Goodbye Religion

“You have a spirit of religion,” my friends told me several years back. The night they spoke these words, my friends became my enemies and I went barreling, clumsily and greedily, clinging and holding fast like a child seeking safety into the deadly arms of religion. “I will not let you go, religion,” I might as well have said. What I should have said, I could not. “Jesus, I will not let you go.” But I did not land in the everlasting arms of Jesus.

I sunk deeper into the abyss of religion as religion took me down into its depths. “But you’re religious,” some might say. “We know how you love Jesus.” I am not religious, I speak truthfully these years later, for I love Jesus. Did you know Jesus hated religion? Goodbye religion. Hello Jesus more than ever. How could Jesus hate religion? Why have I come to hate religion. Jesus stood against it. I guard my heart against it now. I repent when I find myself back in it. What is religion? The traditions of man.

Sit. Stand. Kneel. Pray. Read this. Do that. The law. Rules. Regulations. Rigid. Ridiculous. Do it perfectly. Do it right all the time. No falling down. No falling back. No falling short of perfection. No mercy. No grace. No love that never fails. Standards that cannot be met. I hate religion. Jesus hated it more.

“You have a spirit of religion,” my friends told me. How I would not let go, even when religion sucked the very breath out of me.

Pharisees. Saducees. Check them out. The religious folk in the Bible. They came against Jesus. Religion threatened to take him down, but He rose above. Jesus stood against the religion of man, and He rose above it. He did not get caught up in the traditions of man. He was caught up in the love of our Father in heaven.

Goodbye religion. Hello Jesus. But wait a minute. What about pure religion? Pure religion? Is there religion different than the traditions of man? Ask the Lord. Yes.

Jas 1:27  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Jesus was not against pure religion; He called us to it. But this was not the religion I was caught up in, nor is it the religion our world today is suffocating amid.

Do you have a spirit of religion? Or are you so caught up in Christ that you visit the fatherless and widows? Hold fast to Jesus. Cleave to Him, and the religion of man will fall away. His love will flood you until you can’t help but go out amid the world and wash the world’s feet with it. Hello pure religion. Hello Jesus. 

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