One day someone looked me right in the eyes and asked me a question that forever changed my life. “Putting aside all you have ever been taught or know about God, Who is Jesus to you?”
Putting aside all you have ever been taught or know about God…
Who is Jesus to you?
I had no answer, because any answer I could think of started with, “Well someone once said…” or “I’ve heard…” Today, I ask the same question… ” That question started me on a search. A good search to discover for myself who Jesus is. Now I leave you with the same question. Who is Jesus to you? Do you know Him personally or do you just know about Him?
What would change in your life if you didn’t spend all your time and precious energy trying to measure up to a standard that no one can reach on their own, but instead lived in the perfection of Jesus Christ, in faith allowing God to mold, shape, transform, and enable you to live your life’s calling? What kind of freedom would you find in releasing the walls you have built and instead being completely transparent before God? What kind of healing would you experience? What area of your life do you feel is too broken to be repaired? Would you give God the chance?
I’m not saying that everything in my life was immediate roses and sunshine or that it’s been easy since I took on the challenge of finding an answer to that question. It really hasn’t been easy. Life still happens. This is still a sin cursed earth. It’s just that now I walk through life in my identity as a child of God instead of as a slave who is always afraid of its master. I can embrace the power and authority I have as a daughter, and smile in the middle of pressure and fear, knowing that my spirit is free.
Religion…. it is riddled throughout the churches. Jesus faced it when He walked this earth. The scribes and the Pharisees knew about God, yet when they saw Him they hated Him. Religion tried to get rid of God when He walked on this earth in a human body. It rejoiced the day it managed to keep its “clean front” by getting the Romans to do the dirty work and put Jesus on the cross. While that seemed like a dark day, it was also the day that would forever change the history and the future of mankind. What religion tried to stamp out, God used to bring righteousness into the picture. Religion rejoiced for a few days thinking that it had killed the One threat to its reign, but the grave is empty! It doesn’t hold any dead bones! It held life; it held resurrection!
Today religion is still very active. It teaches about God and yet tries to destroy His image in other people. Religion operates through fear, God operates through relationship. Religion focuses on making the outside look good, but leaves the inside lifeless. Religion tries to put a nice white bandage over pain and sin. God focuses on the inside. He takes care of the sin, heals broken hearts and restores us to a relationship with Him. Religion tries to please God by doing all the right things. God gives His own life for us so that we can be made right, whole, and restored into His kingdom. Religion has favorites and discriminates based on the outward appearance. God made all of us as sons and daughters and each one of us represents and bears His image uniquely, leaving no room for favorites.
Religion always tries to stomp out the Holy Spirit of God moving in a life and replace it with some so-called logic or rules. I can not stress this enough. It hates spirit filled worship especially if it involves physical movement during a worship service because it hates seeing people physically moved by the Holy Spirit in worship of a God that it opposes. If worship is the explosion that results from a heart that is being moved by God, religion will try to destroy that connection and shut it down.
When the Holy Spirit moves in a life, its fruits begin to flow out of that life and the need for rules and regulations is gone. (Galatians 5:16-26) Religion does not like when a person is moved by the Spirit of God, instead of the spirit of fear. Religion demands a change of outward things in order to look right. God changes the heart, fills people with His Holy Spirit, and then out of love for Him, action will spring forth, life will be born, and resurrection will take place. This is why teaching of the Holy Spirit is so strongly opposed in many churches. Many people fail to live in victory because they have not received the Holy Spirit and allowed Him to move in their lives.
Recently I was walking along a spring fed creek. The water was crystal clear and beautiful. As I meandered along, I happened upon a pool off to the side of the creek that had a levee that was too high to let water in or out. The water inside was a thick green stinky muck. Obviously the only source of fresh water that this pool had was rain or an overflow of the creek.
Religion builds walls like that. When the Holy Spirit moves in a life the clean pure water flows in and overflows refreshing others. Just as the water in the spring fed creek was clear and transparent, when you are being fed and moved by the Holy Spirit there will be transparency. When religion is at work, you will see very little genuine revival or moving of the Holy Spirit. Any outpouring will be forced and transparency will be gone. There will just be a filthy muck.
Who is Jesus to you? Have you been hurt by religion? Do you feel like you are in a hopeless cycle with no way out? Is religion failing you? There is hope! His name is Jesus. He has been misrepresented by many who know about Him, but don’t know Him. His name has been misused, and yet the real Christ still is and can never be destroyed. Are you ready to embark on a journey to freedom.
A lot hinges on this question, “Who is Jesus to you?”
In Matthew 16:13-20, We read how Jesus asked the disciples who people say that He was. They answered with, “Some say you are…” Jesus pushed past all that and said, “But who do YOU say that I am?” Just prior to this Jesus had exposed the deception and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and warned the disciples about their deception. Jesus pushed past the religion to the heart of the matter when He asked the disciples who they believed He is. Jesus is still asking us that same question today. Peter answered that Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus said that God Himself revealed that to Peter.
It is important that we too, have a personal revelation from God of Who He is, and not some man-made concoction depicting God to us. God has revealed Himself personally to us and continues to do so. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are not stuck here with some irrelevant teachings and a God who is out of touch with the times.
Many times when we are in bondage to religion we may not even recognize it. I didn’t for a long time. When I first learned what it was and how I had spent so many years in bondage to it, I was upset. I began to point fingers and identify religion at work in the lives of others. One day I realized that my pointing fingers were also driven by religion. That was the day that another wall in my life fell down and a deeper level of healing and transformation took place in my heart.
It is time that the church of today lays aside petty differences, gets stripped of the filthy rags of religion, puts on the bridal robe of righteousness, takes up the sword and begins to promote Truth. It’s time for us as a part of the body of Christ to walk in identity and purpose. It’s time to reach out to the wounded and the lost, help equip and empower people to live their lives in freedom and identity. Life is too short to spend it rolling around in dirty rags of self-righteousness. It is time for transformation, and when that happens the right actions will follow! Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!
Breaking free of religion may mean rejection. Don’t take it personal. It is not a physical battle, but a spiritual one. The rejection may sting, but the freedom, relationship and acceptance of Your Father will become even more precious. And that, that relationship, that love, that calling is worth dying for!
Who is Jesus to You?