A Religion or a Relationship: Some Suggestions

starry nightAnother description of Christianity is this: Religion is man trying to reach God while Christianity is God reaching for man.

What do you think? Is your Christianity more religion or relationship?

Of course, a relationship with God is like any other relationship–it can have ups and downs. There can be times when you are frustrated and wondering what’s going wrong. But if you are functioning in religion rather than relationship, you will consistently find disappointment, confusion, and a feeling that there must be more.

It has taken a long time for me to realize just how limited my relationship with God was. He was more an employer and judge than a loving Father God. I followed the rules of the church without checking to see if they were God’s rules. However, now the relationship is that of a loving father and a devoted daughter. Boundaries, yes, but not legal maneuvers by a leader to keep the people in line.

Liturgy and tradition have a place; they are a familiar and often comforting routine.

But God is infinitely greater than our tightly-held traditions.

open bible

So, religion or relationship?


Here are some things to look for:



  • Do you simply follow “the rules” without thinking beyond them?
  • Do you do whatever you want Monday through Saturday, and then do the “Sunday thing” by going to church and being “good”?
  • Do you wonder if God is real or just an old man in a picture?
  • Do you figure that if you can’t understand God then He must not be real?
  • Do you rely completely on your intellect?
  • Do you leave church feeling frustrated and empty most of the time?
  • Do you feel bored by the teaching at your church most of the time?
  • Do you wonder what people are talking about when they mention hearing from God or receiving a personal (rhema) word from Him?

cross in hands


  • Do you ask God for His direction? Do you seek God in prayer and scripture reading regularly during the week? (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Do you know deep inside that God is real and that He cares about you personally? (Ephesians 2:4)
  • Do you recognize that if you could understand God, He would be too small to ever be God? (Revelation 4)
  • Do you allow your spirit and mind to receive wisdom from God? (James 1:5)
  • Do you usually leave church feeling fulfilled and at peace? (Psalm 100)
  • Do you usually feel challenged by the teaching at your church?
  • Does your heart leap with excitement or anticipation when you know God has spoken to you personally?

Religion or relationship?

You can investigate the truth.


This is part 2 of a series on relationship with God

Part 1|How’s Your Relationship with God?

Part 2| A Religion or a Relationship?

Part 3|


All illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net