Requirement vs. Relationship
[Greg Miller, Associate Pastor]
“I confess that 50% of my ministerial life has been going through the motions. I am an expert on the spiritual rut.”
But it didn't start that way. It started as an exciting journey with someone. It was all about not missing a moment with Christ. It was a relationship not a requirement.
1. It started as a relationship.
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7 NIV)
At some point our excitement wanes and we just 'go to church'.
2. Requirement soothed your broken pride.
- When I read my Bible everyday..it makes me feel good.
- When I pray..it makes me feel good.
- When I serve..it makes me feel good.
- When I tithe..it makes me feel good.
My PRIDE grows as I 'fulfill' the requirements I've put on myself to 'do' the things that Christians do. I have become prideful and RELIGIOUS.
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)
3. Now you are in a devotional rut.
Maybe you believed that reading the Bible everyday was a requirement. And you may have passionately pursued Christ in the Scriptures in the beginning. Then as things creep in, we begin reading a chapter a day, or just a Psalm to get our 'requirement' fulfilled. And we loose the reason we started reading to begin with.
There is no formula that makes you a 'good Christian'.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39, 40 ESV)
4. Reverse..Go back to the first things — belief, repentance, grace, relationship.
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (Revelation 2:2-5 NIV)