Strolling Down the Path of Godliness
Godliness is a road that we need to walk if we are believers in the Lord Yeshua/Jesus. It is a lifestyle that we need to adopt if we are going to be holy people, the people of God. It is a life of virtue and it is a walk following after the Holy Spirit, being obedient to the Word of God. Galatians 5:25 tells us, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” It is not good enough to say, “I am born again.” We must actually live like we are born of the Spirit. And we know that the Spirit is at odds with the flesh. You can not mix the world with the spiritual and think that they will cohabitate, for it would be like serving two masters: we would love the one and hate the other. That means that we need to crucify our flesh (Galatians 5:24), actually put it to death so that we now only serve God and not self. Many people think that they can juggle the two—that they can actually walk this tightrope between godliness and worldliness. But God says, “I wish that you would be either hot or cold” (Revelation 3:16). In Matthew 7:13-14 Yeshua tells us, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” The narrow road is the road on which the redeemed of the Lord walk, and Isaiah 35:8 speaks of it as a highway, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The narrow road is one that produces fruit, and that fruit is of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we walk with the Holy Spirit, He leads us on the path of righteousness, and godliness is its fruit. The Holy Spirit sows seeds in our hearts that produce good fruit in our lives. But if there is good fruit then there is also bad fruit, and that fruit is the result of sowing seeds of this world into our lives. 1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever.” If we are going to walk on the path of godliness then we need the Holy Spirit to sow the seeds of godliness into our hearts. Romans 3:18 tells us why the world does not know the path of godliness, and that is because they have no fear of God. So what is the fear of the Lord? The fear of the Lord is having a reverence for God. Now, we may say that we reverence God, but we are to love God with all our heart and soul and being. 2 John 1:6 tells us, “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.” Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Unless we have the fear of God and obey His commandments and all that He requires of us, we will not be on the path that leads to life because we can not live a godly life apart from God’s Word. Proverbs 2:1-15 tells us “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” When admonishing the churches in Revelation 2:4, Yeshua reminds the church in Ephesus that they have fallen away: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” We think that because we go to church or even read the Bible or do good works that we are godly people, but this is not necessarily true.
We may not have the fear of the Lord. We may not be working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Paul says this in Philippians 3:7-11, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law (for salvation), but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” We may not have crucified our flesh and died to self, all of which is walking on the wide road. We cannot be deceived: the world and the Spirit do not cohabitate. We are running a race, and Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, “Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. No, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” A godly life is a disciplined life.
1 Timothy 4:4-8 says, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer. In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Messiah Yeshua, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” The Word tells us that God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6), so we too must be disciplined in living a godly life. Which road are you walking today? Maybe it is a road of lukewarmness, dabbling in the world and putting on a look of holiness as you go about your church duties.
Maybe you have unforgiveness in your heart, but you act like you truly love your brother. Maybe you know God’s Word, but there is no fear or trembling at His Word. Yeshua is our example of godliness, and unless we are walking in His footsteps we cannot and will not live a godly life. We must embrace everything that He is, and He is the Word made flesh. He lived out His life as an example to us to show us the Father, and we are to live out our lives as an example to lead others to Him. Anything less than godliness and holiness will not reflect who God is. We are to be the light of the world and when our deeds, our very life, are brought into the light, it is clear what we are, for the light exposes everything. You may say, “But I am not perfect.” No! Who is? But unless we make a concentrated effort to walk on that narrow path that leads to life we will stray onto the wide road that leads to destruction. We can not say, “I am a good person. I try to be a good neighbor.” We must walk with the Holy Spirit, and that means that we must be attentive to His voice. We must hear His voice so that we know what God’s will is for us in our lives and in every situation that may arise. We must build up our spiritual muscles. To do that we must stay in prayer and in the Word of God, not just reading our Bible but actually living it, every word of it. We are running a race to win. But as we run on this path of godliness we will always have things that cause us to stumble and maybe cause us to fall. We will encounter temptations and every kind of hurdle. Our adversary will be there to try to derail us and cause us to go from the narrow path to the path that is wide so that we lose our way and even maybe turn around and go back to those old habits and sins. But like Paul, if we stay disciplined like a soldier who does not involve himself in worldly affairs but only concerns himself with pleasing his commanding officer, we will be able to fight the good fight. We fight for our King. We fight for His kingdom. Only the godly person will wear the full armor of God. To put on the armor, one needs to walk on the narrow path. This requires us to live a lifestyle which is disciplined and totally devoted to God. Our adversary is as a roaring lion.
When we live in this world and become part of it we open ourselves up to his pursuing us and overtaking us, but when we are like our Master Yeshua, he can only pursue us, for he will never overtake us. When we put on the helmet of salvation, we put on the colors of the kingdom. We lift our banner high and proudly we serve our King because he has taken us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us into His kingdom of light. We once were dead in our sins, but now we are alive in Messiah Yeshua and we live for only Him. When we put on the breastplate of righteousness we put on the righteousness of Yeshua and it is no longer we who live but Yeshua in us. That means that we have died to self and we pick up our cross and follow Him. When we put on the belt of truth, we put on the yoke of the kingdom. We take on His commandments and statutes and teachings (the Torah) and now these are the truths that we live by. When we carry the shield of faith, we carry the promises of God, for He will never leave us or forsake us, and under His wing we shall find shelter. When we lift up the sword of the Spirit, we lift up the Word of God and the enemy must flee. When we wear the shoes of the gospel, we become committed to advance the kingdom and bear fruit that will last for eternity. Philippians 3:20-21 tells us, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” We are now citizens of the kingdom, walking on the path of godliness, fighting the good fight of faith, conquering as we go, lifting up the name of our King Yeshua. We no longer look like the world nor do we talk like the world. We no longer conform to this world, but we have transformed and renewed our minds, and now we know what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is (Romans 12:2).