There are many types of religions in the world, most commonly: Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism and Christianity. Most involve prayer, worship, bowing, singing or offerings. Others have rituals, which they believe would set them up to a higher level of spirituality. All these efforts to make one believe that through certain actions, they will become holy, a good or better person or pleasing to the eyes of God. There’s usually a set of rules or boundaries that set a line not to cross or actions that must be carried out tied to consequences.
The continual trying to be perfect on our own humanly efforts can turn into our religion and trapped us into residual traditions often wondering where is revival? Without knowing our Creator, how do we know where He has placed the true switch of joy? Do we keep believing that our religious traditions will save us? Of all religions in the world, how do we know which one is true or which God is real or fake?
The truth lays inside of each of us, mended into the fabric of who we are created to be. God placed it there before we came out into the world. Unfortunately, when we get older and corrupted by our environment, it eventually gets hidden. Truth is found when there’s no way of denying it. Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s God speaking, especially when so many lies spoken have been dwelling inside for many years, yet He still speaks.
Aside from the bible or religious books, there are stories of people who had encounters with God, some that wrote about it and have become the basis of a religion, but what about the time when there were no books published in the world, yet there were still stories of God’s mighty hand or visitations from angels or God? People spoken about in these stories had a relationship with God. They knew God and were in communion with Him. God spoke in dreams, visions, by an angelic messenger or a burning bush. Still to this day, God speaks in dreams, visions, angelic messengers, by audible voice, a voice inside and sometimes through events, strangers or friends, but not a burning bush.
Religious traditions are mostly good practices, as the bible says in James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” However, besides doing or not doing certain things to keep ourselves feeling a certain way, what’s more important is our relationship with God. Think about all the things you do for the one you love, imagine never spending time with that person just caught up in the job of trying to please them, but never spending quality time, opening up your heart, talking to them and telling them how thankful you are, how much you love them or sharing your sorrows. Spending time talking to someone will get you very antiquated with their voice and character. Similarly, building a relationship with God is spending time in prayer, thanking God for the littlest things, sharing your sorrows and requests and worshiping Him. Sometimes, it’s a matter of just sitting and listening.
How do we know it’s the voice of God? He speaks to our heart and the bible confirms it. Image God speaking to different people and revealing who He is, then all of those people wrote it and down and just so happened to write the same or very similar thing about Him. Similar to the stories in the bible, God appears to people, there are different people spoken about that had a relationship with God and wrote about it. The stories reveal His character as a Father in Heaven. The book of Psalms 103:1-5, reveals God the Father’s love for us,”Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The book of Romans reveal the Christ, the Son of God’s love for us. Romans 8: 35-39 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. There are many other scriptures that speak of God’s love and throughout the bible we see His character. God is love. Romans 5:8 says,”8 God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Of all the many religions in the world and gods that people worship, Jesus is the only one that came down to earth from heaven, in human form, to be nailed to a cross and die for the sin of humanity so that we can once again, have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. As Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden after they sinned, we no longer have to hide from God as our sins our taken away from the blood of Jesus on the cross, we can come face to face with Him again, unashamed. We don’t have to go through a ritual or run miles making efforts to be good or right with God, salvation is a love gift from God and having faith in His love, goodness, mercy and grace is what frees us and makes us more like Him. It’s a relationship, not a religion. It starts with inviting God into your heart, confessing and believing. Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”