Webster’s dictionary defines the word religion as “the service and worship of God or the supernatural; commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.” This is how most of the world views and considers this word. However, in the body of Christ, the word religion is often associated with “spiritual” beliefs or practices that are manmade or legalistic. Religion becomes the enemy of walking by faith, trusting God, and obeying God.
Recently, Apostle David shared how God told him that he was fulfilling his personal purpose and destiny as an apostle in the Body of Christ by seeking God, walking with Him daily, and being willing and quick to obey. Apostle David described the peace in his life that comes from knowing who he is and that he is fulfilling his purpose. He then made a comment that truly marked me: “If you are trying to fulfill your purpose in your own might, you will get burned out and ceilinged beause you have made your own law and are operating out of law and religion instead of faith.”
Then it hit me! We tend to restrict usage of the term religion to spiritual things associated within the church building, and we don’t apply that term to our call or vocation in the Kingdom….but we should!
Think about it. God has called each of us to fulfill a unique purpose and destiny for His Kingdom. Now, for those who are called to make their living through the ministering of His Word, it is quite clear to see how living by law and religion would hinder their ability to fulfill their purpose. But what about you and me?! Just as God calls some to possess the Church kingdom, others are called to possess the Business kingdom, Family kingdom, Entertainment kingdom, Educational kingdom, and others. What diminishes the spiritual worth of these calls compared to those called to the ministry? Nothing!!! So if a minister’s call can be hindered by religion and living by law, so can your call and purpose!
I’ve been challenged to reassess my own motivations behind my current work. I know that God has called me to do this, yet the past couple of weeks have been very stressfull because I received some correction and I attempted to correct the situation by working harder and fixing it myself. I now realize that I was being religious concerning the call of God on my life! I did not operate in faith but out of law. Are there adjustments I still need to make? Absolutely! But now, making those adjustments is not laborious but joyous. I have been reminded that the work which God has called me to has as much spiritual ramification as the work of anyone operating in the call of the five-fold ministry gifts.
Let me break it down just a little further. If you are student in school, your current purpose for this season is to be a student of excellence. When people see that you study to show yourself approved, your reliability in completing assignments, and the good attitude with which you do it, you give everyone around you the opportunity to see God operating in and through your life. But now you have a choice to make. You can try to do this legalistically on your own and set up a whole slew of standards which you can strive to obtain and maintain. Usually, you begin to despise your own standards because you soon realize that, by yourself, you cannot live up to your own expectations. The other option is to see each assignment and task as an opportunity to serve God through obedience. Being diligent in the little things with a spirit of thankfulness. This allows God to get involved in the work He has called you to do. I have discovered that if you approach your call by faith, there truly is a joy and sense of fulfillment which comes along with it.
You see, each of us has been wonderfully and fearfully created by God to fulfill a purpose and destiny for God’s Kingdom. We can choose to live out that purpose in faith and God’s grace; or we can be religious and legalistic, nullifying the grace of God in our lives and our workplace. I encourage you to assess your life. Are there areas where you have been religious concerning the call of God? If so, recognize it, confess it as sin, and repent! Our God is a good God and He rewards those who diligently seek Him, both inside and outside the four walls of the church building. Let’s fulfill our destinies in faith for God’s Kingdom and put an end to the religion in our lives.
So I have one final question: Got unreligification? You decide!