She was seventeen, pregnant, and homeless and by some miracle had found her way into a shelter for unwed pregnant teens. It was in that home that she "found religion." She learned that there was a God, that He had sent His Son to die for her. She thought that was lovely, that a man would do such a thing, and so she prayed that salvation prayer and became a Christian. Eventually she left the shelter with an infant in her arms and a wealth of knowledge about what she should and should not do. She tried hard to stay away from sin, but somehow it just found her. She'd sleep with the next guy, drink the next cocktail, all in hopes that she could forget what a failure she was. Religion was now deeply tucked in the back of her mind. It didn't bring her happiness, it didn't heal her wounds, and it sure did not change her mind. No, religion was useless to her and if God couldn't make her happy, she didn't know what would. She seemed hopelessly embedded in her misery and she doubted anyone could pull her out of it.

Until she met Him. Walking by the side of the road one day, desperate and tired after one of her drunken episodes, she heard a man's voice, at least she thought it was a man. It was soft spoken and the words caressed her and encompassed her entire being. It doesn't have to be like this..... She looked around. She thought she'd finally cracked up! Her alcohol abuse had finally caught up with her! Nothing will make you satisfied except for Me.....follow Me.... Whoever He was, wherever He was going, anywhere was better than here. Somehow she knew right then that her life would never be the same.

World-wide a dangerous and viral idea has invaded our doctrines, our churches, and most importantly, our hearts. Some call it legalism, the "try harder" gospel, but there's no doubt that it's a counterfeit of God's original design. See, Satan is in the business of counterfeiting. He has a counterfeit righteousness that involves a system of morality and religion that is leading thousands of "Christians" to death daily.

Paul tells us that "the law" leads to death. The law, consisting of both what is good to do, and what is not... the knowledge of both good and evil leads to our death. How can knowing good lead to death? Simple. Life is not about knowing good, Life comes from being intimately connected the source of all that is good and there is only one way to do that. Encounter Him. Hear Him!

I often find that hearing God sounds much like my own voice, except that what that voice is saying could not have possibly come from myself. It's too intuitive, too discerning, too piercing. If faith comes by hearing, than we must be able to commune with God in a way we can understand. Dos and Dont's cannot change someone's life. Rules and regulations cannot transform someone's life, but hearing a word from God, a being that can call forth things that are not as if they are!? Well, that can change anyone, and that is God's original design. Anything else simply leads us to our death.

Satan has a brilliant battle plan. If he can keep us locked in bad definitions and religious bondage, he doesn't have to try very hard to defeat us. The only way to battle his counterfeit theology is with the truth and the truth is a person, not a creed. The Truth is Jesus Christ, and our part in this is to abide in Him; not in religion, not in rules, but in Him. That's where we'll find freedom. That's where we'll experience Life!


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