It has shifted from relationship to activity. I run from one meeting to another, busy, busy, busy. Working so hard for God and after a few weeks I’m frustrated, tired, depressed, physically and emotionally exhausted! Just going to church because it’s the usual Sunday activity? Midweek service, service units, evangelism, running around and wondering why my life still showed no significant difference (except, of course, for the one million and one things penned down in my itinerary classified ‘for God’). Still wasn’t growing secretly wondering what the twenty four elders where seeing each time they fell on their face shouting ‘holy holy’ then I stumbled upon this…
Isa 1:13 –
13 “Quit your worship charades.
I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings —
Meetings, meetings, meetings — I can’t stand one more!
14 Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
While you go right on sinning.
15 When you put on your next prayer-performance,
I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
16 Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
17 Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenceless.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
And then it hit me. My supposed ‘Christianity’ was not making a difference in my life by making me a better person because it was merely religion not really the Christ-like nature that the word Christianity connotes. I still did not ooze His personality because I had no idea what it really looked like… I hadn’t spent enough time with Him to figure out how He thinks talks, loves, comforts… I had no relationship. No understanding, no particular reason for doing what I was doing. Isaiah 1 smacked me in the face with the truth that there is really no point running around doing a million things for someone I didn’t know; that’s not service that’s just activity, religion even. True service must have relationship and understanding in the mix to be service. Without that I’m just another lost puppy running around in circles chasing my tail under some illusion that I’m actually running after this God…….
Image from glenburnie.netadvent.org