Religion vs Relationship
Ahh, yes you’re right, and interesting question. One that was posted on a Christian Group that I follow on Facebook.
Lets first look at the definition of religion.
1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
o a particular system of faith and worship.
"the world's great religions"
faith · religious belief(s) · religious persuasion · religious conviction · religious group · faith community · church · persuasion · affiliation · denomination · sect · body · following · communion · order · school · fraternity · brotherhood · sisterhood
o a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
"consumerism is the new religion"
And the definition of relationship
1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
o the state of being connected by blood or marriage.
"they can trace their relationship to a common ancestor"
o the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave toward each other.
"the landlord–tenant relationship" ·
So religion can not only be about worshiping God, but any gods, or even a superhuman. That is what I call a broad spectrum, and not one that I would put any amount of faith in. When you are part of a “religion” you are simply implying that you are willing to worship any sort of god, which includes idols, or even ideology. Cults are based on a religion, and we all know how scary a cult can be.
A relationship however, is more intimate, more personal. And a relationship is what God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit wants with you. An ongoing, constant dialog, prayer, faith and dependance with him.
Lets put it like this. You join a religion, whether it’s Catholic, Baptist, whatever it is, you join, you attend church, you hear what they have to say in service and you leave. It’s just that. It’s an hour of participation. It’s meaningless prayer and meaningless fellowship.
For those of you that had gone from one of these type of churches, from choosing to be a part of a religion, to choosing to have a relationship with God, think about how different that church experience was or is.
Now, when you have a relationship with Christ, where there is daily communication, meaningful prayer that isn’t focused on yourself, but others. Where you put your faith in Christ in all things. Where you let him be Lord, and make all your decisions, where you put everything and everyone second to him. Where you are seeking that closeness and that personal relationship. And when you go to church, it is not a participation but a way to get closer to him, to worship him, and to have meaningful fellowship with others that feel the same way, its altogether different.
When you form a relationship with God is when there is depth. That’s when you feel him move inside you, that’s when you think of him not weekly, not even daily, but hour by hour, minute by minute. Where every decision you make and every thought you have involves Him. Then and only then are you truly living in the vine. Then and only then will you see God working in your life. When you are one with him, you will be rewarded.