Godliness simply means to live like God. It is holy living, God commands that we be holy just as He is (1 Pet.1:16) and in another place He warns that without holiness, no man can see God (Heb.12:14). We know according to 1 Timothy 4:8, that just like the body requires physical training, which has its benefits, godliness is a form of spiritual exercise. Exercise requires nutrition, resistance, and rest of our muscles in order for them to grow strong and bigger. Likewise godliness requires the same. Nutrition is the feeding of your spirit by the Word of God. Jesus in Matthew 4:4 teaches that man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In order to live a godly life, a proper diet of God’s word is required daily.
Notice what 2 Pet.1:3-4 says “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The ability to live the godly life comes through the word of God, as we partake of the knowledge of God’s word (the exceeding great and precious promises), the divine nature of the Spirit within is released to give strength for godly living.
Resistance refers to the things we come into contact with on a daily basis that challenge the word of God. Galatians 5:16 says “walk in the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh”. This is where the resistance is. In resisting the desires of the flesh and walking in the reality of what the word says we can overcome the desires of the flesh. This is the part of spiritual exercise. It will be painful many times to act in accordance to what the Word of God says, but we have a responsibility to obey, so we can strengthen our muscles. This is why a proper diet of the Word of God is required. This is why we need to know what the Word of God says, and meditate on it intently, until the Word by itself begins to control our thinking. This is what Romans 12:2 calls the renewing of the mind.
Finally resting the muscles to allow for growth; there are times when we need to separate ourselves from the day to day hustle and bustle and spend time with God and His word, simply meditating. It is at this time we are strengthened and invigorated with life by the Spirit. Living a fasted life keeps your flesh under and allows your spirit-man find expression. James 4:4 says “friendship with the world is enmity with God”. We must from time to time separate from our daily lifestyle to refocus on our relationship with God.
See how 1 John 2:15-16 puts it:
“Do not love the world or the things 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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
When we have committed ourselves to godly living as described, then we are sure we will see results. Results of exercise ought to be evident. Not just to yourself, but also to others around. Likewise in godly living there is the assurance of enviable results in the life now, and there is the reward in heaven for living a holy life.
Commit yourself to godly living, ask God to help you, and dedicate yourself to the reading and meditation of the Word. Pray, pray and pray some more! Be unrelenting in your prayer life, take time out to fast, and never give in to the desires of the flesh. Make a practice of disciplining the flesh and beating it down. I’ll leave you with 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified