People misunderstand God, Jesus, and certainly religion all the time.
In fact, religion is the biggest culprit when it comes to robbing us of the power,, love and freedom that God wants us to find in coming to Christ.
Listen to this:
Mark 7:13 New International Version (NIV)
“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
The religious traditions that religious institutions impose, can and do remove the genuine relationship that God intends for all of us and replaces it with religious duty, traditions, rules and regulations. These sap the life out of you and create cycles of guilt and shame, performance driven lifestyles, and most of all, cause you to try and be someone other than who you are.
You will try to be “good”, make God happy, and please people. This is not God’s intention.
Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power to BE My witnesses…”
He wants us to operate in the power of God through the Holy Spirit to BE. Be what? Religious robots? Do – gooders? Holier than thou?
NO! He gives us power to BE the people He created us to be, live by His grace, love and power, and BE witnesses of that grace, love and power.
Free to Be. When you do this you can shed your false and/or religious self, your fear of not measuring up, your striving to be something you just can’t do in your own strength. His LOVE sets you free to Be.
Why? He accepts you and loves you UNCONDITIONALLY. Come the way you are and will do the transforming work from the inside out, as you surrender and yield to His work IN you.
You can’t do anything to impress God to love you more no matter how much striving you do. People march into churches all over the world every Sunday doing their religious duty to make themselves feel better about their failures in hopes that God will give them a break.
True faith sets you free to BE. John 8:36 says, ” He whom Jesus sets free, is free indeed!” Or… really free. Free to what?
Free to Be. How?
Romans 12 The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.
You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Do you see that everything I have written here is NOT religious? It’s the Truth of God’s Word, designed to set you free… to Be… to Become who you were created to be, do what you were created to do, live the way He designed you to live.