His “Knock, Knock” Is No Joke — Part 1

God wants from you a love that lasts, not more religion. He wants you to get to know Him in a deep and intimate way, not just go to more prayer meetings.”

(Personal paraphrase of Hosea 6:6 based on The Message Bible.)

(Part 1 in my series on Religion Vs. Relationship.)

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

God.

God who?

…And I’ve gotta stop it right there.

I’m sorry, but for me it ceases to be funny as soon as I start to think about how many people don’t know God. It’s even worse when those that claim to know Him really don’t, at least not in a personal and intimate way.

And the more I think about it, the more my eyes sting, no matter how funny the joke might be.

After a lifetime of developing a personal and intimate relationship with God myself, I’ve grown close enough to Him to know that He longs for an intimate relationship with each one of us. Individually. You. And me. After all, that’s why He created mankind. For our fellowship. He was lonely, and He wanted a being that could choose to love Him of their own free will and choose to spend time with Him just because they wanted to. No hidden agenda. No coercion. Not out of instinct. Or self-preservation. Or duty. But just out of a deep and abiding love for Him.

In “The Zoe Dogalectic“, I wrote about how God is constantly calling to us, gently knocking at the door of our hearts, patiently waiting for us to take the next step and answer that knock, open the door, invite Him in, and fellowship with Him.

Unfortunately, when this intimate relationship with God doesn’t come as easily as we expect (or when something bad happens we don’t understand), too often we either give up and consider Him a myth, or we substitute mere religious practices for the real thing. Then we wonder why things don’t seem quite right — like a punchline that fell flat in the delivery. We feel like there’s something missing, that there’s something deeper we should be experiencing.

It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with religion — without a doubt it has its place and it has its benefits — but it should only be a starting point, not the be-all and end-all. It should teach us ABOUT God, but only for the express purpose of showing us the way to a relationship WITH God.

There is so much more to be had when you allow religion to grow into a relationship. What’s the difference?

Consider this…

Religion is…

Mankind’s feeble attempts to explain the unexplainable, to fathom the unfathomable, to understand with finite and limited minds an infinite Being so vast and powerful that even the cosmos which He created pale in comparison;

Relationship is…

Spending time in His presence, fellowshipping intimately on a personal level, with this Creator of the Universe in spite of our questions, disappointments, uncertainties, or phobias.

So how can you know whether what you’re practicing is religion or a real relationship with the Almighty God? That’s what this new tag, “Religion Versus Relationship,” is all about. By contrasting the two in the posts to come, we’ll discover some tests to help us determine the difference.

He’s waiting. Patiently.

Read Part 2

—————————

Notes:

* If you’d like a pdf version of this series in its entirety when it’s done, let me know in the comments or by lnkemail/ and I’ll email it to you.

* Image(s) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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11 Comments

  1. It’s here!!!! I was so excited to open up WordPress this morning and see the first in your series. I gotta say, I’m at a loss for words (well, actually, the opposite–too much to say! You know me!) It’s such a powerful post and really leaves me wanting to read more. GREAT JOB!!!!

    There really IS such a difference between religion and relationship. I love how you defined the two. I pray that God can use you and your wisdom-packed words to reach someone who has yet to experience what we have experienced with a RELATIONSHIP with God. It really is a life changing moment once you experience it.

    Thanks for an amazing post and for pouring your heart out for all of us to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your, as always, amazingly kind and supportive words.

      In case you missed it when you were with your family, you’ve really got to check out the post I linked to about my wife’s puppy, Zoe. I thought of you and your dog during much of the writing of it, and I think you’ll really like it.

      Let me know if I’m right!

      Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. I’m a day late on Susie’s Social Media day. I followed you on twitter. The advice I used when starting to grow my twitter followers was to follow the best known people in your genre. I wanted to check out your blog because of the spirituality. My blog is about my intuition aka the messages from my soul guiding me. For me, also known as God. Here it is. No pressure. https://www.facebook.com/unbreakablejoyintuitiontalesblog/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. I’m not on Facebook yet. Probably the next when I find the time. I’m having a hard enough time doing justice to just WordPress and Twitter. I did follow you on both of those, however.

      After a quick skim through a few of ypur blog titles, I’m looking forward to reading them more deeply.

      Thanks for the follows!

      Like

      1. Thanks for commenting so quickly. I started blogging in January with very little Tech experience. Just got my first iPhone on Friday. For weeks I used WP reader to connect. Sometimes leaving my link other times not. I only left it if it felt like part of a conversation. To grow Twitter, I found 20 people a few times a week to follow. It was fun! I don’t do that as much now. I’m better at retweeting things I really like and seeing how that works. You are welcome for the follows. Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

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