Rest Not Religion
Being Born Again IS NOT a religion! It is an experience that God wants all who desire to know and serve Him to encounter
Rest Not Religion
Jesus Christ did not say anything about religion in the Bible! His focus was on the kingdom of God and your relationship with Him as His Bride!
What is the Church then? A Church is simply you, me, and others like us, who believe that Jesus is the son of God. To be a Christian is to be “of Christ “or to be a follower of Jesus. The word Christian is all inclusive. It needs no other word added to it for explanation or definition. Men have created denominations (churches) in order to separate and regulate those who profess to believe alike.
In reality, all faith is individual. No person believes exactly like another person. We all have a unifying point of faith and brotherhood: the Lord Jesus. He calls us to love and respect each other, but never to believe exactly alike. A person who has accepted Jesus as his or her personal Savior has done so just like all other Christians throughout history. Those who willingly devote their lives to Him find that they are doing more than just following His directions; they find themselves developing a loving relationship with Him. They call upon Him as a friend in times of need and times of joy. He is their constant companion. Now, if you have felt that God has abandoned you and that probably everyone else is enjoying this relationship but not you – don’t despair. God has promised never to leave you.
The real church is about Jesus Christ, loosing yourself not finding self; and also practical love for others. It’s simple - live in God’s love and share it with others. You can find God’s love in the secret place (the prayer closet).
Ephesians 2:7-10 is one of the most liberating messages of the Bible. It dismantles RELIGION totally! I call it the “RELIGION DEMOLITION” message directly from the heart of God. “Now God has [YOU] where he wants [YOU], with all the time in this world and the next [God has all the time in the world. There is NO anxiety! God’s journey begins with REST! No hurry] to shower grace and kindness upon [YOU] in Christ Jesus."
All we do is trust him enough to LET HIM DO IT.
It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!
No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
Jesus is not a casual friend. He is not a once a week date kind of deal. He invites you to walk with Him, He doesn’t ask you where you are going so He can join you for a walk… He doesn’t tell you, “When you come back from work join me for a walk.” His invitation takes priority over everything you do. Think about it… Wouldn’t life be easier if we would get up every morning to walk with Jesus? Instead of going to work, you walk with Jesus. Instead of going grocery shopping, you walk with Jesus. Now follow me on this thought because here is the most fun part of walking with Jesus. He does not only invite you to walk with Him, but He leads the way into all those places where you think “you have to go.” Did you know that?
In another of His strategies for life He simply says, “Follow Me.” (Matthew 8:22) This is radical! 23 times Jesus said “Follow me.”
Have you ever considered the implications of following Jesus? When you are on the freeway and a car behind you bumps you, Jesus says, “Follow me!” What does that mean? It means Jesus was there before the incident happened! If you are truly following Jesus, every situation you walk into, every room you go to, every person you meet, Jesus is already there! Why would He otherwise say, “Follow me!” When you face an angry spouse, Jesus says, “Follow me.” That means He is already there dealing with the situation. When a loved ones dies, Jesus says, “Follow me”… In other words, it is safe for you to walk into this painful moment because I am here already… When you face a tough moment with your teenager, Jesus says, “Follow me.” In other words… I am here already! Walk with me is not just a casual spiritual experience with Jesus. It means CONFIDENCE because He is already walking ahead of us!]
Fear will paralyze you and keep you from the victory that God has planned for you. Fear is a spirit and the spirit of fear is not from God.
Peace is a show of confidence. Peace is the outward manifestation of an internal confidence and confidence is the manifestation of pure faith. Mature faith running at full power will destroy all of the plans and purposes of the enemy while delivering joy to the warrior of God. You can actually be swinging the sword of truth in what looks like the battle of your life with a smile on your face, peace in your heart, and victory on your lips.**
Because you know the Word and because the Word says, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world,” you do not fear. Because you know God is on your side and because you believe Him, you stand in faith knowing that no weapon formed against you can ever prosper. You are victorious and you know it, and because you know it, you have peace.
Quit begging God to give you peace. He already has. Romans 5:1 says that as believers “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the King of peace and in Ephesians we are told that He Himself is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14) Not only that, but the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, God Himself lives inside of you. You are a three-part being. You are spirit, soul, and body. When you became a believer, the very Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, moved inside of your spirit. As a Christian, you are literally Spirit-possessed.
Your spirit is you, my spirit is me, and the Spirit of God is God. Because you are indwelt with the Spirit of God, you have the peace of God inside of you and regardless of what is on the outside, you have the fruit of the Spirit on the inside. As a Christian, He who is in you (The Holy Spirit) is greater than what is outside of you.
The peace of God should be flowing out of you into the world instead of the stress and pressures of the world getting into you. You have at your disposal the greatest power in the universe. Nothing can overpower the love of God and according to 1 John 4:7-8, God is love. Perfect love casts out fear.
Worry and stress are byproducts of fear. Rest and peace are byproducts of faith. To eradicate the fear, all we must do is walk in perfect love and be led by the Spirit. Then the peace of God will flow from us and minister to a world that is living in darkness.
Jesus said you are the light of the world. You have a responsibility to let the light shine from you into the darkness. Your testimony of peace will encourage and minister to others and you will discover through walking in the peace and rest of God that you will bring glory to God. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Walking in faith will make you a warrior. Walking in fear will make you a worrier. Warriors overcome the enemy and enjoy peace and rest even during times of battle. Worriers live in a world of tension and stress, continually in fear at what might happen. What world are you living in?
Get Close to God
The most important reason to get close to God is the fact that you were created BY God and FOR God. There is a hole in your heart that nothing else can fill. You were created to be a star in the skies of God’s universe! You were created to shine, not walk in this world holding a flash light! You were created to find greatness, not limits!
Do you know how good it feels to know, deep down in your heart, that you have been declared perfect by the GRACE of God since the time of eternity? You can not produce the kind of “goodness” that God wants to see in you, friend! He longs to do it, in you, His way!
You were created to dream BIG! You were created for MEANING, not just morals. You were born for a PURPOSE, not just for a passing life on this earth! You were created to live in ETERNITY! Nothing, nothing, will fill the hole of your soul, except the immensity of God’s presence! Nothing else suffices!
King David in one of his psalms says,
You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! But I’m in the very presence of God—oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do! – (Psalm 73:25-28 Message)
When you are close to God, you get to know what LIFE is! God is your protection, your source of renewal, and energy.
Some people think being close to God is just for RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. Nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, the opposite is the truth! God longs to befriend simple people! Regardless of your career, your social position in life, the baggage you carry from your past, you can get close to God. Getting close to God does not depend on some special gifting from God; getting close to God depends on your choice. God longs to be close to you! This is how easy it is to get close to God…
James 4:8 says, “Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.” Did you catch that? This verse is both a command and a promise.
God is your fortress in difficult times. God will never let you down. Spend time with Him. Surrender every challenge you face to Him. One, by one… In the morning… Ask God to guide you TODAY… Just today… God is your best insurance policy in the world! As we wait for the Second Coming of Jesus, and our worlds spirals down, there is HOPE! God is YOUR hope!
Would you consider getting close to God today? There is no shame with God! There is no guilt with Him! He never accuses! He only LOVES. God infuses the pain and the suffering of this life with a sense of meaning! He turns scars into stars for His glory!