I do not believe in my religion either.
One thing that I realized while I am going through the process of knowing God is to stop being religious. I have learned that it doesn't require religion for you to experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ. There is more in going beyond religion. There is more in knowing God and Jesus Christ alone.
Do not get me wrong. I am not an atheist. I just got tired of religious practices that caused me to run far away from the Lord, instead of bringing myself closer to him. This made me think that religion cannot give you the identity and character of God but a relationship with him will do. Call me anything you want like I have a ghost and imaginary friend but you cannot change the fact of how this relationship changes my life, as this world is full of rejection, hatred, and chaos.
Before, I did not know God to the point that I just know him as someone who is sitting on a throne and has eyes that are burning in wrath, ready to punish me because of my sins. I thought he condemns me that he has no love for me. All of these 'thoughts' that God hates me until I met him in the time of my life where I was experiencing complete brokenness and emptiness, and the only choice and last option that I had was Him. He never failed me as I trusted him in my pain.
These past few days, I was thinking of a possibility that if only this entire world, living by clueless people, where I am living, only know Jesus and how he can transform their lives and lead them to fullness and abundance, everything might be a perfect picture of love and peace. Religion divides us when there is only one truth. Religion has taught us to follow its law and do good works without knowing real love, grace, and forgiveness.
Honestly speaking, you can worship God and tell him all the praise but still don’t know him. Perhaps, you have known all the stories in the Holy Bible but still, his identity remains a mystery to you. You can memorize all Biblical verses but still, you haven't learned of his character. You can say to him that you love him and yet you still haven't found his perfect love. You can offer him all the sacrifices you want, all kinds of service and yet your heart towards him remains far away.
My God is not a religion. He is God. He is alive; a healer, miracle worker, promise keeper, and lifesaver. Jesus is everything. He is the living grace of God; the reason why we are still living like every day, he is waiting for us to come home and be his children again and again. You won't believe me right at this time. But in your darkness, I want you to go back in this column and read this all over again. There is God who can love you even at your worst, with no requirements to submit, just come home and know Him.
Knowing God is knowing your life and your purpose. You can know him by his words as a personal relationship with him is the best of all the best. The truth is you never know the love of someone who died to the cross just to know you. He is giving us a chance every day to discover what gospel is all about. To end this, I can only say, "Mabuti na lang ay buhay ang Diyos ko. Wala sa trono, kung 'di nasa puso ko."
(First published on The LANCE's September 2019 Issue)