Spiritual growth or dry religion?

If we won’t let the living Jesus install and run His software operating system in our heart, we’re only playing with Christianity. Religious bits and rites can’t overcome the malware in the human heart. Only full surrender to Jesus and His programming can do that.

If we’re not careful, rite-handed religion can squeeze the spiritual life out of our heart. “Quench not the Spirit.” Unless you allow the risen Jesus to write His will on your heart, a religious rite will do you little good.

Professional priests and ministers are riters. They conduct religious rites and services for passive people. It’s better to sit through the wrong rite with the right heart, than the right rite with the wrong heart.

Religion conducts weekly sit-ins for human rites. Sitting through a religious rite is meaningless if we won’t listen to our conscience and let Jesus empower us to live right. No religious rite can make us right with God. A humble prayer from a sincere and hungry heart is infinitely more powerful than any heartless, religious ritual.

Too many Christians abandon spiritual growth and begin to coast down the track of dry religion. If you’re not as excited about and as obedient to Jesus as you once were, you’ve lost your first love for Him.

If Jesus isn’t the Lord (the innermost Ruler) of your thoughts, desires, and emotions, He’s not your Lord at all. God invites you to surrender your distorted desires and dysfunctional emotions to Jesus and to let Him replace them with His presence. If you don’t lay down your efforts to replace your self-driven behaviors with religious-driven behaviors, you’ll be ever stuck on the treadmill of guilt-motivated human effort.

Full repentance doesn’t just push a particular sin aside. It openly and sorrowfully acknowledges a sin (confession) and humbly surrenders it to God in order to “prepare the way of the Lord”–to allow the risen Jesus to replace that sin with His presence and power (with the reality of the present-moment kingdom and government of God).

If we won’t show warmth and kindness to people we disagree with, our Christianity’s very weak. If Christians want to resist a mandate. we should resist this one: Any church routine that mandates that we quench God’s Spirit.

Anybody can look around in a church service and count the number of attendees. Only God can count the number of disciples.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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 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 in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
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