I think there are lot of people that grew up like me hearing false teachings and it has really kept all of us from moving to a closer relationship with God because of the condemnation we’ve felt about ourselves, never measuring up to the standards of religion. This is what religion does to people. It chokes the life out of people. We are always worrying about our salvation and if we have done anything wrong lately that will send us to hell. We follow all the rules, do everything “they” say we should, and still wonder why it isn’t working for us, why we do not feel secure even though we’ve done everything we’re “supposed to”. We feel a sense of pompous contentment with how many Bible studies we’ve attended, how many ministries we are involved in with our church, and how many hours of prayer we’ve put in for the week, and we look at how much better we’re doing than brother so-in-so. We’ve traded truth for a lie, diamonds for worthless rocks. We live a life of condemnation instead of experiencing freedom in Christ Jesus. But I understand why people resort to it…in some twisted way, those absolutes and boundaries of religion help them feel some sense of security, and maybe even superiority & entitlement. But REAL FAITH requires us to abandon those false securities and fully trust in God for everything. But still, we substitute religion for real freedom and passion, real life giving fruit that can only be supplied by our Heavenly Father.
There’s something I want to share with you. I have this vision in my mind that came to me this morning and it was a man standing in an orchard, like an apple orchard, and he took a piece of fruit off one of the trees but it was rotten, withered and full of worms. Not only was the entire tree producing this rotten fruit, but the entire orchard was full of this rotten fruit that was not nurturing and feeding people. No matter how many trees he went to in the orchard, every piece was the same off every tree. But people were continuing to eat from these trees and ingest these rotten apples. Then I saw the man summoned over to a ledge that overlooked a field of berries, like blackberries, luscious, ripe and full of life. And tons of birds like sparrows were diving down and picking these luscious berries and eating them, and they were all good. And the scripture about the birds being taken care of by our Heavenly Father who provides all they need without them having to plant or sow came to my mind and reminded me how much more He will take care of us and feed us what we need if we solely surrender ourselves to Him with our full trust in His provision, putting Him first, not trying to feed ourselves with rotten and worm infested fruit. The rotten orchard of fruit represents the substitutes that religion has given us; rules, conditions, measuring sticks, and false teachings that do not give life, but take life. It represents the many churches and religious followers who have eaten from this fruit of death, hundreds of thousands in this orchard, but no matter how many new trees were planted or sprouted up, they all produced the same rotten, withered and worm infested fruit. We have eaten this fruit not realizing that not only does it NOT require us to fully trust God for nourishment, but it makes us sick and has made us take on God’s job by trying to produce results by our own strength and reasoning. Complete abandonment and trust in Christ Jesus and allowing HIM to supply all our needs is like the field of berries the sparrows were being fed by. It represents fully engaging in faith and walking in the Spirit of Christ, not by the man made substitutes we call religion that require absolutes, judgment, division of the Body of Christ, and gets its water supply from a polluted and poisoned well. Like the scripture says in Matthew 6:25-34, if He can provide for the birds who neither plant nor sow, and clothe the lilies of the field, how much more does He care for us and provide all that we need as long as we seek first HIS Kingdom and His Righteousness. His resource has no end, He provides only the living water we need, and gives life to us, not death. Taste and see that the Lord is Good! (Psalm 34:8)
Matthew 6:25-34 25″Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.