In academia “religion” has been defined as a particular system of faith and worship. Within religions themselves the term has been known to be defined as, a way of life and belief in God or a God; but in reality “religion” today has become known as a system of traditions, rituals, rules and regulations that has unfortunately not only kept unbelievers from believing in an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God, but has also turned away people who still believe in God, but have been enlighten and awakened, to embrace the Love, Grace and Mercy of God in a way that goes beyond the traditional ritualistic method we are so used to following in past generations.
Yes, traditions, rules and regulations have made society and even cultures what they are today, and they have their place in life, even within the religious system, but we must be careful in Christianity not to confuse religion with relationship!
The Bible provides many scriptures on the relationship between a Christian and Christ. One such scripture is John 1:12-13 which states, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” This scripture alone tells us once we accept Christ into our lives that we are no longer strangers to Him, but we are now His Children. This scripture and many like it remind us that relationship/s is/are at the heart of our walk in life not only as humans, but also as Christians.
Receiving love in any relationship in life should be something that is without conditions; and the best example we have of this kind of unconditional love is The Love that Christ first gave to us according to 1 John 3:16, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!” Now that is Love!
A relationship should be the “at the heart” of your life with God. Religion only requires you to have the ability to follow rules, regulations and rituals, while building a relationship requires that you Accept the person as they are, Rest in that acceptance, and Yield to receive what they have to offer!
Unfortunately sometimes as Christians we have been so indoctrinated by past generations and conditioned by today’s society to prove ourselves “worthy” in our natural lives that we begin to believe that God thinks the same way we do! We get so caught up into trying to “please” people and “prove” ourselves to them that we forget that God doesn’t think or act like us. According to Isaiah 55:8, “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways,” the true meaning behind this scripture is that God’s love for us is so beyond our realm of thought that we can’t fathom it! Yes, He Loves us beyond Human Measure!
So today I ask that you examine your relationship with God and in the midst of striving to prove yourself worthy of His love, via “Works” or obeying the “Law”, just take the time to Accept the relationship you have already confessed in, Rest in His Love and promises to you and Yield (slow down and be open to what's coming) to receive the Love, Grace and Mercy He has provided for you!!! I promise if you learn to consciously Receive more from God, you will unconsciously give more to others, because in the end, that’s all He really wants from us anyway, “Love one another as I have loved you!” (John 13:34)!
Always In His Grace!