Finalizing my latest book for publication, I ran across these two paragraphs. They express better than any other the transformation I see in people all over the world who move beyond religion and embrace a different way of living:
Following ritual and rules that others demand of you is still following law, even if we call them “New Testament principles.” God doesn’t transform us through obligation or meeting the expectations of others. The reason why many of us grew frustrated in religious settings is because they made promises they couldn’t fulfill. The harder we tried the emptier we felt. God has been inviting you to live in a new creation where his love transforms us in the deepest part of our soul.
Over this season you’ll learn to see through the manipulation of obligation, accountability, guilt, and fear and into a different rhythm that will allow you to live more at rest, aware of others, and free from the corrupting influences of this age. Instead of doing what others think you should do, you’ll be freer to discern his work in you and find yourself embracing his realities of grace, forgiveness, freedom, and generosity.
It all begins as you ask him to show you how deeply loved by God you are, then watching for how he shows you that reality. This is the trailhead that will lead you to greater freedom and fullness.
It’s a worthy journey, to be sure.