Religion is an ugly, deeply rooted attempt from the enemy to keep us shackled. The Holy Spirit spoke to me as I was studying Luke 13 where Jesus healed a crippled woman on the sabbath. The religious people rebuked Him yet the Lord replied perfectly as always.
The Lord answered, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
Growing up in a very strict Christian home, we had many rules. There was always a list of what not to do. I was unfamiliar with the God of grace and the God of unconditional love. I viewed His approval just as I was taught, which was performance based. As long is I strived for perfection than God was happy, sitting on His throne smiling.
Freedom came the day He spoke to me so sweetly, revealing deep in my heart, “I will never love you more or less than I do right now.” Meaning His affections are not based on my actions. Humans are. We treat one another based on how they make us feel. We are performance based but thank God He is not human. He gives us what we do not deserve.
We can never really grasp how deep His love is for us when we are bound by a religious, performance mentality. You see, His love doesn’t make sense. He loves us in our weakness.
Just as the religious people were bent on certain animals being unclean and unholy to eat. Jesus once again was quick to set the record straight.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” -Matthew 15
What He is truly after is a humble, pure heart. He will move heaven and earth for a soul that is surrendered to Him.
This doesn’t mean we can live reckless. It means that we strive to live pleasing to Him, led by His spirit and humble in our love towards others.
Let us pray, ” Lord, please break off any shackles of a religious spirit. I repent for any religious mindsets. I humble myself now. Purify my heart and be glorified in my life. Amen.”