When Jesus walked the earth, He confronted a very dangerous spirit in His day and in scathing rebuke He addressed them when they manifested.
And He wants us to know how rampant the ‘spirit of religion’ is within churches today.
It’s not wrong to want to be involved socially with people in Church events and services. However, GOD clearly wants us to realize and recognize the true motive of our own heart as to why we are involved.
We must ask ourselves; while in church events and services, and the who’s-who socially are, are we really doing it for keeping up appearances?
Actually, are we getting to the nitty-gritty of our heart motives in wanting to have good standing in the community, rather than having God’s good standing in us?
There are many lures that come to feed these needs, that only bring us into bondage to man’s opinion of us!
Man’s approval and opinion of us has nothing to do with the true pursuit of The LORD Jesus and His Opinion of us!
Man’s opinion is flawed and carries no weight in the things of God. We can never do enough, be in Church meetings enough, congregate enough, and through our opinion of self and our accomplishments we think we earn points by seeking out our own personal padded pew that our ancestor bought years ago on the first row!
This is quite contrary to God’s Word! Through our ‘personal relationship’ with The LORD, we are to be led to let GOD make room for us and our gifts.
Religion verses Relationship is a very different stance.
Religion is a return to bondage and we can never ever do enough to please the demands. If we are seeking or wanting a religious reputation in our spiritual life, it doesn’t come from endless Sunday school lessons, services, activities, or the people we think we must know to climb the latter of success in man’s eye.
We must do it God’s Way, where His Opinion and approval of you will always be the reputation that matters.
You will never be able to keep up with the demands of obedience to please a religious spirit.
If the motive of our heart is to please men we will never be able to do enough and we will burn out from its endless demands on us.
In Christ it is not so. If we don’t have a true Relationship with Christ in daily worship, prayer, and His Word, all we are doing is living an exhaustive religious hamster’s wheel life. We keep spinning but it is getting us nowhere.
What Christ did for us on that Cross liberated us from the never-ending lists of cheap demands that the spirit of religion keeps us focused on.
Measuring ourselves against man’s appearance, abilities, and settling for the religious lists of do or don’ts is a cheap replica of a very real life with Christ himself, who wants to be our first love!
Christ wasn’t a cheap sacrifice, the price that He paid covered your total life. The spirit of religion was then and still is a cheap counterfeit.
Do you want to represent Christ and be credible with integrity?
We must never settle for man’s approval and acceptance when it is impossible to please man’s demands!
If we somehow have lost the intimacy we once had with Christ, and we traded it for a cheap list of do’s and don’ts to gain the approval of man, we must get off that hamsters’ wheel of religion, repent of our sin and return to our first love, who is Christ in us the hope of glory!
Beloved, it all begins and ends with a true love relationship with Christ in our prayer closet, in intimacy with worship and study of the Word of God!
Our life long fulfillment comes from that place. Everything in life and our destiny will come from that place. Rules without relationship equals rebellion.
Many have the rules of religion without knowing the relationship with the Son of God! The fear of The LORD is the beginning of Wisdom, and we can have this wisdom in Christ.
Jesus Christ’s harshest rebukes were to the Religious spirits of His day and beloved, the same is true today.
Ask yourself today; does my life on earth begin and end with my personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Or am I exhausted from the demands of a religious world that is devoid of the Spirit of Liberty and Peace?
The fear of man and man’s opinion brings a snare! Why? If we measure ourselves among ourselves it’s not wise because we can only find our fit when we behold the image of that man, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS as he decrees us to be.
As we behold HIM, we will reflect His image to this world! Amen?
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13 KJV.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,” Matthew 23:29 KJV.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Matthew 23:15 KJV.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” Matthew 23:25 KJV.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27 KJV.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” Luke 11:44 KJV.
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in The LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25 KJV
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 KJV/
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4 KJV.
In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey