Christ’s presence outshines religion

Some people think that God only works through religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus is the Way, however, sometimes religion can block His way.   Religious programming can unintentionally crowd the presence of Christ out of church.

In church we used to sing; “He walks with me and He talks with me,” but then we would listen to a preacher rather than Jesus. I’ve always thought that church has too much talk about theology and too little interaction with Jesus. I learned a secret that many people never learn: Jesus can work in ordinary people without the use of religion.

A presentation about Christ can never compare to being overcome by His presence! We can never understand the presence of God unless we practice & experience it. You don’t need rituals or ceremonies or a program to come into Christ’s presence — just stillness & surrender.

Religion is very predictable. However, when you read the Bible, you see Jesus always saying & doing the unexpected. Sometimes religious ceremonies, programs, protocol, and tradition, can block our view of the living, resurrected Jesus.

People can be bored with a religious program, but it’s impossible to be bored in the presence of the risen Jesus. To sit in church, unaware of and unmoved by the actual presence of Christ is to miss the whole point.

Revival happens when we set aside human control & surrender a meeting completely to the risen Jesus. If we will begin to come together regularly to showcase Christ’s presence, we’ll be never be the same.

In the Bible, Jesus often broke religious rules & traditions. Do you think He supports & follows all of them now?

God’s not looking for a audience, but for people who will reflect Christ’s radiance. It’s hard to grow spiritually unless you follow Jesus outside of your comfort zone.

Although Jesus is now invisible and present as the Holy Spirit, He is an incredible organizer & meeting planner who can run an amazing worship meeting! Perhaps Jesus, like a piano player, would like the freedom to play whatever keys He wants in a Christian gathering.

I think the resurrected Jesus would like to be given a spot on church programs so He can speak for Himself. So let’s gather around the living Jesus and then let Him personally lead us. Awe, a deep & overwhelming inner stirring, always happens when we become aware of the presence of Jesus.

If Jesus is alive and can speak to people, as the Bible says, why not meet and let people hear Jesus & then say and/or do what He says? Testimonies of how people met the risen Jesus have been more powerful to me than all the religious services I’ve ever attended. However, if everyday people are kept silent in church, we miss the opportunity to hear how powerfully Jesus is at work in them.

Jesus is working powerfully in ordinary people, but unfortunately, church seldom lets them share what He is doing! The secret life, of Jesus working in everyday people, needs to be made public.

When people are encouraged to hear directly from Jesus & to publicly share what they hear; they begin to grow by leaps & bounds. Often little children will openly talk about what God is doing; but adults learn to keep quiet about it.

People grow stronger spiritually by doing the Bible than by just hearing about it. Are you growing spiritually? Is your passion for and obedience to the living Jesus stronger today than it was a year ago?

Jesus is about victorious reality–inner peace, joyousness, freedom from guilt & bondage! It’s good to preach about Jesus. It’s even better to demonstrate the reality of His presence.

You can understand the Bible by yourself. Read it with an open heart & see. Let the Bible lead you to the living Jesus. It was never intended to replace the presence of Christ in your life.

If Jesus is the Head of the church, how can a pastor be? Two heads wouldn’t work very well.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in awe, awe of God, Bible, filled with awe, priesthood of the believer, religious ceremonies, religious tradition, revival, spiritual growth, tradition, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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