Relationship vs. Legalism

Summary: God desires to be in relationship with us and not legalistic practices. In fact, as we submit to God’s will an interesting thing happens, God wants to know our heart on issues of the world!

There are many Christians living under living under the slavery of legalism. How does this look? A person’s prayer life can be a good indicator. If a person says the same prayer to God day and after day, it doesn’t sound like much of a relationship to me.

If a friend came to you and said the same thing time after time, at some point wouldn’t you already know what your friend is going to say to you before he speaks?

Now I use to be bound by this legalistic prayer routine. I could only imagine God saying, “Marc, I have heard that prayer, lets talk about something different.”

Editor’s note: If saying the same prayer to God enhances the relationship, go for it. Remember we each have our own personal relationship with Jesus. Allow Holy Spirit to lead you what works for you.

There is another area of life, where many Christians are bound by legalism. How many times have you heard a Christian say, “Not my will be done, but Your will be done God”.

Again, this in itself is not a bad prayer. But imagine two friends, where one friend always has his way and the other always had to submit to the other.

Wouldn’t you feel like a slave and not a friend?

God has called us friends of God, not slaves.

The key is that as we fully submit to God’s desires, He wants to know what is on our hearts. It’s about a relationship.

This is emphasized in the Bible with Jacob. Genesis 32:28 says, He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Notice that God did not belittle Jacob for wrestling with Him, he actually enjoyed the wrestling! Why? Because it was rooted in a relationship.

In my own life, I have wrestled with God. I have a Bible, that has no cover and back, tattered pages, and a few burnt ones in my own wrestling with God if all that the Bible says is true. And I love it! It shows my authentic relationship and with God!

Interesting note, the few burnt pages are in Genesis where it talks about Jacob!

God is longing for His people to be in a real relationship with Him and bound by legalism!


Prayer: Father, I pray that Your Holy Spirit leads us all into what it means to be in a real relationship with You! I am grateful for all you are doing in every reader’s life and pray for a spirit of revelation of what it means to be in relationship with you! I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Application and Comments: As you fully submit to God’s desires first, what is one thing on your heart that you would like to see change? God is interested! Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” So come boldly to the throne of grace!

The Dangers of Lukewarm Christianity Part 1

As I continue to renew the mind, I have pondered, “God, I wonder where I would be if I did not grow up in a lukewarm Christianity environment.”

I really do not think God cares much if a child is wearing a dress suit to church or shows up wearing a bathing suit with sandals. He is much more interested in their heart posture.

And God is not just interested in His will being done, but our will as well! All He asks is we surrender to His will and then our desires can become His desires.

This is illustrated in Exodus 32:7-14, God wants to show His wrath on His people for worshipping a false idol. Moses reminds God, how He said He would multiply the descendants of Abraham and not destroy.

Notice what Exodus 32:14 says, “So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

What does this show? God wants a relationship with us and the best relationships start with friendship! He wants to co-labor with us.

For example, earlier this year I felt a prompting from God that I would be moving from my parents house in the fall time. This was back in the winter though! A lot has changed since then! I claimed (and continue to) my identity in Christ! We are heirs of God, co-laborers with God, friends of God, etc! I began started to live a supernatural lifestyle on a new levels.

I explained to God that I do not feel staying with my parents is healthy for my continued growth or my relationship with my parents.

After explaining to God the situation, I could feel a shift going on me! He was listening to me. I wasn’t just a robot who obeyed every command of God and did not have a say.

Lukewarm Christianity has a tendency to put God in a box that limits Him.  I really feel it would be best for a person to have never known Christ and be saved at age 30 then be saved at an early age, but grow up in a legalistic background.

Why? Because the young kid has to “unlearn” to “learn”, while the new believer can just “learn.”

Let’s all do ourselves a favor and let God out of the box.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for being our friend. Thank you for not being someone that gives orders and expects us to obey like a robot. I thank you for your kindness and your humor that you have. And Father for anyone reading this with that desires to  free of legalism, in the name of Jesus, I break off legalistic and religious mindsets off of them right now. And in Jesus name, I loose a spirit of revelation of how creative you are and how creative you made us. Amen.