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Religion verses Relationship
As Christians we smugly say, “It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship.” And while this is true, what we’ve forgotten is that we’ve so abused this relationship we’ve turned what was once a relationship into a religion.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
We say we love God, but if this were true we’d obey His commandments so that we wouldn’t have to make up our own in order to compensate, which has led to religion.
Jesus described this the best when He said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8)
And while we constantly pray for a revival, if we’d just obey God to begin with and love Him with everything that we are, then there would be no need for a revival, because we’d be in this wonderful loving relationship.
Unfortunately the church get’s complacent and compromises its relationship with God by committing spiritual adultery time and again, which is why God so graciously intervenes by sending times of tribulation and trials. And when the church repents and turns back to God, then God revives this relationship.
This was the continual story of Israel. In Judges we see this same scenario played out; instead of following God’s commandments they did what was right in their own eyes. They left the relationship turning it into a religion without God.
Charles Finney said that if God’s people were disposed to obey God then there would be no need to pray, “O Lord, revive They work.”
Finney was quoting a verse; “O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)
So let’s return to the Lord and this wonderful relationship by obeying His word, which is part of God’s formula of “turning from our wicked ways.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study