Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Spirit of Religion

Our walk is not about religion, it's about relationship. The spirit of religion will suffocate the life out of a christian making them ineffective for the kingdom of God. My Jesus has a sense of humor. I have met some stuffy Christians in my time and let me tell you, I would much rather be around sinners.

Paul said "I become all things to all people that I may win some." When I read that scripture, it screams flexibility. People with a spirit of religion on their life can not be flexible because of all the legalism issues they must deal with. You will see this mindset a lot in the traditional church because of their "ritualistic" nature. When we place religion above obedience to the Holy Spirit, we have chosen to defy the very nature of Jesus Himself.

I have been a police officer in a large metropolitan area for over 13 years now. I have seen man commit some horrible things against his fellow man. One thing is for sure, when your in that type of environment long enough, you become hardened and cynical. I don't know how I would make it without Jesus in my life and a sense of humor. Divorce, adultery and alcoholism run rampant in the public safety field because of the high stress levels we face. As I go into work everyday, I realize that first and foremost my boss is Jesus and not a man. I must first be obedient to His voice before anything else. If I were so caught up in a religious mindset that even curse words offended me, how could I possibly be an effective witness to citizens and fellow officers on my job? But there are some people out there that have such a religious spirit on their lives that just the mere mention of a curse word and you would think the devil himself manifested. No wonder the world thinks we're a bunch of hypocrites.

What worked in the past is not going to work now. Even Billy Graham himself has said that the way he evangelized 20-30 years ago is not effective in today's culture. If we are so religious that we can not be like the Apostle Paul and "be all things to all people", we have become useless to the kingdom. Lives will not be changed sitting behind the four walls of the church on Sunday morning. Lives will be changed on the battlefield.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Glory follows Obedience

I have asked God on more than one occassion why He does things the way He does. I mean, why did He make us such sexual creatures if it's a sin to even look upon another person with lust. Sexual sin is not just running rampant in the world but in the church as well. Look at the divorce rate in the church. It mirrors the world. Look at how many leaders have fallen in the church due to adultery, homosexuality and addictions to pornography. This is just one of the many topics the Father and I have discussed over the years and He always reminds me that "His ways are not my ways."

One thing I have realized during my walk is that I'm a christian with a past and a sinner with a future. God and I have been through a lot together and His promises have not failed once. He has taught me over the years that if I will simply be obedient to His voice, that glory will follow.

I have often wondered why God was so specific in His instructions to Moses on the building of the tabernacle. Why couldn't the Israelites just throw up a structure and make a simple box to put the commandements in? God was so specific in every detail. This many cubits by that many cubits. Gold here but not there. This specific type of wood. I have come to the conclusion that God didn't need a high speed palace to contain His glory. He was looking for obedience in every detail.

God doesn't sit on His thrown looking down waiting for us to mess up. God is looking down upon us to see if we are going to make the choice to be obedient to His word. He knows that if we are obedient, glory will follow. That is His desire for His children. He wants us to be overcomers.

The most powerful moments in my life is when I've slayed giants that were pursuing me. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with that but most importantly, that is when we can come to the feet of Jesus without the burdens of shame and guilt on our backs that causes a seperation between us and God.