Religious is the adjective word of religion, which means “to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices” (Dictionary.com)
Going to church, praying at church or at home, doing good to the poor are among few which are included to a description of someone being religious. He/she must have a deep conviction for the reasons doing the practices (I don’t include those who don’t even ‘do these religious things’).
Any other religion of course can alter the way they describe themselves as being religious of course, for example, praying regulary at the appointed times five times a day, burning insence and pray to god out of reverance manner, going to mosque/temple/else, donate to orphans, there are still many ways of other religions’ practices that I’m not familiar with!
The issue I want to bring out here is, do you really know Whom you’re worshipping? “Know”, as in knowing your God as you know your best friends?
The message in Acts 17 when Paul went to Athena rebuked my heart yesterday also today when I reread it again. There were so many gods there built in the form of statues, they even had one god called as “the unknown god”!!?
Then Paul exhorted them by saying, “…in every way you are very religious…. (but) you are ignorant of the very thing you worship”
They didn’t even know whom they worshipped, they labelled their handmade god by the name of ‘the unknown god’!
This message has rebuked me first of all and urged me to check my heart, “Have I become religious yet ignoring Jesus whom I worship?”
I said in my heart please draw this away from me, Lord! This is something that I truly don’t want, and forgive me if from time to time I have done this mistake!
Have I done my religious practices including my ministry requirements at church yet my heart and my soul aren’t thirsty anymore after Him?
I asked God forgiveness this morning, when I realized for these days I may have focused on ‘to get things right’ rather than ‘to get my relationship with Christ right (more intimate)’!
My dad’s salvation, my family issues, my wedding & future planning, my business – these things about ‘me, myself, and I’ have clouded my mind!
As I wrote in my previous entry, even though salvation of my dad and other people I love is urgent and crucial (and not about ‘me, myself, & I’), yet this is not the most important thing in my relationship with Christ!
Holy Spirit reminded and rebuked me last night and once again this morning, not to get my focus shifted from the Lord Himself! Praying and asking God to lead and guide me in making every steps right is still not the most important thing!
The most important thing is to know Christ wholeheartedly, to get intimate with Him, so one day my goal is to say what Paul said out of his deep conviction, gratitude, and love toward Christ,
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His ressurection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death… One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward THE GOAL TO WIN THE PRIZE for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:8-14)
The “prize to win” is NOT the blessings on this earth that I can only enjoy temporarily!!!
The prize is Jesus Himself!!!
I can enjoy Him NOW on this earth through close & deep fellowship with His Holy Spirit within me, out of my weaknessed God will bring me from glory to glory just as He promised, until I see the perfection one day when I shall join Christ in His heavenly kingdom…
More than a question of “Are You Religious?”, I must ask myself from time to time, “Are You In Love With Christ?”
Am I falling head over heels for Christ?!!
O Lord, Help me to desire You more out of anything else… Let this quest to loving You more and more become ‘my greatest struggle and burden’ more than any other struggles that the world brings…
Because I know the prize is so much worth it, prize that is eternal, everlasting, never-ending… forever and ever with You, Lord…
Lord, I know even after I pray this prayer to make me love You more, I still couldn’t love You the way I want to… But I want, Lord… I don’t want to give up in loving You, because You have first loved me with Your unconditional love… Show me the impossible through Your Holy Spirit’s works God…