The Good Shepherd Part 2: From Religion to Relationship
Hello my friend! I hope that your Holiday Season is getting off to a great start!
So, in my last blog post, we talked about all of the benefits of being covered by the Good Shepherd. If you didn’t catch that post, you can read it here.
When I made the decision to truly surrender my life to the Lord, I was in a quandary. I knew there was something more to salvation than going to church, serving on the usher board, and praying over my food as I ate.
I just didn't know how to obtain that "something".
There was an ache inside of me that no one or nothing could soothe.
No matter how many relationships I engaged in, how many degrees I obtained, how many friendships I encountered...
No matter how much alcohol I consumed..
No matter what I did to self medicate, there was always this ache and longing inside of me that I knew could only be healed by Jesus the Christ.
So, I began to have real and frank conversations with the Lord.
No, not the formulated prayers that I heard in church with the eloquent words. I began to pour out my heart to Him, and tell Him my need for Him my life.
I began to tell Him that I needed Him to show me what REAL love was.
I began to tell Him how I needed to feel loved, accepted, and valued unconditionally.
And He came to my rescue.
Much like the Samaritan Woman (John 4:1-26) , the woman at the well, I had many relationships that left me empty and injured. I kept involving myself in these relationships in an effort to find and heal what only the Lord could give me.
The Samaritan woman believed that because of who she was and where she was from, that she was not worthy to serve the Messiah.
But then, Jesus did something that TRANSFORMED HER LIFE.
He offered her a real relationship with Him.
He let her know that it didn't matter what her background was , it didn't matter where she had come from, or how many husbands she had.
He let her know that He is the Living Water, and if she drank from Him, she would never thirst again.
He let her know that He is the solution to everything that she had ever longed for or searched for.
You see, the Samaritan woman, like many of us, was wrapped up into religion. She was taught that she was to worship on a particular mountain, and the Jews had to worship in Jerusalem.
You know, just like many of us believe that we have to be in a certain position, or a certain church, or a certain place for the Lord to hear and answer our prayers. Or, we believe that we have to pray at certain times.
Jesus let her know on that day, that the Father, the Good Shepherd seeks true worshippers that will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4:21-24)
This simply means that it doesn't matter where you are, what church you go to , how many committees you serve on, or how many community service projects that you participate in..He is simply looking for you to give Him your heart. He is looking for you to give Him all of you.
Take off the mask and worship Him.
Let go of your past and worship Him.
Fall on your knees and worship Him.
Let go of all your traditions, rituals, and ideations, and simply worship Him!
He wants to show you exactly who He is in your life.
He wants to teach you His ways.
How can you learn this?
You can learn this by opening your bible, and reading it as if you are a child that is wanting to learn the truth.
Not what YOU think the truth is... but the TRUTH.
He wants you to learn His true nature through His word.
He wants you to learn His true nature through spending time with Him in prayer.
You can never develop a relationship with someone that you never spend time with.
You can never develop a true relationship with someone based upon preconceived notions and what you heard someone else say.
The only way that you can develop a true relationship with the Good Shepherd is by spending time with Him.
And the more time you spend with Him, the more you can trust Him to be to you all of the things the Bible tells us He is.
We can move from religion to relationship.
The Good Shepherd is very real.
And there are so many benefits to being covered by Him.