His “Knock, Knock” Is No Joke – Part 2

Part 2 in my series on Religion Vs. Relationship.

“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.)

Religion is…

Studying about God;

Relationship is…

Spending time with God.

I realize this is just a different way of putting the introductory definitions, but, like a life-changing quote, a profound object lesson, or a witty joke, it bears repeating.

And it presents to us a couple of good questions to ask ourselves:

Am I spending more time studying theology than I am just basking in His presence?

Am I spending more time contemplating religious doctrine than I am in having a spiritual two-way “conversation” with Him?

If you answer yes to either of these, that’s a pretty good sign you’re practicing religion rather than developing a relationship.

This is what the Pharisees of Biblical times did. They could quote reams of Scripture verbatim. They obeyed every rule they were supposed to follow. They said all the right things. They practiced everything their religion expected of them.

But they never entered into a true personal relationship with the God they were trying to worship.

Their misguided sense of religious duty prickled Jesus, and He chastised them with the rebuke that they were honoring God with their lips, but their heart was far from Him. (Matthew 15:8)

How about you?

Do you spend all your spiritual efforts on studying theology and doctrine, contemplating the philosophic mysteries of spirituality, reading your Bible like it’s a textbook on mystical existentialism?


Are you keeping Him close to you in your heart…

Spending time just being in His presence…

Letting His love wash over you as you show Him the love you have for Him?

Go to Him now. Spend some time communing with Him. He’s calling to you.

(Go to Part 3)



* 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 email and I’ll email it to you.

* Image(s) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.



* More in the “Religion versus Relationship” series.

* “Falling Leaves” — A literary short story about a man who’s love is unexpectedly resurrected in a cemetery.

* “I Don’t Like Likes” — Actually, that’s not true!”


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*** My Faves ***

I also invite you to check out what I think of as my best work by visiting “My BYOB Page (A List of My Personal Favorites)“.

Here are my top five to get you started:

Why I Write: Literary Childbirth

The Fingerprints of Mom

Soul Spring Magic

Nakomai’s Immortality (CAUTION: Rated PG)

Swimming in the Pool of Life



  1. Yeahhh … I am not ‘religious’ though I am deeply ‘spiritual.’ This means I live my ‘faith’ – I actually embrace and practice, in a mindful way, what Jesus and other Masters taught. If we simply pay lip service to these valuable teachings, they are lost on us. For what it’s worth … ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! I’m glad you found in my piece some validation for your pursuit of sincerity in spirituality over mere religious practices and knowledge. May your relationship with the Divine continue to grow in intimacy and profoundness as you continue to live your faith.

      Thanks for reading, and for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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