I like routines. I’ve found that when life gets stressful, I revert back to simple routines to help me cope. I’ve also found that routines, like going to church, can simply become a habit more than anything else. You get up on Sunday, say hello to a few people, smile, sing a few songs, listen to the sermon, rate it in comparison to all the sermons I’ve heard, stand to pray, shake hands and walk out. Check off the christian box of weekly duty. Go back to life on Monday. Repeat next Sunday. When going to church becomes routine, our faith becomes powerless. There’s a difference between going to church and being the Church. God didn’t call us to routines, but He routinely calls us to live godly lives in the world, to love others and to show His kindness so that others may know Him.
I think that’s why Jesus consistently got upset with the Pharisees. Their salvation found in the routines of God rather than in the demonstration of His love. They cared more about doing the sacrifices just right than the hurting people all around the Temple. When Jesus flipped the script and made it about the people, they lost their mind. Their routines gave them power and authority over people creating pride. They felt better than everyone else because they were following the letter of the Law rather than the actual Law. God cares more about the hurting and the lost than He does for our church routines. Church is important, but Jesus didn’t die so we could go to church. He died to save the lost and gave us the commission of spreading that Good News to create more disciples.
Proverbs 21:3 says, “It pleases God more when we demonstrate godliness and justice than when we merely offer him a sacrifice” (TPT). God cares more about how we live and represent Him Monday through Saturday than our routine on Sunday. Going to church doesn’t demonstrate godliness necessarily. Living for Him and showing His love throughout our daily lives does. We shouldn’t forsake the assembling of the brethren (Hebrews 10:25), but we also shouldn’t neglect those who need justice and a reminder of God’s love. I believe it’s time we woke up from our routines, started living godly lives and demonstrating godliness every day. It’s tough to do, but we’ve been given His strength, His grace and His Spirit to help us. If being a Christian has become routine, pray to ask God help you to break that cycle and to lead you into the life He wants you to live.