We know a dance would be more fun, but we believe we must go through hell to get to heaven, so we keep marching. —Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom

Christ gets overshadowed by Christianity all the time. Christ is a person. Christianity is a religion. Big difference.

Sometimes we get so immersed in the religion that life becomes dominated by man-made do's and don'ts. Seriously, think about all the traditions and routines we’ve created that have nothing to do with Christ. All the standards about when you're supposed to sit and stand, and what you're supposed to look like, and what movies you can go to, and what you can drink, and how much you are supposed to give, and what words you can say, which rock bands are okay, and blah blah blah. And as long as you stay in line, everybody is happy.

It probably looks really "Christian" on the outside, but what religion really does is teach you to march. Worse yet, we begin to see Jesus as the master drill sergeant.

If I’m marching and I mess up, I’m like, “Oh no!” What’s the drill sergeant gonna say? “BRISCOE! What are you doing? How many times have we gone over this? Give me twenty. Now, get back in line and do it right this time!”

Jesus, on the other hand, is like the dance instructor that Libby and I had at Billy Bob's. He's not into religion and rules, he's into relationship. He knows that if we keep our eyes on Him and follow His lead, we will be free to move to the music – His Spirit – within the boundaries of His Word. But if we are focused on the routines, traditions and rules, we spend our life marching, trying to get it right, trying to get better and trying to improve, trying to stop messing up, and trying to stop sinning… and we miss the dance with Him.

In fact, if you look through all the accounts of Jesus in the Bible, you’ll see that the only people Jesus ever yelled at were the drill instructors who were leading the forced march of religion. The only ones. Think about that.

So let me ask the question: Do you see Jesus as a dance instructor or a drill sergeant?

Who would you rather spend the rest of eternity with?

Jesus, today, I want to follow You for who You truly are, not who religion has made You to be. Tell me the truth about who You are in Your Word. Give me the ears to hear that truth so I can stop marching and start dancing with You! Amen.