Anything that we use, implement, put in place in order to replace, substitute, control or try to manipulate a true relationship with the living God is religion, and religion is not relationship. (Holy Spirit).
If you ask a professing Christian what he believes in, he will say that his is not a religion but a relationship. But the problem here is that he has no relationship with the Living God. He is not a friend with God as we would describe friendship, indeed, many don't have any idea who God is, they just repeat what they hear once or twice a week. What I have seen is that this type of professing Christian, and that would include ninety percent of the believing church, have made the bible God. The bible has become an idol to them instead of Gods written word. God has no form and cannot speak for himself because he has given us the word as they like to say. So now God has become mute, what he spoke four thousand years ago is all he can speak. Sort of makes him a tradition instead of the Living God.
They have traded the written word for God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. A friend of mine explained it best after I told him that there was much more to God than reading the bible at a set time every day or saying ten or more minutes of prayer also at a set time. He said that he knew what I was referring to but he had no interest in that sort of thing. What he meant was that he could control what he read in the bible and what he prayed, but if he met a Living God he could not control him as easily.
I have had several friends tell me as much after that. They only wanted the manual which is the bible and not the person who comes with the bible who could be very demanding. And yes, God can be very demanding if you really show an interest in him. For those who have A type personalities or are purpose driven, Jesus can be a real stumbling stone. This would be the one area of their lives which they could not control or master with more work. God is not impressed with money or looks, education means nothing to him and all your talent would be less than a grain of sand on the beach to him.
Women who can control their husbands with vanity and fits, or husbands who manipulate their wife's with gifts and flattery, never want to lose their so called advantage by serving a Living God who knows them better then they know themselves. People in the western world are taught to control their own destiny and master whatever they do. But you cannot master the Almighty because he wants to control you and give you his own destiny. So in the end it is better to have some superficial superstition which resembles religion about God, but keep him at bay some place faraway.
Some try and make an effort at knowing Jesus or the Holy Spirit, but fail because they were taught to keep to some strange structure or tradition. This is nothing more than a religious spirit, which in the end brings death instead of life. A child could never know his parents by rote or just reading about them without meeting them. A husband or wife would never know each other by keeping to some structure or just reading books about each other. No, they have to spend some quality time together. There has to be a give and take on the part of both. You have to have an interest in order make it work. The same thing happens with the God head, you will only know him if you take an interest in him personally.
How I ask, can you have a relationship with a person if you know about him but don't know him personally. And how can you know him personally if you have never met him? The clincher here is that God is not a real person to many of his followers. He is some strange deity who lives far away and needs some token of our worship an hour or two a week. Oh, they know he wants more but they are not going to give him more, they are saving that for themselves. But in the end they are the losers and not God who never loses, he will always find someone else who will spend time with him and love him as that Supreme Being which He is.
A church structure creates the impression of being the house of God but instead becomes the house of men. How sad that God rarely visits the house that bares his name. The bride now belongs to the pastors and elders, and she loves it. I am speaking here about the professing and visible church which we see all around us and many think is what God is all about. Every so many hundreds of years this church goes into this death walk until God comes to wake her up with an outpouring of his mighty power. I believe that time is now. God will shake the tree and everything that is rotten will fall to the ground and die. What is left he will clean and prepare for his kingdom. Those who were first will be last, and those who are last and unknown will be first.
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