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Rituals Of Faith

Originally Published 5/24/12 on Blogger


Everyday we live our lives based on traditions. Most people have traditions on holidays, birthdays, and even at church. Cleary, having a standard way of doing or being is very important to the fabric of society and to our daily lives. Traditions provide structure, security, and value to anyone of us, whereby we pass down many of our traditions to our children and to our sphere of influence. We often have traditional ways cooking, handling problems, raising kids, and the like.


We also have traditions in our churches and in how we approach our relationship with the Father. All too often our traditions are impediments to us walking maturely as believers. For some believers tradition tells us that it’s not appropriate to speak in tongues, others believe that women can’t be ministers, some believe that dancing is not appropriate for church, and others believe that it is not right to talk about God blessing us with material abundance. There is a litany of things that we do today in the church that have more to do with tradition than with what God says in His Word.


We see evidence of this in the story of the man who was healed by Jesus at the pool of Bethesda. When Jesus bid the man to get up and walked the man was instantly healed, but tradition said that the man was not allowed to walk on the Sabbath. The Jews in that situation were focused on what their tradition said so much they missed the importance of the miracle, the authority released by the words of the Son, the power that God had released to His son, who freely gave it to those who believed in Him. They were so blind that they sought to kill Jesus based upon how he upset the apple cart of tradition.


How many of have fallen prey to the tentacles of our traditions? When you let traditions bind you from the truth and power of the Word then you limit God’s ability to operate in your life. God wants to operate fully in each of us but we often fall back on our traditions, or what we are used to. We must be prepared to be stretched by His Word, but this can’t happen if we cling on to traditions as did the Pharisees did with Jesus. Laying hold of traditions can eliminate the Word’s ability to operate through us via the Holy Spirit, which leads to us falling short of our individual and collective callings.


We need to live by the truth and power of the Word; we must live by faith as it says in Galatians 3:7. Rituals or traditions make people feel comfortable and allow us to think that there is only one way for God to operate, only one way to complete our purpose, one way for God to engage his people. This is a false idea, one contrary to the Word, but conformed to our limited human logic.

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Living a life marked by rituals or traditions can be problematic in other ways. Many of us, including myself, often take communion as a ritual in which we eat the bread and drink the while as rote or habit. Inevitably we miss out on the fact that when we bring our sins and shortcomings to God at the communion table God no longer sees or remembers them. In this moment we have to be reminded to approach communion from a living, dynamic standpoint that is authentic and alive, not one that is dead and devoid of His power.


Traditions are fine if they align with the Word of Truth. They can be lived and continued if they are, but if our traditions do not align with the Word, allow for the move of the Holy Spirit, or empower us in who and what God has called us to, then they are for naught and have no value. Live a life based on the Word, and do things which are of Him and not of human likes or desires. Doing so leads to a God life, whereas not doing so leads to a life without direction and lacking godly substance. What will you choose?


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