Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
My life has seen a dramatic change over the years. While being religious about the practices of my faith in Jesus is not a bad thing, substituting religion for relationship is a road to death. As a pastor from my youth, I realized fairly quickly how tempting are the images of religion; the image of the “Man of God”, or the comfort and ego strokes of position and authority. These things can support and give place to the false self, a distorted image of self that leads to darkness and gives place to the enemy. Even more destructive is the simple truth that any way we are darkened in our knowledge of self, leads directly to a distortion of our knowledge and relationship with God. We see the epitome of this distortion in the Pharisees of Jesus’s day. These religious men kill the Lord of glory because he threatened their broken religious images. I have had to pray, seek counsel and support, to overcome and stand on the broken religious images of self I so readily want to embrace. I wish I could say I am done, but, that will have to wait for heaven. The great joy in all this is that any time I have seen the truth about my own brokenness, I have seen more truth about how beautiful Christ is!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today I want to encourage you to make a regular part of your prayer life the request for the humility of self-awareness. As the reflection of the humility and love of Christ forms your heart, so the freedom from religious brokenness will increase in your soul, freedom to know and love Jesus more, and to love those around you with His great love. Freedom from religion can be ours!
Proverbs 20:5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.