Why Religion Doesn't Work

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, "Don't handle! Don't taste! Don't touch!"? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person's evil desires.
Colossians 2:20-23

One of the chief strategies of Satan is to keep us away from our relationship with Jesus by making us religious. I am not talking about religion as devotion, but religion as following rules and rituals to try to please and appease God. 

When we approach our spiritual life as "dos and don'ts," we place the emphasis on ourselves. We become the "perfecter of our faith." We become the center of worship because we are focusing on "how we are doing." Satan wants our focus to be on ourselves so we can run around and compare ourselves with others.


The spiritual life of a Christian is the opposite. Paul reminds us that we died with Christ. Dead people don't try to become righteous, try to please God, or try to become more devoted. Dead people enjoy the present presence of the Lord. It's great to be dead in Christ because there is nothing you can do but be close to Him. 

Religion has its merits only to humans, not to the Lord. We like religion because it allows us to possess an invisible qualities that we can pretend we have to impress others. We can flaunt and fake our "holiness" by our works, service, bible knowledge, abstinence, and rules. We can become very impressive to others with the right buzz words, and sayings. Paul emphasizes, that only Jesus in our lives means anything. He tells us that religion doesn't work for these reasons. 
First, religion makes us captive to the satanic forces in the world. Pride, anger, hate, arrogance, and selfishness are all spirits of religion. These are things non-followers of Christ people point to as an argument against our faith. 
Second, religion makes us fleshly because we follow the rules of the world rather than the freedom of heaven. These rules are created and passed down by humans and kill our soul. 
Third, religion seems wise because it takes super-human discipline to follow these rules. However, in the end, they simply feed the nature of our desires that take us away from a simple relationship with Jesus. 
Dump your religion today. We have only one thing to focus on. Making Jesus our all. When we do, we will be free from the hassling thoughts that we are not "spiritual enough" to be in His presence.
Colossians 2


Pastor Stuart