is the purpose of bringing me in a “”Dad and daughter relationship””.
Exodus 33:18-23 records, Moses wanted to see God, His face. But God replied Moses’s request with His goodness and kindness. “”I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim MY name, THE LORD, before you, for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy and loving kindness on whom I will show mercy and loving kindness. ( Romans 9:15, 16). Exodus 33: 23 records, on Moses’s insistence, God said, “”I will take my hand and you will see my back, but my face shall not be seen, for no man shall see me and live””.
By now I was growing in His love. He showed up against my enemies, when I felt overwhelmed( Joshua 1:5 “” no one will be able stand up against you all the days of your life””) , He roared like a lion of Judah when I felt helpless. He made my enemies come from one direction and flee from many( Isaiah 42:13 “The Lord will go forth like a mighty man, He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud, He shall prevail against His enemies”), He gave me victory in everything He required me to do in various phases of my life.
I knew I am in the presence of ONE AND ONLY HOLY GOD who never forsakes, never leaves us if we learn to trust in Him.
I did, and I never looked back.
Godliness means my relationship with my Heavenly dad. Godliness also means following His commands. Understanding and abiding by the Truth always , The WORD OF GOD”.
I always felt IF people had put some effort in the least,to know and understand God’s nature and persona, world wouldn’t have so much cruelty, hardships and pains, because then our loving God would have changed all the hardened close hearts and spiritually blind people would see truth. But people pretend too busy for God and His words and His ways (unless ofcourse when they are in crisis), hence Satan deceives and keeps people under His clutch with spiritual blindness. And deception.
2 Timothy 4: 3 “For the time is coming when people will not tolerate sound instructions, but having ears itching ( for something pleasing and gratifying ) they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold. And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and manmade fictions”. The day is here. No one wants to sit down to know the Truth DIRECTLY FROM THE SCRIPTURE, which is so easy, but go all the way to hear humans who are extracting money from them, deceiving them by pretending Holy and wasting everyone’s time, and Satan’s own, are fine with it.
1) Incense wouldn’t be required, if we can be the incense for God’s nostrils ( because of our trust and faith in Him alone, with a contrite spirit)
2) Before preparing meals for God, if we remember, He is the provider for the entire Universe, it would be really good.
3) Taking a shower doesn’t make us Holy and worthy to worship. It’s a union of our souls with God’s Spirit. Body doesn’t have any role to play. We should concentrate more on our truthful genuine worship than mere superficial cleanliness. Our hearts need to be clean and turn away from sins and focus on God alone.
4) Most importantly, if we know the simple fact, that only God is Holy , worthy to be worshipped, and there is no one like Him ( 1Samuel 2:2, there is no one holy like the Lord, there is no one besides you, there is no Rock like our God), we will spiritually mature and real growth will happen in our lives. Always remember, we can never be worthy because of our good works, we are saved by HIS GRACE.
It’s never too late to search for Truth. Make the effort. And be blessed😊
1 Timothy 4:8 “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.””
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)