This morning I was so touched with the fact that many times we think we hate religion – just like God hates religion – but actually we may still be religious ourselves. We realize that everything that God does is new, not in a form or name/denomination or a human endeavor/work, and the divine life operating in us has nothing to do with religion – yet we may still be religious ourselves. What is religion? One of the definitions of religion is
Religion is something related to God and to the service and worship of God, yet having nothing to do with God and the Spirit. Even the best thing done for God becomes a religion if it has nothing to do with the Spirit.
This was so enlightening. We may want to do many things for God, but it is WE who initiate them, it is WE who do them, and the means are still not the Spirit. We may want to worship God and serve God, but we don’t contact the Spirit, we’re not saturated and filled with the Spirit. Even our prayer, if it not in the Spirit and by the Spirit, mingled with the Spirit, it can be something formal and religious that we do. The same is true with our reading of the Bible – if we just follow a form, reading the Bible without contacting the Spirit and exercising our spirit, we do it “religiously”. O, may the Lord save us from being religious and bring us more and more into a mingling and saturation of the Spirit with our entire being!
In Acts there are at least three examples of the disciples doing everything NOT as a religion but in and by the Spirit:
- Peter, on the day of the Pentecost, stood up and spoke not by himself, but with the other disciples and being filled with the Spirit.
- Stephen was also a man filled with the Holy Spirit(Acts 6:5), and when he was living, speaking, and ministering, He was doing all this in Spirit.
- Philip preached the gospel in Spirit – He did not “decide/determine” to do this, but he was led by the Spirit, mingled with the Spirit, and he ministered the Spirit to the Ethiopian eunuch(Acts 8).
What about us? We need to realize that with the Spirit there is no “movement of the Spirit” that you can join, and there is no human organization and religion. Just as we see in 1 Cor. 12:13
For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit,
we as the members of the Body of Christ are completely immersed in the Spirit and we are given to drink of the Spirit! The Spirit must take the lead in what we do/say, the Spirit must do the work, the Spirit must be the One who speaks, and even the Spirit must be the One who lives in us. What we need to do is to open our being and be saturated and filled with the Spirit – by spending time with the Lord in His Word, enjoying Him by calling on His name, and being open to His fresh dispensing within us every day. We need to do our best to be One With The Spirit – absolutely one! As the Spirit saturates us and fills us, we not only are NOT religious, but we also are living a life in, with, and by the Spirit, not by our endeavoring to do/say/minister/work something for the Lord.