"Going to church is necessary, but going with the expectation that your service will be enough is never going to satisfy your needs"

Religion vs Relationship

Growing up, one of my favorite childhood memories was taking a family vacation every summer. More times than not, we would end up somewhere tropical. My mom used to scrapbook, and bringing a disposable waterproof camera with us was a must for every trip. After the film was out, you had to take the camera to get developed if you wanted to see the pictures.

I can remember anxiously waiting to get the photos back to see how goofy we looked in all of them. And it never failed that half of the pictures would turn out terrible every time. With bubbles blowing out of our nose or nothing but the ocean floor, we would keep every picture because it was always so funny to look back on.

So what does this have to do with religion?

Much like the water camera we took on vacation. The only way we could see what was on the camera was too take it to a professional and have it developed.

I sometimes think, as Christians, we get wrapped up in a culture of religion and lose sight of the relationship.

If we didn't take the camera to somebody who had access to develop the film, the camera wouldn't ever fulfill its purpose.

Can you imagine calling yourself a photographer, buying the most expensive camera. And then never taking a picture. It would be kinda pointless right. You wouldn't be very successful.

So why would you think that showing up to church every Sunday listening to your preacher is enough to call yourself a Christian?

Going to church is necessary, but going with the expectation that your service will be enough is never going to satisfy your needs.

Why? because we are all broken people in need of a savior. Not a preacher.

The church is for a body of Christ to grow together and do more for the kingdom of God.

We need the church because we're called to serve and make a difference.

But to really know God, you have to go to His word.

God wants something deeper because we're made for more.

Romans 5:8

"God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

He doesn't care if you bring him a film full of blurry messed up pictures.

Because even those still get developed.

But you'll never get to experience the fullness of God if you hold onto something only he can produce for you.

So let's stop pretending for a second that we have it all together. God can only bless what's real. He can't cover something you won't uncover.

1 Peter 5:6-7

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

Religion comes from a place of following Jesus out of fear, but a relationship comes from a place of following Jesus out of freedom.

And when the culture of Christianity tries to tell you what you "have to do," you'll start to realize it's what you "get to do" that makes you want to pursue Jesus.

Matthew 5:6

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Religion may tell you to pray out of an emergency or to control a situation. But, a relationship tells you to pray out of a place of praise even when we can't see the end.

Psalm 56:3-4

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. "

So are we praying only to get things from God or to get God to do things through us?

Who's will are we following...

Galatians 1:10

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Sometimes it's easy to find yourself in a season of holding onto something we know that only the Lord can restore. But we choose not to go deeper because we live in a society that's a "right now" culture.

And like we had to do for the camera, it took an effort to drive somewhere and give it to someone. So we find ourselves settling with the idea of having the pictures but never knowing what they look like because we won't take the time to get it developed. living in a place of fear of not being enough.

Can I let you in on a secret?

Religion doesn't save you; Jesus does.

The church will not save you, but the savior who lives inside of the people who make up the church will. That is what it means to be apart of the body of Christ.

Acts 4:12

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Jesus isn't worried about your religion; he wants a relationship.

It's time for us as Christians to start genuinely seeking out something more than the title of a believer.

Ephesians 2:10

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

I gave up religion because Christianity isn't about following rules; it's about following Jesus.

And that starts by seeking a relationship with him.



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