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To Go Beyond Religion

I have the pleasure of listening to the radio at work. It’s quiet so no one but me can hear it, but every now and then it seems a song, or even a commercial comes through a little louder. Sometimes it’s nothing more than just hearing a single word in a song. I’m learning that those words that stand out have a much deeper meaning and message to give. And often, I just kind of ignore it because I just don’t understand the connection. But when I do, that little light goes on and suddenly it all comes together.

“and go beyond religion”

That is part of a line from “The Power of Your Name” by Lincoln Brewster. I know no other lyrics to that song, but I’ve heard that song several times this week and I’ve heard that part of the song so clear.  Ok…go beyond religion. I define religion as the faith I grew up with, but I turned away from it a long time ago because I was angry with the church. I always felt the only way I could have God was to be a part of that religion. So for years, I turned away from God because there was no way I wanted to be a part of the church.

Over the years, my thought process changed and I saw things a little differently. But it wasn’t easy. It’s hard not to hear all those voices telling you how wrong you are.  One day I remember hearing that God is wherever you want Him to be. A little light bulb went off at that moment…I could go beyond religion.

 “Cornerstone”

By Hillsong. Again, the only word in that song I know, but that one word puts a stamp on my heart like no other.

Cornerstone. I looked the word up one day just see the meaning…foundation. Yeah, I could see that. Nothing can be built without the strength of a strong foundation.  Jesus is definitely my cornerstone! And I’ve tried to build stuff without Him…it doesn’t work. The crash to the ground is hard and it hurts…and chances are others get hurt too.

So…go beyond religion with your cornerstone? Can one really do that? How? What does it mean?

The advertisement

I heard one of those thirty second inspirational messages on the radio the other day (oh, and by Lysa TerKeurst!!!) which caught my ear. Now, normally, I don’t pay much attention to them. They are more just some background noise until the music starts up again, and the first time I heard this one I didn’t think much of it…except somehow, something she said caught my attention.

She said she wasn’t religious.

What? I didn’t hear that right, did I? And, by the time I could turn up the volume, the message was over. I sat and wondered what she meant. How could she not be? I’m participating in a bible study of someone who isn’t religious? It’s her book that this bible study is on!! Isn’t a bible study a religious thing?

Well, I just went on with my day, not really thinking much of any of it…until I heard that line again…

“go beyond religion” and the song cornerstone followed next. I even posted about those words in my group…just about how sometimes just a single line or a single word can just stop you in your tracks.

Still…I couldn’t figure it all out; not that we are supposed to figure everything out. All in due time, right?

Driving Home

Yesterday, as I was driving home, I was in my own little world thinking of what I all wanted to do after I got home and more importantly, what I wanted for dinner! But as deep in thought as I was, I was just as quickly thrown out of it. That commercial came back on!

Ok…I was going to listen intently this time! WHY ARE YOU NOT RELIGIOUS??? My curiosity is peaked!

And the reason was so simple, and I finally understood the feeling I got with that line from the song and the word cornerstone.

I can’t exactly quote what she said, but it was simply along this:

She said: I follow God, not a set of rules.

God is saying to me: Cornerstone…go beyond religion.

Follow God, not some set of rules a church says you need to follow!

I have questioned my faith for so long because it doesn’t fit into the “religion” I was brought up with. I’ve never known what a bible study was because the bible was simply read from to you! But I have always known Jesus, but now I know Him in a much more personal way and a way that speaks to me.  And what I have learned is that I am free to go far beyond what I know. I have the cornerstone!

But the only way one can take that next step is to wholly commit to God and His plan. I know we are all on different parts of this journey…and even different journeys for that matter.

For me lately, it’s been about tearing down a lot of walls that have been built up over time, but more importantly, it’s about learning the strength of the cornerstone that supports me!

I want to say yes. I want to be amazed. I want to wholly commit. I want those say what moments. But I’ve learned you have to have a foundation before you can have any of that! One can’t wholly commit to follow God  and allow God to use them without that. But one must also remember that a foundation and cornerstone are slowly poured and built upon.

And there is beauty in those moments and realizations. How awesome that God is so willing to just tear it all down and rebuild it the proper way! A way that will truly glorify Him!

Saying yes comes in baby steps. It starts with the cornerstone and goes beyond religion.

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3 thoughts on “To Go Beyond Religion

  1. Our walk is not about religion, never like when people (well meaningly) say: oh, you’re so religious – no, I love Jesus. I believe in the Bible! God is full of love for His children; I am one of them. When we realize this, as you did/do, that, is when revival happens in your life. Freedom happens.! God is SOOO good to us! Glad you shared your blog with us!!! 🙂

  2. Oh I love this!!!! HUGS friend!!! I am so touched by what it you wrote, and I completely agree with tearing down walls and rebuilding them.. I am in that stage also, and this study has been sooo good for me! I am so glad God put us in the same group and gave me a new friend! Blessings to you on your journey!

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