If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). —James 1:26
Sometimes it seems that religion is killing people. There are many who are seeking a relationship with God, but the religious community tells them what they need to “do” in order to be acceptable to Him. This religious spirit was alive in Jesus’ day, and even though He died to put an end to it and bring people into close personal relationship with Himself, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, that same spirit still torments people to this day—if they don’t know the truth.
Religion says, “You must find a way, no matter how impossible it may seem. You had better follow the rules or suffer punishment.” But relationship says, “Do your best because you love Me. I know your heart. Admit your faults, repent of your mistakes, and just keep loving Me.” – Joyce Meyer
Being an Armenian and from the first nation to accept Christianity, Armenia – we as people are much more religious than we are in a relationship with the God we claim to believe. We follow man-made traditions we have created like baby christening for the name of God but are clueless to know God and what baptism means to Him in our Lord Jesus Christ. For instance the Bible says
water baptism, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus, as the way for
believers to identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
We live in motions of going to church maybe for Christmas but for sure Easter, and doing other stuff on the side like wearing the evil eye charms but are not living lives that reflect our beliefs in fact it almost contradicts everything written.
I was raised in a home that taught right from wrong and was taught to believe that no matter what I do God is watching me. I was given the idea that in order for God to love me, I had to be good and if I wasn’t, I should be expected to be punished. Not knowing the truth, I lived in fear and torment whenever I did make a mistake or didn’t live up to the rules and standards that my parents had made for me. Just like everyone else, we actually practice withcraft without knowing it like reading cups, cards, wearing evil eye jewelary, hanging from our car, cross hanging at our house and our necks but No Christ in our hearts or seen in our Lives.
It wasn’t until after high school, that I decided to dig deep to the roots of my faith Christianity and make sense of this confusion. I realized this deep longing inside of me that no one and nothing else could fill. I had a good family and lacked no good thing but there was an emptiness inside of me that i knew only God could fill.
I was all alone in my room on a Saturday morning, when I invited God to show himself real to me. And He did by surrounding me with the warmth love as if His arms were really around me & filled my heart with so much joy and peace all at once that I couldn’t deny him. That’s when the desire in me to want to go to church, want to read the Bible to know Him better birthed. I could now have conversations with him inside my home, in my car and fellowship with other believers at church in which all reflected His love and character for His children in all races and nations.
It’s been almost 12 years since I started my journey with God and He has changed my idea of Him.
I had to divorce religion, in order to know God.
With love & blessings,