Most people of the world have been dupped. They have bought in to a system and not into a relationship. You see, one of the biggest lies Satan ever propagated was that he didn’t exist. The next one as bold as that was to start myths about a “queen” of earth and her husband/lover/counterpart from heaven who conceived a son who died. This thread can be seen in almost every ancient religion. And for those who don’t have this thread, Satan was able to successfully distract these people from the father/mother/son line completely and convinced them to worship plants, animals, idols, even their ancestors and the dead. While it’s ever so subtle, even the Christian faith has been infiltrated with hints of these items as well. Not theologically, but traditionally through practice and pattern. What we need to recognize is that there is no amount of candles, no length of prayer, no amount of movement and motion. There is no amount of sacrifice, no amount of good works, no amount of constructed religion that will ever get us to God. All of these start with us reaching to a higher power. But the Bible is very clear in Romans 5- “but God shows his love for us in that while we were(are) still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were(are) enemies we were(are) reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now(and forever) received reconciliation.” Romans 5:8-11 ESV You see, we didn’t call on God to send Jesus to save us. He had that planned from the moment He knew we would sin. He set this into motion through the comment “I will put enmity between you(serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”” Genesis 3:15 ESV. You see, God told them at that moment that the seed of the woman, at some point in the future, would defeat Satan and win back the direct communion with God. Adam and Eve didn’t know when, where or who but they believed it. And this is what they passed on to Cain and Abel. Abel brought his sacrifice to God, unrequested, with the faith and knowledge in his heart that he was a sinner and that one day God would send a seed of Eve to save them from their sins. Cain on the other hand brought his sacrifice with a hard heart, just going through the motions. And God rejected his sacrifice. Cain’s reaction is obvious as he kills his brother. It wasn’t the sacrifice, both of them brought it to God. But their hearts and relationship with God is what made the difference. Are you going through the motions in order to reach God, to entertain Him, to make yourself appear more “Holy” in His presence? Please stop. Please see your “righteousness” is as filthy rags. No amount of church attendance, prayer or singing will be enough. Don’t focus on those things. Focus on His holiness, His great grace and mercy, and His immense love for you.
Another great resource on the background for this topic can be found here.