Are you tired of religion? Do you know someone who is playing religion? I would know, because I've been there. About 8 years ago, I used to go to church faithfully every Sunday, attending Wednesday Night Bible Study, singing in the mass choir, was on staff for the church newsletter, and attended Monday night Women's Bible Study in a big church. BUT...the only problem was that I was still sinning... habitually. There's a difference when we sin by mistake, but on purpose...nah. Something's wrong with that picture.
Let's take a deeper look from the inside out. Most of the time, people who are caught up in religion, really don't know that they are religious. That's why I'm here to tell the story to hopefully shed some light on the issue. Although I was going to church faithfully, I can recall times when I would go to a big party on Sunday night with my friends called "Sin Night" at the House of Blues. Now, think about that for a moment. "Sin Night" - after just going to church that morning praising God, and supposedly getting cleaned up from sin...Hmm. Can you see the deception from our great enemy Satan yet? When you're in religion, you can't see that. You're really blind. And until God prompts you by the Holy Spirit or the Lord sends someone to tell you, the chains of religion are still holding you captive. Trust me. I know.
Oh, please let me share one more thing with you, before I go. I used to pray with my friends outside of the club that the Lord would protect us from all harm and danger...and then I would go into the club and shake it up with the guys on the dance floor with the tightest clothes I could find, drink until I was half drunk, curse like a sailor, get phone numbers from guys - so we could eventually get together later for you know what (especially if he looked good) and then pray before going to bed, and be back on the choir stand the following Sunday, only to repeat the club scene once again. Do you smell religion? Think about that for a moment. Do you know someone who can relate to this in some way?
This type of living is called a lukewarm (not hot and on fire for the Lord) and wicked (evil) lifestyle. And frankly, I strongly believe that God is not pleased with it. The Bible says in Revelation 3:16, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." This means that He will throw us up, because this type of living makes him sick...even worse than the sinner. If we claim to be Christians by name, then we should act like it by our lifestyles. The Bible also says that in the last days, "They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that." 2 Peter 3:5 (NLT) That is the Word of God. And we must obey what it says. James 1:22 clearly states, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves."
If you are doing any of these things above, you can repent (turn away) from them, and ask God's forgiveness and for the strength to truly deny and overcome them...just as I did 8 years ago. And if you know someone who is caught up in religion, then pray for them and ask God to give you the strength to show them the right way according to God's word. It is not judging, it is love. The Bible also tells us that we are to judge one another as Christian brothers and sisters (1 Corinthians 5:11-13 says, "...you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people. It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. God will judge those on the outside..."). I thank God for removing the blinders from my eyes about being religious. Now I am faithfully serving the Lord in church, and I am truly delivered from the club scene through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for reading my post...please share your comments and stay tuned next Friday for Part 2 - Comedy Clubs
~Inside Out with Courtnaye
Also visit www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org for audio messages, videos, and monthly devotion. And follow me on Twitter (InOutwCourtnaye or search Courtnaye Richard) and Facebook (Inside Out with Courtnaye).