THE TRUTH HURTS!
"One of the religion scholars spoke up, 'Teacher, do you realise that in saying these things you're insulting us?'
"He said, 'Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You're hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never ever lifting a finger to help them.'" Luke 11:40,41 (The Message).
Why is it so difficult for people to recognise what religion does to them? Religion is one of the most powerful deceiving spirits, together with mammon - the spirit that drives the lust for money - that operates on the earth.
God created man to live in union with Himself. God is free. Nothing drives Him. Nothing enslaves Him. Freedom is His great passion for us, but not the 'freedom' that the devil entices us into, the freedom to do as we please, because that freedom is the worst kind of slavery. It is slavery to our own selfish passions which clash with the selfish passions of others and cause the kind of chaos that governs the world today.
Real freedom is to do life God's way so that we are not driven by the painful emotions that come from the cruel ways we treat ourselves and others. These religious leaders were a case in point. Why did they react to Jesus' accusations? They were guilty and they knew it.
God created us to make choices but He also gave us a conscience which reacts to bad choices. Because we refuse to believe what God says, we keep making the wrong choices, serving ourselves instead of serving God and others. There is nothing that will make our feelings of guilt and shame go away when we have rejected God's way and chosen our own, except God's forgiveness.
These so-called spiritual leaders piled rules on their followers to have power over them. When we are insecure because of our own guilt, we like to control other people because it gives us a feeling of power. 'Control freaks', as we call them, are actually emotionally insecure people.
Emotional pain robs us of our true identity. Because of childhood experiences such as abandonment or rejection, which we turn inward and interpret as the result of our worthlessness, we feel inferior to everyone else and have to make up for it by using our 'power' to push other people around.
In this case it was done in the name of 'religion' which Jesus hated because it enslaved the ordinary people to fear, fear that breaking the rules will bring God's wrath on us. This is a devilish lie to discredit God. He has already punished Jesus for every wrong choice we have ever made. He has taken away our guilt and opened the way for us to be reconciled to Him. He has no desire or need to punish us. He invites us to be His sons and daughters. Paul put it this way, "God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them." 2 Corinthians 5:19a (NIV).
He has done away with the notion that any kind of rule-keeping appeases Him. He knows we can never be perfect on our own. He did it all for us so that we can be free from guilt to live in fellowship with Him.
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