I felt it was necessary to share some important aspects with you regarding being “religious”. Below is the link to the podcast that I had with Carlo Merrick, he is a dear brother in the Lord who loves Jesus with a passion and desires to see people encounter the Holy Spirit. His ministry is “The Heart of the Father”.
What does it mean to be Religious?
Depending on what your background is, you might have your own definition of what you think it means being Religious.
So I want to offer you a simple definition that I consider as a Biblical one.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.2 Timothy 3:5
Paul says to Timothy that people will profess with their mouths to believe in Jesus, but live like the world.
This denies the power of the cross to change a person. You can grow up in Church or in Christianity,
but it does not make you a child of God by default. You need an encounter with Jesus, the real Jesus,
not a religious set of rules to follow kind of Jesus. The Jesus that will set you free, not to live for yourself,
but to live for Him and to give yourself wholly unto Him in holiness and righteousness. Not loving your life
even unto death, because you have seen the King of glory give Himself for you.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.Galatians 2:16
This is usually the most controversial point and many times the least noticeable. It takes grace from the Lord
to see that you have fallen into effort instead of relying on faith to please the Lord. What do I mean?
Works of the law refers here to effort, the things that we do to try and justify ourselves in the eyes of God.
Or in other words, the things we feel God requires of us to do so that He will be pleased with us.
We know according to Scripture that no flesh can please God (see Rom. 8:8) only a life lived by the Spirit of God
(see Rom. 8:14, Gal. 5L19-24), which by definition is through grace. Grace can only be received when a person
comes to the end of his or her own effort or ability. For example, when a person calls out to the Lord for salvation:
“Lord please forgive me of my sins and save me from myself” (see Eph. 2:8-10). This person has recognized the
reality, “I cannot help myself, I need the Lord”. This is where the journey of faith and grace starts
and it is where it needs to stay, never go back to the place where you think you can do it with your
own ability (see Gal. 3:1-4).
When you are “Empty”, it could be one of two things. You either have not been born again and therefore do not
have the Holy Spirit, or you have been born again, but you are living in the flesh. This will result in “Effort”,
here I can list many things that will motivate your effort, but all originate from the same root cause, living from the flesh.
Your true identity as a child of God, your source of eternal life and power comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit
inside of you (see. Rom. 8:16).
Therefore, whatever restrains the life of the Spirit to flow in and through you,
you must remove. Continually be aware and sensitive to where you are drawing your life and power from,
when you look at yourself, fear will enter, but when your eyes are on Jesus you will rest and be free in Him to live
for Him (see 2 Cor. 3:17-18).