The Danger of Religion
Religion is the outward form we use to draw near to God. “Religion is dangerous!” Someone said. No. Religion is necessary. Joshua sought God twice a day, Daniel three times a day and David seven. It is the scaffolding around our faith. Our faith is the building. The danger of religion is when it surrounds nothing and no building sits in the midst of the scaffolding. The danger of religion is when it replaces the faith it is supposed to support.
Isaiah 29:13 NKJV
Therefore the Lord said:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
The great danger of religion is we can show the outward marks but be empty of God. Our assemblies can continue to meet and sing the High Praises of God yet we stay far from God in what we do and say.
There was a time when I knew much theology, doctrine and scripture and yet my heart was distant from God. I did not seek Him. I did not really live for Him though I was doing what I knew.
It was only when I had been broken that I saw God and began to know Him in truth. It was when I realized that true faith (and true religion) is not caught up in theology and doctrine but in doing that I made a change. If my belief doesn’t change my actions then do I truly believe?
Yet even now, I know how easy it would be to turn back from following the Lord with my whole heart. I could show up each Sunday in a suit and tie, sing heartily, listen intently, and then go home and pursue my own pleasures. My heart would stay far from God with an occasional chance encounter at church. Why would I want God to be a mere acquaintance of mine when I can know Him in full?
No. I want to know God so well that I can see the look in His eyes and know His thoughts—that we have these code words and phrases meaning mountains to us but others gaze on in bafflement. I want us to finish one another’s sentences.
My heart’s desire is to know Him so well that I do not know just what He does but why He does it and what He will do next. I want others to say “Here comes God!” and the one next to him say “No. That is just Ken.” and the first replies, “When you see one, the Other will soon follow; they are inseparable.”
The challenge is to draw near to God from the heart. My heart cools and it disturbs me. I have allowed myself to become wrapped up in other things so I’ve decided to spend extra time seeking Him. There is nothing I want more than to draw near Him and to dwell in His presence.
So I choose to set aside time to seek His face. I purpose to lay aside other pursuits to be with Him.
I choose to set aside several hours this morning to worship Him and praise Him—alone. Only His presence will satisfy my soul. I will seek the glory of His presence.
Lord God, Father, draw me to Yourself! I cannot approach unless You draw me. I will seek Your face. You will find me in Your courts waiting for the opportunity to meet with You. Extend Your scepter to me I pray, and I will approach You.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.