Most of the “religion” found today is purely an illusion, something man has created in order to serve himself. Religion, for some, is a means to get what you want in life. For others, it is a guideline of how to do the “right” things in this world. Some use it as a standard of judgment and legislation that can control the good and bad of this world beyond the powers of our political and judicial systems. Religion to many people has nothing to do with God and has everything to do with themselves. It is a means to retaining control of their own lives, and being served and rewarded in the process. Only when looking at the words of the Lord will one begin to notice the horrifying hypocrisies and delusions that religion in our world has often demonstrated and promoted. To many believers in religion, God is no more real than Santa Claus or the legends of Genies in Lamps. He is an image of hope or an encouraging figure of goodness and power that we all wish were true but, due to his radical claims, can’t possibly be.
Although religious people spend hours worshiping this God, they remain unchanged as a result of a complete lack of faith. If God is God, he has to be understood and approached as God. If God is God, we are nothing compared to him. If God is God, we cannot escape him. He is everywhere and knows everything. If God is God, without him we have nothing and deserve nothing. If God is God, he knows what is best for us better than we ever could ourselves. If God is God, his words are stone and will last beyond our final breaths in this world. If God is God, he deserves all that we have without any compromise or bargaining. The truth is, many people have never genuinely approached God in these ways. For many, God has less value to them than their boss, their family, their president, their celebrities of pop-culture, and ultimately themselves. In many ways, God comes last. God is the scramble for a few loose coins in the pockets of those caught off guard by the incoming offering basket on Sunday at church. He is an afterthought. An inconvenience. A burden. In ignorance of the Word, one can maintain this position of complacency and disrespect. But in the presence of his Word, this position is unacceptable and inexcusable. God cannot be God while allowing us to reduce him to an insignificant figure standing in our over-powering shadows. If he is God, we are always and ever in his shadow, and cannot see the realities of this world in any other way.