I believe the Lord longs for relationship instead of religion. I think it’s easy to hear that statement and think, “Of course, I know that!” Yet so often, I find myself walking around carrying feelings of guilt that I didn’t sit down, open my Bible, read three chapters, journal a page and a half, and pray for 20 minutes before going about my day. You know what I mean? None of these acts are wrong in and of themselves! But if any of those acts are done out of a feeling of obligation instead of a desire to engage in relationship, I’ve crossed the line into religion, and my life begins to follow a rhythm of duty instead of freedom. I fully believe that God can do anything, meaning that He can still speak to me even when I’m engaging in religion out of a sense of obligation. But I also believe there is deeper intimacy, freedom, and pure rest that I get to experience when I put the rhythm of religion aside and do things to engage in a rhythm of relationship with the Father.
Psalm 27:8 says, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’”
My friends, can we set aside our sense of obligation, and respond to the Lord that we are coming? Sometimes coming to the Lord looks like listening to the Bible while we go for a walk, going to a coffee shop on our lunch break to journal for a bit, meeting Him in prayer on our way into work, or making something with our hands in the evening as worship music plays. Living life with the mentality that the Lord isn’t looking for quantity time, but rather quality time puts us into a new rhythm. We’re no longer living in a rhythm of religion where we rush through our time with the Lord just to say we’ve done it before moving on to the next thing. And we’re no longer living with guilt that our time with the Lord that day didn’t fit the societal mold. Instead, we’ve created a new rhythm where relationship with the Lord is intentional, restful, and joyful. In that rhythm, we’re living in freedom and intimacy with the Lord knowing that we spent quality time investing in relationship with Him.