Godliness: Love for the Word, Spirit Inhabited, Humble, and Prayerful
Continuing with Thomas Watson on characteristics of the godly person from “The Godly Man’s Picture”:
Whether written or preached, a godly person is a lover of the Word in all its aspects. He loves the Word for its consolation and counsel, but also loves it for its warnings regarding sin. By diligently conversing with Scripture, we may carry a Bible in our heads, and so a godly person will meditate on it (Psalm 119:97). He will hide it in his heart (Psalm 119:11). It will be his delight and treasure above all things most precious even food, riches and honor. Like one who finds a good thing and just can’t be quiet, so too is the godly person regarding the Word, but he is not one who only likes to talk. He also likes to listen. The Scriptures are the sovereign oils and balsams; the preaching of the Word is the pouring of them out.
A godly person is one in whom the Spirit resides (1 Cor. 6:19, Gal.4:6). This is not to say that we partake of the essence of the Spirit or we would be those to be worshiped. The Spirit is in the godly (by his presence), in whom he flows in measure (influentially). It is the Spirit who teaches, sanctifies, vivifies (gives life), and mollifies (softens). He gives check to the violence of corruption and infuses us with strength and assistance for life. Oh how we need the Spirit, for we cannot please God without him. We need him to help us pray (Rom. 8:26), to resist temptation (Gal. 5:16) and to be fruitful (Gal. 5:22-23).
The godly are those who are inwardly humble. A man may be humbled, but not in fact be humble. This humbleness is a pervasive disposition that colors all a person does and is. It isn’t an outward exhibition, but an inward condition. A humble person is emptied of all swelling thoughts of himself and of his duties. Others are considered better and one’s Christian service is seen as meager. A humble man will not complain of his condition or circumstance, but of his heart, and so he is willing to take reproof for sin as a grace (Prov. 9:8). A humble man is content. A proud man complains that he has no more, a humble man wonders that he has so much.
Finally, godly people pray. Prayer is the soul’s traffic with heaven. Their prayers are characterised by knowledge and understanding (1 Cor. 14:15), fervency, brokenness and humility. Their prayers are offered in faith, for prayer without faith is shooting without bullets. It’s not only the characteristics of prayer that are important but that he prays. If you would be counted godly, be given to prayer. Prayer sanctifies your mercies (1 Tim. 4:5). Prayer weeds out sin and waters grace. Do not wait to be skilled in prayer before you pray. We can take comfort that our prayers are reuttered by the Spirit (Rom. 8:28) and are in the hands of a Mediator (Heb. 7:25).