I'm Not Religious

by - 3:30 AM

I still remember where I was when my friend explained to me the difference between religion and a true relationship with God.

The God I knew of spoke in a shakespearean language, wanted me to recite prayers, and was too old and big to truly know me. The God I knew was boring, the pews he wanted us to sit in every Sunday were uncomfortable, and the book he wanted us to read was not even comprehendible.

The God I knew didn't want me to have fun, he was constricting and demanded that I feel guilty about who I was, that I would never live up to what he wanted, whatever that was. The God I knew only existed in church and would never be relevant to anything I was facing.
I wanted nothing to do with the God I knew. Who would?
The God I knew... doesn't exist.

When I was 21, I learned about the true God. 
I learned there was a bible that was translated in today's language and I could actually understand. I learned that when I put what was in that bible into practice... it actually worked. I saw relationships be repaired, I was able to handle bad circumstances, I finally saw a bigger picture for my life. I learned that church was fun and filled with some of the most incredible people that had true joy.. not just happiness, but a joy that surpassed their any understanding. These people had something I wanted for myself. These people are the ones I would soon call life-long friends. I learned that God was not only the lion, but he was the lamb - he is the Creator of the universe yet, he has grace and love for me. I learned God was not old and irrelevant, but that he knows the number of hairs on my head and knows my thoughts before I think them. He knows what brings joy to me, and what hurts me. He created me after all - so that only makes sense.  I learned that God loved me and that He wanted to protect me from all the things I was looking to for my identity and wanted to show me who He created me to be. I learned how He spoke creativity into me and I started stepping into my full potential as the person I was created to be. I learned that His book wasn't a list of ruled to abide by, but was guidance to protect me from the things that would distort who I truly am. I learned that God was not a God of religion, but He has been the God of relationship all along.

You see, Jesus changed it all for me.
I never understood why a man dying on a cross 2000 years ago had anything to do with me.
But what I've learned... it had everything to do with me. It has everything to do with you.

Jesus wiped the slate clean.
How could we ever have a relationship with a God who created it all. It doesn't make sense. But because of Jesus, it's possible. God made it possible. God's love covered any inequity, any sin, anything that would keep us from knowing Him.

Sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Sunday's aren't this task list you have to check off every week so that "maybe if God exists and you meet him at the end of your life" he will look at your attendance and say "hmm.. yep, you're in!"
He isn't impressed by how many bible verses or prayers you memorize.
He isn't keeping a checklist of how many times you get on your knees to pray.

He sees your heart.

What if I told you, you can have a relationship with Him.
A true relationship where you communicate with one another.

The Creator of the universe. The good and perfect Father.
The One who made something so delicate and complicated as a butterfly but is creative and beautiful enough as the sunset which paints the sky pinks, purples and blues.

Just ask Him.
That's all I did.
Ask Him to show you He is real. 
Have a little faith and open your eyes and soon you will see and hear Him all around you.

Open the bible (grab a NIV or NLT version, youversion bible app or go to www.biblegateway.com) and start reading about this man named Jesus in the book of John.

You could be missing out on one of the most incredible gifts this life has offered you.

I had to let go of all of my questioning. If I had all the answers.. that would make me God, and that's not a responsibility I want. When I looked up at the night sky and saw the stars no man has touched I had decided... I don't have enough faith to be an atheist anymore.

This life is far too beautiful to just be "by chance".

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