Religious Choke Hold
It’s a sad reality how many people are unable to make a distinction between Jesus and religion. God Himself becomes flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood. He speaks violently against the religious and brings comfort, healing, and hope to those who are far from God because He didn’t come for the “healthy” – He came for the sick. Jesus often shared strong words with the religious people of His day – offending their minds so that He could reveal their hearts.
Jesus brought healing to people through a variety of vehicles. To one – he rubbed mud on, and to another he prayed for, and to another He cast demons out, and to another He simply invited the man to stand up. Jesus did things in such a mixed method that it was almost as if He was specifically trying to show the religious people that they had absolutely no formula for being spiritual. He proved through His activities that there was no secret…there was no hidden answer…there was no A + B = C in the Kingdom of God. Just faith in Him and a willingness to act on it.
Religion says, You need to go to church every weekend and on Wednesday night too.
Jesus says, You are the church and wherever you go, I am with you always.
Religion says, You must give at least 10% of your income to church because God needs your money.
Jesus says, I want 100% of your heart and sometimes a portion of that heart lives in your wallet.
Religion says, You need to get yourself cleaned up and put on your Sunday best for God!
Jesus says, God has seen you on the toilet and much worse than that – no need for a show.
Religion says, You don’t have enough faith – you haven’t done enough works – you’ll never be enough.
Jesus says, I am the King of Kings and you are my son or daughter. You are Royalty and that’s plenty.
Religion is like those vines that climb up buildings or trees. They can look interesting, but they’re choking out the good thing that they have wrapped around…squeezing the life right out of it. And like the vines, religion creeps up just an inch or two a day. It goes unnoticed until you realize that it’s crept itself onto your relationship with Christ…and it begins to choke the life away.
Drop all those rules and remember the jewels.
You have inherited a crown of Glory from the King.