There is so much religion in the world…and we need less of it. We don’t need more religion, we need a deeper, more passionate, loving, joyous relationship with Jesus.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says it like this, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Everything in my life should say (without words) that Jesus is Lord of my life and I live to love, enjoy and please Him with every breath that I have. And that is the farthest thing from a religious heart. God did not send His Son to the earth to start a religion but to reconcile hearts back to Him. And in this reconciliation we find the greatest thing in all the world…the pleasures of knowing and loving Jesus.
The Holy Spirit showed it to me like this. Religion is like building a campfire. You gather all the wood. You organize each piece for the perfect blaze. You set up chairs around the campfire. You gather your friends and then…that,s it. You never light the fire. It’s just a bunch of wood. There is no flame. No fire. No heat. This is religion. Everything looks good but there’s no fire…no presence of heat. How disappointing would that be on a cold, winter night? Yet, this is what many churches are doing today. They have an amazing building, great programs, good people, but no fire. No presence. And the people leave unchanged.
God has set a banqueting table before us that is filled with the good things that He has for us to partake of and enjoy. Such as, the Father’s love, the joy of the Lord, communion with the Holy Spirit, peace, freedom, healing, and the list goes joyously on and on. However, religion is like inviting your closest friends to a great banquet of feasting and as they pull up to the ornate banqueting table, all you have prepared for them are saltine crackers. That’s it. There is no feast. Just dry ole crackers. That will never ultimately satisfy and it will leave your friends longing for real food. Again, this is many of our churches today. And people are hungry for more.
Religion will never satisfy. Period. That’s why so many people are dissatisfied and uninterested in our churches. God is on the move with His power, healing, freedom, joy, community and the like. And the church is stuck in religion, building campfires and boring banqueting tables. The good news is that God is raising up a people that are hungry and thirsty for just one thing…Him. Not another religious hand shake, sermon, worship set, offering or false community. But just Jesus. And the more we have of Him in our meetings the better.
Beloved, the very first thing that you must do after you are done reading this is to ask yourself if you have fallen into a religious mindset. Start with yourself and not the church. It’s easy to blame the church for our own lack of fire but that’s just an excuse. So how about you? Are you desperate for God? Hungry and thirsty for Him? Are you living loved by God? Are you demonstrating that love to others? Do you pursue authentic community or do you just like the idea of it? Do you want to live to please the Lord? Is He your joy throughout the day? Are you doing things to be seen by men or God? Are you trying to warm yourself next to a cold campfire?
Friends, God is doing a new thing in all of us! It’s time to connect with His passionate heart like never before. There is no more time to waste. Don’t be passive about your walk with God. Let’s get to it!
You are loved!
Ryan Bruss, Director