Thoughts on Religion VS Relationship

Ezekiel 36:25-27 says this: “Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

There are many scriptures in the New Testament that speak of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who teaches us and guides us into truth. Our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I just a couple of weeks visiting my kids in Italy and visiting cities where Christianity has been established, grew and has now waned for the past over 2000 years. What I observed there has further confirmed my assessment and observation of many lives. I see (and saw) evidences everywhere of the attempts by man to create a posture of religious compliance: Churches designed to raise thoughts to the majesty and holiness of God, rituals designed to conform to an appearance of holiness, rules to enforce behavior and appearance to that which seems to be godly, a culture of lip-service honor to the past and surface graciousness.

But history reveals what happens to external controls designed to impose a standard on the created world – it all falls down under either active or passive entropy. Rebellions cause resentment and traditions are torn down by the new authority. Laziness fails to maintain and keep up the requirements for matters that fall in the presence of relentless time and gravity. Like the lobsters I saw in the restaurant windows with their thick exoskeletons, once pierced, the innards fell quickly to the devouring conquerors. To me, so many structures developed in our society are like that lobster – they only work when they are in the right environment and protected by a majority.

But a relationship with Christ is different. We exchange our works for His, our sin for His righteousness. Our flesh is vulnerable and subject to failure, but His righteousness forms a firm interior that cannot be easily injured. We nourish that spirit within by listening, by action inspired by His voice, by communicating and feeding on His Word.

Some day, I will escape “these mortal chains” and be with my Savior. I have a lot of questions now. When I see Him, will my questions even matter? In the meantime, I must press forward, and remind myself Whose child I am.

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