“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” Matthew 15:8, NKJV.
Jesus said this to the Pharisees that did all the outward things to appear like they knew God. They walked in their religious exercises, they robed themselves and dressed like holy men. They said all the right things, however, their lifestyle, their genuine love for people, their pride, their hunger for glory, their motives, were far from reflecting the heart of Jesus and what He was really all about.
The pharisees had religion, yet no relationship. Religion wants the praise of men, rather than the praise of God. Religion only pursues going to church; relationship is being the church. Religion says I need a suit to go, yet relationship says I can come as I am. Religion secretly seeks to be known. Relationship seeks to make Him known. Religion sees someone hungry and prays, “Lord help them”, while relationship will take them to the grocery store. Religion will see someone drowning, then pray while walking by. Relationship will save them, then pray while walking with them.
Don’t focus on having an outward appearance of knowing Jesus. The truth is a religious heart is far from Him. A heart of relationship is near to Him. In these times, religion is going to produce nothing for your life. Relationship is going to produce everything for your life–and through it. Connect your heart with His and truly honor Him with your life.
Prayer: Father, thank You for speaking to my heart about having a relationship with You, not religion. I truly desire to know You and have a heart like Yours. Examine me. Help me and help Your people to not only worship You with our lips, but with our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study: 1 Samuel 16:7