A Conversation with God
This post originally appeared in the June 2018 SEAPC Magazine.
Religion rivals relationship. Religion revels in ritual. Ritual resounds in repetition. Religion restrains; relationship releases. While nations reject a foreign religion, they run to receive a righteous relationship.
Prayer is the conversation of that righteous relationship. God indeed walks with us and talks with us along life’s narrow way. He calls to those bound in the repetition of ritual to come and realize relationship. Yes, He desires conversation with us. Jesus came to His own and they rejected Him, thinking they were secure in their religion. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the ability to have a conversational relationship with a heavenly Father. Though He is the Creator of the entire universe, God wants to take the time to talk with each of us. His great desire is to fellowship with the beings created in His image.
Religion maintains a distance between God and man. There must be a priest of some sort and sacrifices appropriate to offer to an image. From Srinagar, Kashmir to Siem Riep, Cambodia and all points South of that line the image will be some derivative of the false gods Shiva and Vishnu. Born of the devil and shaped by the hands of men, these idols perch on pedestals and project fear among the populations of one third of the world. Their rituals are seen in the cultures of Asia. From the roaming cattle pushing past a starving people to the trade of the flesh of human children, their resounding chants break the morning peace and fill the night air.
God is love and the essence of every word from God is love. He loved those bound in religious ritual so much that He sent His son to display for them a relationship. The call of Jesus to every culture is to come to the Father. The key word of the Sermon on the Mount is “Father.” The message of Christ to man can be summed up in “If any man has seen me, He has seen the Father.” Jesus calls us from the tumult of our lives wild restless streams. He beckons us to a love relationship with a God who will live within us, speak clearly to us, never hurt us, and who loves us beyond reason.
As we walk among neighbors and nations, proclaiming His love and desire for relationship, we are very well received by those steeped in religion. The Holy Spirit draws them to our message of relationship whether they are shepherd or king, military or pacifist, man or woman, youth or elder they cannot resist that overture of love. Religion they will reject and kill and die for; but love, they will embrace. SEAPC is a prayer ministry.
We — that is the global Christian community knit together by prayer — have come to the realization of a righteous relationship with the only One who can save, heal and deliver those restrained by religious ritual. We do not seek to replace one ritual with another. We revel in the Love of God as chains are broken by that first prayer. The Lord is so wonderful as HE touches the heart of the person saying that first prayer and receiving Jesus.
He will walk with them and talk with them along life’s narrow way, and the joy they will share will be beyond anything they have ever known.