Have you stopped at the edge?
What’s does pharisaical religion look like? Or how do you know you are acting like a Pharisee?
I’m not talking about the kind of satisfied that you feel when you’re full and content. The satisfied I’m talking about is the one where you are okay to settle for a superficial knowledge of God and not a deeper relationship.
Like someone traveling a thousand miles to get to the ocean and then just stands on the sand at the edge. You traveled so far but never immersed yourself in the water in order to experience the water for yourself. Now you know a lot about the ocean. you can talk all day about what it looks, smells and sounds like. But all of that is superficial. There’s so much more once step into it. And that’s just the beginning. The true depths still await. Waters so deep that you could spend your entire life and never take in its fullness.
That sounds crazy, but that’s’ what we do in our spiritual lives. We become Christians, which is just the beginning, and stop there. But that is just the edge of the depths of God. Read how Paul talks about it:
Romans 11:33 (NIV) Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Knowledge about God is not the same as knowing God
The Pharisees knew a lot about God. They had memorized entire books of the Bible but they didn’t know God. Jesus confronted them about this in Matthew 23:27-28 (ESV),
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
How does God see us, as tombs full of dead bones or gardens full of life? Don’t be a religious person who is easily satisfied with knowledge about God. That sounds more like someone obeying to meet the minimum requirements.
Instead, pursue God out of a heart of love, a heart that has been redeemed by Jesus. Don’t stop at the edge there’s a depth of riches awaiting every child of God.