Religious or Relational

Religion makes people intolerant and mean — with nasty faces and judgmental, critical attitudes.

Religion makes people intolerant and mean — with nasty faces and judgmental, critical attitudes.

Yes, these are so miserable they want everyone to be as miserable as they are.  These religious forget where they came from and turn into unhappy miserable people.

The religious spirit expects everyone to buck up and get with their program!

Now Jesus was not religious and He went to where the people were.  Jesus had a divine appointment set in motion by God.

Jesus only did what he saw His Father do and say.  He purposely went down to Samaria, to encounter face-to-face a woman whom the Jews hated, and called all Samaritans, half breeds and dogs.

The Samaritan woman went to the well and Jesus interacted with her, not condemning her, but speaking into her life.  Jesus made it so simple for her that a child could understand.

4 But He needed to go through Samaria.  5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”  8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

The Whitened Harvest
27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”
28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him,” 
 John 4:4-30 NKJV.

This woman was married many times and a sinner, but after that encounter with Jesus she was told clearly that He was HER Messiah!

Oh, the goodness and mercy of God!  That day she became the first woman evangelist taking the message from Messiah to all her people in Samaria.

Jesus didn’t condemn her for her many marriages but what He did was, He revealed himself to her to such a degree that it changed her whole life and destiny by giving hope to her people.

Have we have forgotten where we came from?

Religious faces, thoughts, words and all religious behavior are intolerant and mean spirited because they cannot be good enough in their own mind.

So, if they can’t do good enough, then that is their thought for everyone else.  Religious deception causes intolerance towards everyone and everything that isn’t lining up with their view.

God expects us to reach out to people to let them know there’s a kingdom, but not of this world!

The religious forget there’s a world out there and create boxes to house their beliefs regardless of how erroneously they are.  These boxes become into entrenched into salt and too much salt in one place is too salty.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found,’”   
Luke 15:25-32 KJV.

The burnt-out religious brother wasn’t happy that his brother was found, favored and forgiven after squandering all his inheritance.

The brother who was so religious and jealous, did not realize the most important piece of this event was that his brother was lost and now he is found!

It was a call to celebrate his return.  The father’s love watched from a long way off, hoping for the return of the wayward son!

The father was so happy about his son who came home, that he lavished him with hugs and kisses, giving him a robe to cover his condition, sandals on his feet giving him new shoes and steps ordered by his father and a ring on his finger, a sign of the fathers authority over all his house!

The jealous older brother was upset as to why the father was celebrating him, and yet he had never given him permission to have a party with his friends.

The father told the jealous brother that he could have had a party anytime with all the fixings and his friends.

The other brother was upset at his brother’s homecoming, thinking he didn’t deserve it.  The older brother did not understand that his place in his fathers house was certain and all that the father had, was his too.

Not understanding the father’s love, grace and mercy, kept him prideful in all his abilities and works, as he felt entitled to much more.

When we get so deep into religion, our pride causes us to forget our own relationship with God and each other.  We forget where we came from!

Sometimes an ordained retreat and down times in our lives are where God leads us and refreshes us in a different way; especially when we are tired and burnt out!

When we get this way, we will notice it seems like everything is making us irritable, drying up and that we are being pulled away from all normality.

There will be times when God is actually leading us to a place to rest, regroup, get reconnected, reestablished, and hear from God.

We are not to be feeding off each other, battling against each other in this condition.  It would be like piranhas going after flesh after flesh.

Religion is what makes complicated the love, understanding and the reality and purposes of God.  We must make room for the Holy Spirit to work on our hearts.

As we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, others will then take notice and want the God we represent.  Once we realize our condition, then we can no longer offer the cheap brand of mindless Merry-Go-Round religion-based performances, or some sideshow acts of pretenders majoring on clown-like behavior, captivating and mesmerizing, with donned mask and paint to alter their true selves.

We must make up our mind, decide, and demand to get off that Merry-Go-Round.

There will be many sized spiritual waves and crashes, and it will shift as a larger wave will descend, but what is left standing once the wave has crashed, was founded on a good foundation.

As the wave runs its course by going into every square inch, it claims everything that wasn’t connected deep on the foundation, and that is released, as it recedes out to sea.

We need to do our ministry.  It is fine to have meetings and enjoy The LORD and each other, but where are the soul winners and the maker of disciples?

The Church has been guilty, for not having any place for these.

So many Church goers are religious, putting in their one hour per week, before then promptly go back to the worldly mindsets.

There is no room for change, no tolerance, and what they fail to see is that all throughout history, when God brings change, some receive it and move with God.

However, there are those who refuse change and when the Spirit of God moves on, many of the people do not move with God.  Thus enters another denomination and they turn what was a place where God once moved, into a shrine of death.

Then in God’s mercy, He sends reformers and prophets, and these shrines begin to kick out the very ones who were needed to bring reformation.

Truly does the passage say, they become white washed walls full of dead men’s bones.

I am done chasing fleeting feelings and experiences.

My soul follows hard after God regardless of who stays or goes.  I belong to HIM and as He moves.  By HIS Grace I will follow.

I hope many of you who read this agree that it is time to stand against religious spirits.

I want to see God move in this end-time harvest, don’t you?

Have we forgotten where we came from?


In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey

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