They used to call me “the church girl” back in high school.
It was mainly because I wasn’t really a party goer (I have my mom to thank for that–the answer was always NO.)
Instead, we occupied our weekends doing things church-related.
I grew to love church.
I loved dressing up on Sundays.
I enjoyed the music.
I loved catching up with my church friends.
I loved being able to say that I was Christian.
I was a part of the youth ministry.
I also joined the worship team.
I was present at almost every single event.
But after a few years, the hype began to die down.
Things weren’t interesting or fun anymore and all of the preachings became monotonous to me.
I entered into a spiral of confusion and distaste for the church. I felt forced to go every week even though I didn’t want to.
I started to become interested in other things outside of church, things that were not beneficial to my life and that were really only giving me temporary satisfaction.
I knew God was watching me, I knew how I felt and what I was doing was wrong, but I continued to live the life that I thought would get me out of the “funk” I was in.
I remember crying one day and telling a very close friend of mine that I needed to change and that I wanted to be happy again.
I later realized that I got caught up in something many of us fall captives to but don’t even know it… religion.
I knew ABOUT God, I sang ABOUT God, I spoke ABOUT God but I didn’t KNOW God!
I lacked relationship.
What does it mean to have a relationship?
Whether you have a friendship with someone, you are dating or in a marriage, the common activity and most important element in a relationship is communication. How can you get to know someone without communicating?
You may be saying “well God should know me already since he created me.” You’re right, He does, but His desire is for us to have an open communication with Him as if He DIDN’T know everything about us. He wants to hear about our concerns, our dreams and aspirations, our needs and wants.
Religion vs. Relationship
Religion makes you think that you need to dress or look a certain way in order to go to church.
Religion will “convict” you to go to church every week.
Religion makes you feel inadequate or unworthy to be in the house of God.
Religion will make you doubt that God even exists when you are not “feeling” him anymore.
Relationship will allow you to feel accepted just the way that you are.
Relationship will encourage you to go to church and spend even more time with Him, in public!
Relationship permits you to understand the grace of God.
Relationship will remind you that He is always there, no matter the circumstances.
Relationship lets you understand that you have identity in Christ.
Relationship will enhance your relationships with others.
Relationship will cause your faith to be increased.
It’s not about going to church every week, or singing in the choir or even liking the Pastor’s preachings, it’s about having a relationship with the creator. God is so real! The more you know him, the more you will know his will and the more you know his will, the more your actions are synchronized with his heart. Being a follower of Christ is a lifestyle and it’s the BEST decision I’ve ever made!