From religion to relationship. Yes, yes, yes…
This was the journey of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. It took a paradigm shift, a transformation of mind to heart. Jesus got his attention, blinded him for days and then gave him new eyes to see! Jesus showed him that it wasn’t about rules, but about relationship!
I read this recently…
“If you believe the wrong thing, it will take away the power of the right thing. For example, if you’re legalistic and think that you have to earn your way to God, the importance of grace diminishes. I think of how before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul the persecutor operated in pure legalism. When the scales fell off his eyes, his religious mindset was not just broken, but God created a new nature in him. In this new nature, Saul turned Paul was not only freed from the religious pressure nagging him in his inner thoughts, but also his mind was renewed.” (Shawn Bolz, God Secrets.)
Legalism prevents us from intimately knowing the Father in the greatest relationship we could ever have.
Legalism also keeps us from loving others, and stuck in just knowing about others and easily slipping into judgement.
Does learning the truth about others always set one free? Maybe not. I can think of learning a few things that did not bring me peace.
BUT, seeing God’s Truth about others is another thing…
Seeing how God loves someone stuck in legalism/religion, whatever… (and instead seeing HIS Truth available to them), helps to set me free to love them as God loves them, and pray for them.
I’m still learning this.
Yes… there IS the call to wipe the dust off our feet when our gift of peace is not received… When peaceful relationship is not welcomed, keep walking… Freedom is elsewhere. Submitting to religion (or someone’s legalism) is not freedom. I don’t want to be Saul of Tarsus or friends with that guy! I want to journey with Paul and see God do mighty things!! God’s kingdom is about freedom!
Where am I trapped in my thinking?
What do you want to set me free from?
Who do you want to set me free from?
(Friendship is related to the word ‘freedom’. If you are trapped, constantly torn apart, that is not a friendship, that is abusive. One of the hardest things to do is walk away from someone you love who has continued to abuse you, manipulate you, control you… Tough love is no longer enabling someone’s pattern of abuse, legalism, religion, etc. Loving them is showing them that behaviour is not okay.)
God, what promise do you have for me?
What gift do you have for me?
Enjoy a 2-way relationship with Father God who made a way through His son Jesus.
Read and Meditate on His Word.
Ask Him questions.
Listen and Write.
Pray it all back to Him!
Christianity is not a religion (earning our way to God’s love), it’s a relationship (He is love and extends His love to us through His son Jesus who opened the doorway).