Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. (Matthew 11:28-30 AMP)
One of the things that fascinates me the most is how a religious spirit complicates matters. Without a doubt, we are idolaters by our fallen nature. We like to “build”, “shape” and “craft” things so that we can point to it and identify as God or at least associated with Him.
Once we fashion something to our satisfaction, we will then expend our life’s energy, time and resources to prop it up and lift it as high as we can so that others can see how awesome it is and, in hopes, that God will approve of it, receive it and “bless it” with His presence.
(*sigh* ~ deep breath ~ *another sigh*)
It is exhausting to trade “religion for “relationship”. “Doing” is a heavy yoke to carry instead of bearing the light yoke of “Being”. This is what Jesus was trying to relate to the religious folk of his day. Since the time when Moses was on the mountain receiving the word of God and the people pressured Aaron to form a golden calf, God’s people have always stacked religion/doing on top of and around relationship/being. We continuously add complexities in our attempts to get to God, while the simplicity of Christ is that we are born again out of God and have the privilege of partaking of His Divine nature.
In learning to “BE” the Church rather than “doing” church, we will discover that it is all about how we relate to and love one another. God is really not interested in our programs, organizations and building plans. He measures ‘success’ in a totally different way than we do. We will ultimately come to realize that His standard is the one that matters.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus came to seek and save those which were lost. He ministered to the masses. He disciples brothers he drew close to himself. He didn’t set up programs or things to “do”. He existed in relationship with Father and with those that Father gave him.
It is about people! The majority of people who need what we (say we) have, will never set foot in the things we’ve added and point to as being representative of God. It really DOES NOT hold any allure to them. We have hewn out cisterns that hold no water. They want LIFE and they want to see it in the expression of genuine relationship; not a fleshly fabricated, replicated religious system.
It’s about people! If asked point blank, your average Christian has never been discipled nor have they ever discipled another believer. While our religious systems are interested in “converts” to sustain their existence, the Kingdom craves disciples to enter in as its citizens! Discipleship requires relationship and investing in the life of another human being.
(deep breath because here comes a long, run-on sentence)
I dare say, that if this coming Sunday morning, you would meet with two or three other people around a cup of coffee spending time with them face to face, listening to them, praying with them, encouraging them and sharing your heart(s) rather than looking at the back of their heads “while the man with all the answers” pontificates for 45 minutes on a “worldly-themed” topic with a somewhat biblical twist, you would better understand what I am trying to say.
It’s about people! God wants His people free! Even from traditions and forms we have set up to be involved in and we associate with representing Him!
May we all truly look at Jesus and learn of him!