God Is Not Religious                                  

Feb 5, 2024 | Blog

The Kingdom of God is not religious. When religion gets involved, it always messes things up. We have wars that are fought in the name of religion. We have hatred that is expounded in the name of religion, and people are being killed today all in the name of religion. Religiosity lacks a relationship to God, and more than first meets the eye, it really ends up playing into the hand of satan and his plan to destroy all flesh. Certainly, it is designed to destroy the Body of Christ because the first thing religion does is divide; it is divisive among relationships. The flesh loves religion, but religion is diametrically opposed to a relationship with God and everything that He is looking for. So we ask the Lord to cleanse us of it.

In the fourth chapter of Genesis, we read the story of Cain and Abel.

Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. (Genesis 4:2–5)[1] 

God’s acceptance or rejection had nothing to do with what they were offering. Rather, it was the way it was being offered. There was something in Abel’s spirit of a love relationship toward God that caused God to accept his offering. Whereas God saw something wrong in Cain’s heart, so God did not accept his offering. This is a picture of religion without a relationship. It does not matter so much what we do; what matters is how we do it. The Lord looks to the broken spirit, the broken and contrite heart. The offering that we bring to God must be from a relationship of love. The problem for Cain was already in motion before he killed his brother because sin always comes after we lose our relationship with God; one is a result of the other. We must see this. There must be a way we can search our hearts and spirits and ask, “Am I loving the Lord? Am I living for Him?”

When a scribe heard Yeshua (Jesus) answer the Sadducees well, he asked, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” (Mark 12:28). Yeshua answered with the Shema prayer, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5). Yeshua addressed this relationship with the Father as the first thing you do. You do not perform religious acts until first you love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. It includes the various aspects of your inner being: your feelings, thoughts, volitions, and the other areas of your inner life.

Now can you see what happened with Cain? He was not loving God from the depth of his being. We are to love the Lord our God with our entire nephesh. This word in Hebrew means “the soul, living being, the very life force, the self, the person, the desires that you have, your appetite, your emotions, your passions.” This is the intense love relationship we are to have with our God and Father.

[1] All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)


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