Today’s blog post is the first of this year’s guest posts and comes to us from the amazing Gina of Rising Up Fearless.
LOSE THE RELIGION
Friends, we’re all in question…
It’s time that we get real with God and unlearn the dysfunctional perceptions of this walk as followers of Christ based on a religious viewpoint. Being a Christian simply means being a follower of Christ. It means becoming more and more like Jesus himself and taking on his nature.
Being a Christian is not and never has been about religion. Religion is religious, it is too much hard work, and with that comes a whole bunch of contradictory burdensome obligations. It is having a wrong perception about Jesus and also showing the world a wrong perception as he explains to us in Matthew 23. Not once did he ever tell us “follow religion”, but rather he said, “come, follow me”. Jesus doesn’t want prisoners, he wants friends and true faith will only ever be found in him.
What does the name of Jesus mean to you? Does his name mean religion with a bunch of rules and obligations? Are you reading his word, yet lacking works? Have you ever really tried and tested his word? Does a relationship with him seem like a long-winded task? Are you talking the talk and not walking the walk?
Reading God’s word and doing nothing with it or the wrong thing with it is a religious routine lacking true belief, understanding and obedience. What example of Christianity are we setting to the world? Is it not our divine duty to go into all the world and preach the good news? I can assure you that the good news we are to spread is not the deceptive beliefs of religion.
It saddens me to know that the world associates religion to being judgmental which deceives the world into thinking that Jesus is out to judge us and pick out our every flaw when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Even I, in my early Christian walk have experienced this and others have expressed their fears to me on this very subject, believers and non-believers. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and so it has become my mission to change perceptions, awaken new perspectives and lose religion.
We cannot take on the nature of Jesus if we are not doing the works…
We’ve become so accustomed to throwing scripture around like confetti and verbalising them word for word with no real belief or action. We’ve become like the taste of unflavoured salt – bland. What use is salt without flavour? Adding unflavoured salt to a recipe will make no change. It’s the same as faith, faith without works is dead. Faith is bland and useless without works, it will produce no flavour, no change such as unflavoured salt. This is where we create mountains to climb rather than seeing clearly our ability to simply move them.
Priorities…Priorities is yet another mountain that many of us face. Do you prioritise God? Is it God, Family, Work – in this exact order? Again, it comes back to a lack of works when we neglect our time with God and prioritise all else above him. Choosing faith over fear is one thing but actually walking, living and breathing it is another. In order for us to accomplish this we must lose religion, we must become flavoured salt, we must take the actions necessary to get us to where we need to be in order that we receive our portion.
Contemplating the meaning of scripture is God’s command to us all and it is a requirement for true success. When we think about the reality of what Christianity has become, we are tarnishing the name of our creator with phoney faith and phoney faith is dead, fruitless and useless. There is no room for excuses when it comes to God, there is no room for procrastination or double mindedness. We put God in a box and try to justify the lack of time we spend with him by making excuses of time constraints, children, family, work commitments, stresses and the need to do other things first before we allow him our attention.
Living by faith and choosing this over fear doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it and so this retreat’s bible study is going back to basics giving us a fresh perspective on implementing faith over fear.
Gina will be leading the bible study sessions at our May retreat and after that post I am definitely looking forward to hearing more from her. If it has also peaked your interest be sure to check out the retreat page to sign up soon.