Religion vs. Relationship

His PresenceIn a quest to be aware of God’s impact in my life, seeking to know, understand and follow His will for me, I became aware of something I wish to share.

I have spent most of my life in and out of church; throughout my childhood it was not a choice. As I grew up into a young adult and began to take responsibility of my own faith, I would attend church maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I would have identified myself as someone I now call a CEO;  a person who attends chuch on Christmas and Easter Only!

I went out of obligation more than anything throughout my 20’s basically not having a clue about engaging in relationship with my Heavenly Father. It wasn’t until my wife and I had our first child and he was about 3 that I woke up to some important things.

One, I walked into a building, the church, and expected that my mere presence would overwhelm me with miracles and flashes of lightning; the presence of God would just swoop down upon me and I would know He was there. Of course that never happen and I began to believe that attending church was a waste of time. It wasn’t until I was driving home late one night, that God DID swoop down upon me and jarred me into a reality. I had a wife and small child at home and my spiritual leadership was non-existent. What God revealed to me was that if my little boy would ever get to know Him, it was up to me. As a matter of fact when my son looked up to me, in many ways I was God to him. What was he seeing from me? Shame, guilt and a slew of other embarrassing feelings engulfed me and I realized that I had never taken it upon myself to get to know my Heavenly Father. How could I ever share with my son someone I didn’t even know? I had never sought to have a relationship with Christ making it impossible for Him to make Himself known in my life; I had never opened the door to my heart and let Him in!

The second thing I became aware of was that there was a huge difference between religion and relationship. One can attend church their entire life but never know Christ! Its stated in Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” That described me in a nutshell. My free will and my choices had, up to that time, prevented a relationship from developing between myself and my Maker. That moment in my car when God awoken me from my selfish existence, a desire ignited in me to get to know Him; intimately get to know who He was; what He wanted for me; and in what ways I could serve Him!

By no means am I implying that attending church is a waste of time or pointless; not even close. But what I am saying, as it was with me and with many others, we can become confused in that attending church is it. For many their church and their beliefs ARE their God. But when we seek to know Christ and to learn about His desires for us, having a good church to hold us accountable; a community of believers to be there for one another through the good and bad; and ministries and tools to assist us in our walk are invaluable.

But when all is said and done, we must never forget that a relationship with our Heavenly Father is far more important than any building we could ever walk in. Redirect your focus from religion to relationship! Relationship with God and relationship with our brothers and sisters. That my friends IS church!


About divineimpacts

In my quest of to seek, find and act on my purpose on this earth, I have uncovered a passion to inspire and encourage others to seek out God's will in their lives. From my own experiences I have found that many out there are seeking evidence of God's existence; that evidence exists in our stories and our testimonies; our own examples of God's Divine Impact in our lives; we need only share! This ministry gives a place for both the seeker and those blessed enough to have experienced a divine impact to come together; and the miracle can continue!
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11 Responses to Religion vs. Relationship

  1. Vitality2day says:

    Isn’t it interesting how we have a tendency to stick to the things easiest to do, but maybe also the less important? I think many people visit churches and sings the songs, but without developing that relationship that you are talking about. Personally I’m a spiritual person who has a close relationship with my faith and with the universe, however I rarely visit the church or other houses of prayer as I believe, as important as they can be to people, are not necessary in order to have that special relationship.

    • Thanks for the comment Vitality! I agree 100%. Having the realtionship is what is important. For me attending my church helps me in that walk but I understand and respect that not everyone needs that help that I do! It’s great that you have and seek to maintain that relationship with your Higher Power! It’s a must! Thanks for sharing!

  2. shaunatorres says:

    What an interesting post. I find it very important to implement a good relationship with GOD until my children, but really haven’t thought about my own relationship with GOD… thanks for the post

    • Thanks for sharing Shauna! I totally get how by nature we feel we owe it to our children to introduce them to God; but I found that can be somewhat difficult if I didn’t know who I was trying to get them to know! Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love that you spelled out the distinction between religion and relationship! And thank you for sharing how God worked in your life. I love how Jesus is all we need, but that He created us to grow and enjoy life so much better when we regularly get together with other believers.

  4. Nancy Kay says:

    I have had a strong Christian faith life since I was a child and never ever wanted to go through a divorce after 20 yrs of marriage with 3 kids. However, I had no choice due to his abuse and secret life. I now am using the challenges I went through to guide others through separation, divorce and co-parenting challenges since that was the darkest time in my life.

    • Nancy, it is so inspiring when believers such as yourself are able to find strength in Christ and take what many would allow to take them and use it to help and guide others to Him. You are strong and a great example for others to follow. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Donovan says:

    You are on fire with some seriously passionate posts, my friend! Keep deepening your relationships!

  6. Great post. I agree, religion and relationship are opposite to each other. Jesus hates religion, He loves relationship. When we have a relationship with God, it is much easier to obey Him, because we want to. Works has a different meaning in a relationship with God.

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