Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Replacing Religion With Relationship

Where do we draw the line between being in relationship with our Father, and becoming drenched inside of religion that we lose sight of Father in the first place? Some are so prone to think that God gives them the authority to rule over others that they never question or think twice about their own personal relationship with Father. It seems like a fake and sad alternative it if you ask me. It may not even occur to them how it affects others (who they are ‘shepherding’). Somehow this picture of how some leaders and pastors live does not match up to what Father had in mind. One would think that they would have their relationship with the Lord be first in their life and not their ‘ministry’. Perhaps there is a huge misunderstanding of what a relationship looks like to them. They may find that their relationship with God is their ministry. Even those who see themselves as servants in the ministry find that they are only in it for their benefit because in the long run they will be seen as righteous and steadfast to those around them. But to me, this doesn’t make sense anymore. Being in relationship with Father is not a to-do list. He is not a system to collect brownie points from so I won’t become a janitor in heaven. Very skewed look on what it means to be in relationship with Father and WOW, if you really think about it, some who actually think this way are MISSING so much of what Father offers and wants with us. He doesn’t want to take from us but to add so much more life to how we live and with that said, no wonder why there are so many out there missing a real deep relationship with Father because some can’t even think that he is even approachable. Some have put this image in heads that Father is only after us to do hard work for ‘the ministry’ and he is only interested in the business side to relating. Wow, this can get complicated and confusing, but if you really want to break it down, take all of that other stuff out of the picture- ministry, hard work, and the excuses behind all of this and what does one have left? Just you and Jesus, that’s it. Nothing to hide behind or excuses to justify one's empty heart. I like to look at my relationship with Father like I see my relationships with my family. In a family there are several dynamics to these relationships. The way we communicate and show appreciation and love for one another, and how we usually aren’t afraid of being ourselves, we are who we are and have a place in the family that cannot be taken from us or be replaced by another. Not all family dynamics are good or like this so I can understand that some may have a hard time seeing this to be true. But if you stop and think about your relationship with God, do you feel like you can be yourself and you have a place in your relationship with God? Than that is the first step to being real. Not being afraid of Father’s love and being you and finding that a relationship with Father does not require the typical religious riff raff that only adds more heartache than anything is the beginning of a relationship with Father!


Amy said...

Ah...very wonderful Blog! Amen to it all!

Being real is what we are created to do. I most certainly am in the process of living life more and more according to who Papa created me to be. Gradually this is happening. Of course, I have my times where I act in accordance to my old self, but this is the who process of sanctification.

We've already been made Perfect in Christ, and this is exactly how Papa sees us, we are still yet being made Perfect at the same time. It's funny, I'm actually going to post a Blog along these lines sometime next week that I've already written.

Anyways, very well stated, Nicole! I love reading your stuff.

P.S. I really love your photo slide show! Neat to see all the pictures of you and Jonathan!

~Amy :)

Manuela said...

great post...so true : )

Aida said...

Great post, Nicki, with lots to think about.

I've heard it taught that the only time Father talks to us is when he's giving us instructions, kind of like a slave-master or a boss-servant relationship. I've never believed that. He's our Father and he wants real relationship with us which can take any number of forms.

That works mentality is an OT concept which religion tries to pawn off on NT believers. Statements like "we're saved to serve" encourages this way of thinking. It's impossible to have a real relationship with someone who you view as your master even if he's God.

One of my favorite quotes by Darin Hufford is "If you wouldn't be friends with a person like that, you won't be friends with a God like that." I think that pretty much says it all.

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