20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence (Colossians 2).
In my youth I attended church every Sunday, going through the proper motions by heeding every directive given to perform religious ritual. The atmosphere was always somber and serious, and I never did anything to influence it otherwise, maintaining a pious approach from beginning to end. In my mind I was simply doing my duty and paying my dues, so that when I left the building I could, as before, simply go along with the flow of the world. All those hours in a church building, going through the motions of “self-made religion and self-abasement,” never did anything to change my heart and desires for “fleshly indulgence” in the world.
It wasn’t until I personally met the One about whom all true religion revolves, that my heart and my desires changed so that I truly wanted to live for God and serve Him instead of myself. We’ve heard the cliché a million times, yet it is no less true to repeat it now: it’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship. It’s not about following ritual, it’s about following a Person—and that Person is Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank You for freeing us from the tyranny of religion! Help us This Day to walk with You, trying to please You in all we do. Amen.