But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7
At this point in the journey from faith to love, everything changes. After you have persevered with God for a really difficult season, you become extremely attractive to Him. I know people say “God is all around us, “ and in a sense, He is, but what I’m talking about here is a whole new ballgame. He may be around us, but very few are truly aware of it.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. – 2 Chronicles 16:9
When you persevere, I mean when you have made up your mind that you will trust Him regardless of any and every “what if” situation that could possibly come your way, He actually shows Himself to you. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was at Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville, GA. After some really difficult times in my life, I had to decide whether I was going to continue to devote myself to Him. I had to fully make up my mind to persevere, or in other words show my heart loyal to Him. He more than showed Himself strong on my behalf. He gave me what I know now as a very small dose of His Presence, which was as much as I could have taken at the time. This amazing awareness of His presence was the very beginning of Godliness.
My fancy bible software defines Godliness as this: Reverence for or devotion to God, producing a practical awareness of God in every aspect of life.
When God knows that you can be trusted to choose Him for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and for richer or for poorer. Yes, when you make the same covenant with Him you would make in marriage, you begin to receive the greatest gift that this life offers:
Not His presents, but His presence. The diligent faith, the doing right, the studying, the putting into practice of what you’ve learned, the controlling of yourself, and the sticking with Him no matter what becomes more than worth it. Once you get a taste of Him, the very best of anything this planet offers pales in comparison. There is absolutely nobody and no thing like Him.