The Bible isn’t an instruction manual. That is such a weak view of Scripture.
It is a love letter with personalized notes to each of us, which can only be really seen as the Holy Spirit shows them to us. Prayer is a supernatural and mystical action by which two lovers whisper to each other.
Church life is simply a kingdom party where we come to the dance and celebrate this unbelievably rich life He has given us at no cost to us whatsoever.
Legalistic religion denies all of that and turns His gifts into our obligations.
It strips us of joyful intimacy and has the gall to turn God’s grace gifts to us into religious duty. It causes you to feel like you would upon finding out that a neighbor has given your young child a puppy.
They may call it a gift, but you’re the one who has to take care of it. Legalism may call the “spiritual disciplines” a gift, but that is as far as it goes. Now you are expected to maintain it, and nothing so quickly destroys inspiration as obligation.
Enslaved by legalism, we read the Bible for Him, not us. We pray because we think He is pleased by it. We attend church because He wants us to do it. We think we are doing God a favor when we do these things. In reality it is foolishness.
It is Christianity turned inside out and made into an empty superstition, born of a belief which is completely out of sync with divine reality.
Aspects of a life empowered by Divine Grace become a millstone around the neck of somebody ensnared by legalism.
I have used Bible study, prayer and church life as examples because they tend to be primary targets of legalism. It takes what God intended to bring us real pleasure and turns it into nothing more than a religious performance.
Bible study no longer is a joy, it’s a job.
Prayer is no longer a romantic conversation. It becomes a “quiet time” which we must observe like the misbehaving child who is sent to his room for a “time out.”
Church attendance becomes nothing more than a weary responsibility where we can check the mental box that we’ve done our weekly duty.
Driven religious fervor becomes a one night stand repeated over and over and over again.
There may be a shallow gratification in one night stands, but nobody would ever mistake it for genuine intimacy.
God offers you much more than that.
He wants you to experience Him and all of His gifts as a natural part of the soothing rhythms of grace.
However, to know that kind of intimacy, we must stop our religious hyperventilating, calm down, stop and smell the roses.
PS) Have you visited our web site at www.gracewalk.org? There’s much there to acquaint you with all we do and help you in your own grace walk.