Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Abiding and Obedience

Recently I have been having another battle with things religious. It seems as though about every six or seven weeks I am bombarded by the challenge of religion. These are the voices, real or perceived which say or scream, God must be accessed this way and only this way. I want to be clear I am not talking about the role of Christ in coming to God. The Bible, not religion is the clarifying agent when it comes to Christ. Jesus Christ is the only way for us to have access to God. They ways in which we interact with Jesus, now there is a place of great variety. Yet, religion tells us that we must pray this way, we must say this or that. Religion says we must worship this way or that way in this place or that place. Religion is getting between God and humanity.

There are all the religious cliches available to us. Religion is about what we do and Jesus is about what God has done. Still I spent too much of my time trying to do this thing called religion. It is time to simplify. It is time to remember the essence of what a journey with God looks like, not the specific mile markers, or landmarks. On the most basic level our journey with God is being in constant connection with God, and doing what we are being lead to do. For those who need religions words, abiding and obedience.

Religion is the enemy of abiding and obedience. living a life full of abiding and obedience is hard, and religion says we can make it easier, just do these few rituals, and say these words and you are good to go. The process of the journey with God is quite simple to articulate, in practice it is difficult to do because it represents a massive shift in our focus and time. Religion is very difficult to articulate, but easy to practice, hence its draw.

Blatant sin is not the most dangerous thing in our walk with God. Though we must deal forthrightly with sin, it is not the thing which holds the most destructive power. That position is held by our quest for the easy and quick fix. That we would only want God as long as it is convenient and easy. The end result is we often settle for less than the full and abundant life God desires for us. Many have said it in many forms, the greatest fear is not that we will lose our faith, it is that we will settle of a mediocre form of it.

What are you settling for?

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