These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men.
I’ve discussed this topic before but, since we are heading into the 500th year of the Anniversary of the Reformation. I thought it would be worth discussing again. There is a huge difference between religion and faith. Religion by the way is a risk to us all. This is not pin pointed to just one sector of faith. The problem with religion is man (female and male). Man likes to add to the Word of God, their list of do’s and don’ts. This is what bothers God about religion. This is what the Reformers were angered about. The rules, that were man made rules and applied to the people as if they were given to us by God. When in fact they were not.
The passage of Isaiah teaches us this~
God sees the people coming to Him. They say the words of honor they’ve been taught. God is not fooled by religious people. He sees that what they are doing is just out of habit. There is no real thought in the words. They are not speaking from their hearts but from memory. The problem with memory is this: words tend to lose meaning when we memorize them. We spend more time on trying to recall the words and less time on who we are speaking too. Making sure we say each word correctly. God sees this and He is not impressed.
The Reformers saw this and a many other issues with the Church and decided to address them. They wanted the people to have a relationship with God. A relationship with God should be a prayerful life. Prayers that come from the heart. Think about it this way. When you met your spouse, you spoke to them words of love. You didn’t recite to them words you memorized! You spoke from your heart. You understand the importance of that. You may have chosen to say your own vows at your wedding. This is how important it was for you to speak those words. God is asking the same for Himself!
When the Church established rules and required prayers, they took from the people God. They removed faith and replaced it with religion. They sold to the people their religion idea for control of their devotion and money! God didn’t send Jesus so we could follow a religion. God sent Jesus so we would follow Him. Jesus isn’t a religion, He is God!
Is is it possible to be in a religion and have a relationship with God? To be a person of faith? Yes! It’s hard but possible. But why be in anything that says you must do this: Then lists several do’s and dont’s? When Jesus says “Come follow Me”!
Today is Reformation Day. I would like to thank our reformers for stepping out and bringing us into a relationship with God.
So that our worship of Him Who is worthy to be praised, comes from our hearts and not just our lips!