Forms of Godliness
Warning… Beware of forms of godliness. Jesus commanded us “Not to be deceived” (Matthew 24:5) and as a watch-woman and a person who dares to speak the truth, I’m going to share with you what the Lord revealed to me about myself. Let’s begin with this: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3 NKJV). If you read any of my earlier blogs and if you know me intimately, you will know that I was raised in a home of faith. My mom brought me into this world a believer and has not ever swayed from her relentless pursuit of faith in Jesus Christ. She and my father had me dedicated by Pastor Chuck Smith in Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa church as an infant. I tell you this because it’s important to know that this act of faith that my parents showed is what I believed kept me protected up until I finally surrendered my life to Jesus.
Ok, bear with me, as I’m not a professional writer and I’m relying on the Holy Spirit to help me write all this so that it makes sense to you and not just what’s in my head. Salvation, it’s always been a question of mine. I have wondered if I had that all those years that I was considered a “prodigal.” I’m sure many of you that know me and are my family would confidently say that I was saved and had just fallen away. But the Lord showed me something very drastically different Monday (March 8th, 2021) after a series of things I read in the Word and meditated on and engaged in conversation about and experienced in my heart. See just because I was raised in a home that the love of God abounded, doesn’t mean that I was saved. Just because I got baptized at the age of 9 doesn’t mean that I was saved. Just because I told people about Jesus and proclaimed that everyone I knew needed Him, doesn’t mean that I was saved. You may ask where all this is going…ok let me ask you this… Do you know the date you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life? I can tell you with total confidence that I know on October 6th, 2019 I said a prayer in a children’s Sunday school classroom at Anchored in Christ church with the woman who lead worship. It was during a women’s bible study. I clearly remember her asking me if I wanted to give my life to the Lord and I told her, “I don’t need to do that, I did that when I was a child.” She encouraged me to confess my sins to Jesus, repent and ask Him to forgive me. You want to know what’s wild, is I didn’t know what that consisted of, so she lead me through a prayer and over the next 4 weeks I sought the Lord, intimately in His word seeking what repentance and deliverance was. (1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” NKJV).
Ok, so you may be asking yourself what this is all about? Let me share this: “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.” I don’t want to get into all that which I came from, so if you want to know more just read my previous blogs. What I can tell you is that I was all those things mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (I encourage you to stop reading right now and go read that). Continuing on, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God,” 1 John 3:6-9 NKJV. I share this passage NOT to condemn, but to paint a very clear picture. See the seed that was planted in my heart as a child was just that, a seed. And it remained, clearly it remained, because if it didn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing all this right now. But Salvation, that is something so much more intimate. It’s a personal choice and it’s what allows a person to walk in a way that pleases God. Without salvation, lawlessness abounds and our conscious is diminished. I mean how else could I have given into all those worldly desires and denied the power of Jesus all those years if I was truly saved? I have had to ask myself those hard questions and what the Lord told me is that I had a form of godliness. He was very specific with those exact words, “Form of godliness.” I started off a “good person” when I walked away from everything my mother diligently instilled in me. Even in my worldliness I had a heart, until I didn’t. There wasn’t ever any conviction and year after year, my heart grew harder and harder, until I wasn’t affected at all by what I did and the things done to me. That was, until God got a hold of me. The very story that brought all this together for me is in Mark 4.
The Parable of the Sower has had the most remarkable impact on my soul and it is what has awakened me to a truth that I consider a mystery of God. I think of the seed and when it is planted. In order for a seed to actually take root, it must be planted in good soil. Think about it for a minute…have you ever bought a bag of seeds and planted them? How did you plant them? You first prepared the soil and then either dug a hole or poked a hole in that soil, and then you drop the seed in that soil, cover it up and tend to it. Makes sense to me. I mean I planted herbs and vegetables and fruit from seeds over my lifetime and they didn’t just plant themselves or grow themselves, I had to tend to them. So that seed that was planted in my heart by my mother when I was a very young child is what remained because not only did she plant the seed, she tended to that seed. The planting, in my opinion, was that day, in an act of faith, her and my dad took me up on that stage and dedicated me right back to the Lord. That was the most profound realization for me. It was their act of faith that allowed the Lord to maintain that soil long enough for the seed to take root. And through all my younger years of being showered in the Word, worship and love is what actually was the watering that helped the seed take root. But then that pesky enemy came along to devour all that was growing and filled that growth with weeds and thorns and thistles and started choking out the growth that was always intended to be evident by the unfortunate events of a broken family. Through the latter years of my childhood I grew further away from His truth and found myself doing what I always knew but not living it out. I mean how else could I have stood on a stage of a church and lead worship, pray for people, but leave out of that building and go have wild orgies and drug excursions? It is clear that I had a form of godliness and it was choked out by the enemy. And by the time God got a hold of me, I promise you I was so broken and scared and thought that I was about to endure a most violent death by the hands of a human being. It was those fears that lead me straight to Him. In the middle of all my disaster He saw fit to bring me into communion with Him and lead me back to who I was always intended to be, His very own possession.
Since I gave my life to Jesus on October 6th, 2019, I have not wavered from my belief or faith. I can say with total confidence that sin disgusts me and it hurts me so very much to see the kind of lawlessness that abounds in the lives of those I know and don’t know. I want so much to see people fall in love with Jesus and desire to live according to His ways and His will. God saw fit to disciple me personally, showing me very quickly all the things I had to die to in order to follow Him. It hasn’t been without pain either. I have had to take a long hard grueling look in the mirror and face some hard truths about whom I was and who I am not. I believed a lie for a lot of years. In the end of my life in the world, I used to refer to myself as “I am.” It doesn’t get more demonic than that. I do not believe that a saved person and consciously say that they are “I am.” And I had to face that truth. One thing that stands out to me from the Bible is how in the beginning, God created all people with one reason, to worship Him. So that tells me, that all human beings on this planet Earth are created still to this day for one purpose, to worship God. And that is why our entire reason for being saved to tell others about this beautiful, transformative life we have as a result of the free gift of Salvation. And what’s so crazy is that it’s a choice we all have to make. It’s so much more than a paragraph of words that we read, or a prayer that we may repeat in a church service. It’s an intimate encounter with Jesus that each person has to have on their own.
So my friends, in saying all that, let’s go out and water that seed that is in the heart of every human being. Let’s go and tell everyone we may encounter about a life changing experience they too can have by the Seed that is in their heart already. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jews, first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:16-17) NKJV.