Ritual vs. Relationship

Posted: December 20, 2015 in God's Love Letters to you - The BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)

Why is it that so many godly men in the Old Testament were followed by children that disobeyed the Lord?

The great prophet Samuel had two sons, Joel and Abijah.  “But they were not like their father. They were dishonest and accepted bribes to give unfair decisions.” (1 Sam. 8:3) Unfortunately, there are many other examples. As a mother, it grieves me that children raised in a godly home can turn from God and choose rebellion.

I think the reason lies in them viewing rituals connected to worship without ever realizing that God wants relationship with his people. The Bible describes him as the great potter, molding willing vessels to reflect his glory to a hungry world thirsting for salvation. But what if God’s people are rebellious broken vessels — full of pride, self-serving, lacking self control and belief?

Parents who demonstrate a godly fear of the Lord, that is recognizing His holiness and control of all world events both past and present — rightly and naturally fall into right relationship, where all they can do is marvel at His wondrous deeds and fall on their faces before him in worship. Offspring view their parent’s relationship one-dimensionally, as following a certain set of strict rules and regulations — that is — rituals to salvation while completely missing truth — that God desires our worship as an outward sign that we love him internally. His rules are meant to protect us and cherish us.

We willingly turn and follow him only through a relationship where we are his children, and He is a good father. This produces, in turn, fruits of the Holy Spirit such as love, faith, hope, joy and self-control. This amazing grace sets us free from all chains and lies binding us to worldly ties and is the one true path to joy, since “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  (Nehemiah 8:10). You notice it doesn’t say parties, alcohol, drugs, wealth, self-serving, etc. is the way to joy. Think about it. Ponder. Are you in right relationship or serving dryly out of ritual…or are you not yet under the sheltering wings of the Lord Most High? Seek him today with all your heart while He may still be found.

Children cannot inherit the kingdom of God through their godly parents. Everyone must choose for themselves to come into agreement with the words of Nehemiah 9:6   “You alone are the Lord, Creator of the heavens and all the stars, Creator of the ocean and all its creatures. You are the source of life, praised by the stars that ill the heavens.” Only God is holy. Do you believe that? Keep a good hold on the reality that you are an undeserving sinner, only redeemable through God’s great mercy in sending his son, Jesus.

What if around the world great-grandparents, grand-parents, parents and their children all came into alignment with this statement by the Lord’s people in Nehemiah 9:32: “Our God, you are powerful, fearsome and faithful, always true to your word.” The unity of relationship with Almighty God would shine forth to the ends of the world.

Try listening to “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)” by Hillsong Worship on their No Other Name album.

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