Nothing God does is Ritualistic
N othing God does is ritualistic – a lot of things Satan does are ritualistic and he likes to trap us into thinking that we have to be that way as well. God is systematic but that is completely different than ritualistic. Having a system in place brings peace and harmony. Especially with the knowledge that things can be adjusted as needed – freedom. Rituals give no room for adjustments. Systems are in place so that something will be effective and run well. A ritual is on its own – for its own sake – its own cause. A ritual is the “End-all” for the people stuck in them, whereas, a system is in place to accomplish a bigger picture.
When God set up the system of the law, it was for the purpose of showing the world that we would never meet its standards. When it served its purpose, it was set aside (not thrown away) to make room for the grace that can now be offered because of Jesus. Now we get to walk in the freedom of a relationship with God not based on rituals but on friendship. This friendship allows us to live and move and breathe and make choices using our personalities, and individuality. This is the gift of life that the Bible refers to – eternal life – which starts on earth while we are still alive and continues on forever.
Satan uses thinking that comes natural to us – demanding that we do a list of things to measure up. That God won’t be happy with us unless we go to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, read our Bible every day – etc… – ritualistic thinking.
Satan wants to control your life – God has never tried to control your life. He gives you the freedom to choose to follow Him. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Satan is happy to control your life. And, sometimes it’s easier having someone tell you what to do than to find out what pleases God and do it of your own free will. After all, that takes work! We want to hear from God – when, maybe, God is there thinking, “I’ve told you so many things that I like – just pick something and do it! I want to see your desire to do something just because you love me.”
Satan’s discouraging voice says, “You didn’t pick the right things. God doesn’t want you to do that – He wants you to do something else. He must not be very pleased with you.”
We want the ritual – it’s easier. Loving someone takes a lot more effort on our part, which is why God waits for us to offer it back to Him voluntarily. Satan doesn’t want our love – he is not looking for a relationship. He only wants control – for us to do things his way. God doesn’t care about getting His way – He wants our fellowship. He knows that when we do things in His system using the direction given in the Bible, we will then walk in freedom. With God it is always a choice. This is what makes it the opposite of a trap. Satan’s whole goal is entrapment – control.
In the garden – God gave freedom – freedom of choice, freedom of existence. He did not micromanage the garden. He put the man in charge – told him to name the animals and care for the garden. He did not tell Adam “How” to run the garden or hover over Adam’s work. He came to visit them in the “Cool of the day” – after “Working” hours.
Satan questioned God’s way of doing things from the beginning. He was convinced he had a better way – “I will ascend into heaven…” was his boast in Isaiah. Then he comes to the garden and convinces Eve that God is leading incorrectly – that God is a selfish leader. He presumes to lead her in a different path – where he can tell her what to do. He doesn’t think God is taking very good care of His creation – after all, He needs to tell them what to do and how to do it. So Satan begins telling them what to do – making them question God’s motives and God’s heart. Sound familiar?
When God sent Jesus – not only was this the answer for your eternity, but it actually changed things back to the way they were in the garden (minus perfection of course). It was back to free will with no rituals. we are free to live. We don’t have to think from morning to night about what sin offering we need to make or if we did all of the rituals correctly. Jesus gift on the cross did more than just save our after-life, He redeemed our time on earth as well – breaking the code of tradition and ritual we are free to be.
God’s a creative God – a freethinking God. He loves our creativity. Satan just wants his own way. One is fighting to keep you entrapped – the other gave everything so that you could be free – even if that means you choosing to live apart from Him.