What is God Looking For?
One thing I know is that God is merciful and graceful and I extend the same to all who may read my postings. It is not my intent to offend anyone, even though some do take offense to what I write. It is easy to go on the defensive when what I post disagrees with the dominate religious way of viewing spiritual matters or their understanding of God and their interpretation of the Bible. Religion resists any questioning of what they believe to be truth, but if we are to move ahead in God, questioning what we believe is essential and the changing of, or the abandoning our traditions and doctrines when they do not line up with the teachings of Jesus is mandatory for a deeper relationship with Father God.
Believers are in dire need of shifting their focus off religion and refocusing on Jesus. I thank God I am in the process of focusing my eyes more on Jesus and less on the rudiments of the religious system. For most of my life I have been blinded and imprisoned by the religious structure, its meaning of church, its way to God, its doctrines of men, its interpretation of the Bible and its manipulation and control of God’s people. I have spent most of my life in the institutional church (a system represented by segregated denominated buildings and programmed-event-driven-Sunday-go-mettings ordained and run by men.
The coming out process is sometimes painful, especially when it comes to the misunderstanding of some of my family and friends as to why I believe as I do...but...God’s GRACE is sufficient and the truth of knowing that He is with me through whatever I face is comforting. God is setting me free from the manipulation, control, deception and bondage of religion and is raising in me a deep desire to know Him and the power of His resurrection through His Grace message given to Paul by Jesus Himself.
I am no longer content with practicing religion or religious rituals, I am no longer able to accept religion's doctrines without viewing them through the lens of Jesus and discarding what I find to contradict the character of Jesus. I am not saying that abandoning my long held religious beliefs was easy. Pursuing intimate relationship, seeking truth and walking in that truth is sometimes difficult because of the realization of what I thought was true relationship with God was merely relationship with religion. The coming out led me to stop placing confidence in denominated seminarian trained men as the spiritual reveal-er of what God wants me to know. Holding to the premise that religion’s way of doing church or the way they view church, is not the church that Jesus said He would build is disturbing to the religious mindset.
God is not looking at Sunday performance shows in segregated denominated buildings as Church. God doesn’t want us taken up in religious doings, or striving to obey the law and religious rules in order to be good enough to do the doings. He is not offended by our faults and failures, He does not turn His back on us when we sin. He wants our heart, manifested by our graceful loving of people. The post-cross-covenant shows God’s acceptance of sinners who don’t try to hide their sins but came honestly to the Him with full assurance of His love. Sinners went away from Jesus justified while those who stood pious and proud of the religion and their self-righteousness were rejected by Christ because He could not get through to their religious hardened heart. In fact, Jesus told the religious elite of His day that many corrupt tax collectors and harlots would get into His Kingdom before they would, because they believed in Him and chose to follow Him in-spite of their hangups and faults, as the following scriptures support.
Luke 18:10-14, “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Matthew 21:31-32, Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Matthew 22:8-10, 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
God is not looking for the Religious You...He is looking for the REAL YOU, with all your faults and failures.