“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither is circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.” (Galatians 6:14,15 NIV)
In response to questions raised by the church in Galatia, Paul attempts to convince those who are manipulating others into being circumcised as a means of keeping the law to stop. He reminds them that those who are circumcised don’t keep the law and therefore the law is pointless if it is simply a ritual.
There are many people today who try to impress others with their “religiosity” by one means or another. For some, it’s who their pastor is, for others it’s how often they take communion, and still others who think we are impressed by the denominational banner under which they worship.
If we could ever get beyond the rituals and get into the Relationship, the world would view Believers differently. Unfortunately, we’re too busy trying to make sure we keep up with the rituals and because the rituals are divisive, we lose opportunities to witness to others about the work on the cross and God’s love for all mankind.
It doesn’t what position a person is in when they pray as long as they pray–sincere communication with God, not just murmuring scripted words led by others. I’ve never understood why anyone thinks a scripted prayer, written by another mortal would be more effective than sincere communication with God.
It doesn’t matter what day we use to observe our relationship with God–there are seven days in a week and Jesus said He was Lord of the Sabbath–which means any day we choose to worship, is all right with Him. The reality is–everyday should be a day of worship.
It doesn’t matter when we participate in communion or who serves it. Smith Wigglesworth served himself communion on a daily basis and he’s considered one of the most revered men of faith. Whether we use wine or grape juice or water or any other liquid–the symbolism is important–not the elements used.
The reality of religion is that most leave out relationship in favor of rituals--that won’t change a thing in our lives. Rituals don’t deliver, heal, comfort, or guide. They are simply outward expressions devised by mortals to control others and to ridicule those who won’t or don’t participate.
There are no superior religions or religious groups of people. We are all in need of a Savior and unless we see Jesus as our Savior and accept the work on the cross, the rituals are a waste of time and effort.
So, whether we pray once a day or ten times a day–if we have no relationship with God–we have wasted our time. It is being in relationship with God that motivates our behavior and ignites our promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are not promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of our religiosity–we are simply being religious and are ineffective witnesses of His Goodness.
It’s time for a change–let’s shed the rituals for right relationship with God and see the world come to know Him, through us!