The biggest thing that God has taught me in 20+ years of following Jesus, is the most basic:
It’s not about what I do. It’s about who He is.
The implications of this simple thought, however, are far-reaching and profound. You see, religion, of any flavor, is a human attempt to appease a Deity(ies). It’s biggest question ultimately is “How do I not get in trouble?” This is why getting churched-up doesn’t change your life for the positive.
Getting religious only demonstrates how broken and far from God we are. It accentuates our failures and minimizes our successes. And no one stays in that situation for long… unless they fake it. And those who are not willing to fake it begin to see the hypocrisy of those who are. Eventually they come to the conclusion that religion is full of fakers. Sadly, they are correct.
But God knew our broken status and our inability to affect lasting change. His solution was not “do these things and not those things.” Instead it was “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy burdened… You’ll find rest for your soul.” You see, it’s not about what you do. It’s about who He is. The best thing we can do, is get close to the Person who makes change happen in our lives for His glory and our good.
Try as you may, you can’t chase away the shadows from your life. So stop attempting to clean your act up and just open the blinds and let the Light come pouring in. And interestingly enough, as we get closer to Jesus, and farther from a list of Do’s-and-Do-Not’s, the darkness that once entangled us becomes far less appealing. We do not overcome our faults by trying harder than we’ve ever tried. We overcome by drawing close to the One who overcame for us.