Will going to church get you to heaven? Instead, is your heart willing to understand and obey what the Bible says we are to do? Understanding the Bible only comes from God. Doing what the Bible tells us to do can only be done with a willing, humble heart and God’s enablement. Psalm 119:16-18 explains, “I will delight in your statutes [will of God]; I will not forget your word. 17) Deal bountifully[graciously] with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 18) Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law [instructions].” Is this your prayer? 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Coveting the things of the world will distract you from doing the will of God and abiding forever with Him. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”
If you have a strong desire to gain possessions and you find fulfillment in buying things, ask God to root out the unhealthy belief that you need possessions for whatever reason. Ask God to help you tear down the covetous stronghold that keeps you in bondage to being controlled by worldly possessions. To learn more about strongholds read STRONGHOLDS—What Are They and How Do They Affect You
Psalms 119:36 states, “Incline my heart to your testimonies [will], and not to selfish gain [covetousness]!” Albert Barnes explains this verse in his Bible Commentary Notes (1834).
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies – Cause my heart to be inclined to them, or to be disposed to keep them. This, too, is a recognition of dependence and a prayer for guidance.
And not to covetousness – To gain; to the love of money. This seems to be referred to here as the principal thing which would turn away the heart from religion, or as that from which the most danger was to be feared. There are undoubtedly many other things which will do this – for all sin will do it; but this was the chief danger which the psalmist apprehended in his own case, and perhaps he meant to refer to this as the principal danger on this subject which besets the path of man. There are many more persons turned away from the service of God, and kept away from it, by covetousness than there are by any other one sin. When the psalmist prays that God would not “incline” his heart to covetousness, the language is similar to that in the Lord’s prayer – “And lead us not into temptation.” That is, restrain us from it; let us not be put in circumstances where we shall be in danger of it. We are not to suppose that God exerts any positive influence either to make a man covetous, or to tempt him. See Jas_1:13-14.
I have been writing posts about wealth, contentment, and godliness. To keeps these three principles in balance, we must seek God for a humble, thankful heart that desires to please God more than ourselves. Seek to gain more spiritual understanding instead of material enrichment. If you haven’t read any of my posts in this series, you can read them now.
I have been pondering this question for years. Webster’s dictionary (1957) defines godliness as being godly, which is 1. of or from God; divine 2. devoted to God. Dictionary.com (2021) says godliness is the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness. Because of my abusive past, I did not fit the description of godliness. I was angry, controlling, impatient, and insecure. When God healed my soul wounds, I was free to focus on His way of living in love instead of living out of my past hurts.
When you train for something, you make an effort to learn and practice to improve your knowledge and skill. In verse six, we are to train ourselves to be godly, that is, to think godly thoughts based on the truth of God’s Word. In my post called What Controls Your Thoughts?, I explain how our thoughts control our beliefs, and our beliefs create feelings, and we express our feelings in our behavior. So when we discipline ourselves to think God-pleasing thoughts, we will believe what is true and display godliness. Dictionary.com (05/2021) says godliness is the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness.
Contentment with godliness is a great gain because we are free to focus on loving God and serving Him and others. When we are content with minimal possessions, we gain independence, time, wealth, and so on. When we are content, we no longer have to spend our time and money on worthless, vain things that need maintenance and storage.
It comes down to greed versus gratitude and contentment. What controls your attitude and thoughts will influence your actions. Are you grateful for the wealth God has given you, or are you greedy for more? Are you content with pleasing and loving God, or do you want more for a greater sense of security and self-importance? You can balance wealth with contentment when you have submitted all you have to God and are grateful.
To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?
Why should we have a pure heart and live godly lives? We will be blessed. Psalm 119:2-3 states, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” One of the best ways to purify your soul and live a godly life is to memorize scripture and practice them. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have stored [hidden] up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” On the one hand, we know what we need to do; on the other hand, what is our plan
2Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things [everything we need] that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” God gives us His divine power to be godly when we know Him and His promises. Ponder for a moment that you were called to share in God’s glory and excellence. I can only partake of God’s glory and excellence through His divine power to think godly thoughts.
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