When it comes to 'Religion' there is a lot of talk and rhetoric in order to establish one's theology or Ethos. Here's the thing: Jesus didn't just talk about religion - he demonstrated his theology with Spiritual Power! So did Peter, so did Paul, for that matter so did all the early disciples recorded in the book of Acts. To be frank with you - the world is sick of our words and creeds - what the world is longing for is a true demonstration of God's power that is rooted in Love.
The great Apostle Paul put it like this:
1 Corinthians 4:19-20 (NKJV)
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
Evidently - some were talking up 'BIG' and Paul lets them know that he will be arriving shortly and they would SEE what he was carrying - a gospel (message of good news) that had some 'teeth' to it. Let's face it - Paul was on a mission to bring this good news and he often got a very hostile reception which required a DEMONSTRATION of God's power in order for people to see that Jesus was real. Again Paul writes, 1 Corinthians 2:4 (NKJV) 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Paul reminds us that the true test of a kingdom citizen's authenticity was not the persuasiveness of his words but the spiritual power of his life! Paul had seen many people converted under his ministry, many churches started and truck loads of people healed and delivered from evil spirits. Yes - Paul's version of Christianity is one we desperately need to return to today! Regardless of whether his words were eloquent, they carried spiritual authority and power that came from the God he served.
I guess what it comes down to for us all is this one simple thing: the true test of our spiritual validity is not ONLY the words that come out of our mouths but the spiritual power that comes out of our lives. If a person talks of power of God in his life but gives no evidence of victory, then his words are empty. Paul warned of a version of Christianity that some buy into and it goes like this: 2 Timothy 3:5 (NKJV) 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
As a Pastor that has served many flocks over the past 30 years - this has continually been the cry of my heart - that the church finds authentic power with God and demonstrates this in love to a hungry, watching and waiting world. Don't get 'sucked in' to a form of Christianity that is just going through the motions. Turning up to pay your dues but living a lifeless and powerless brand of Christianity. God wants to fill you with His power today. If you are feeling like you have drifted from the original design of being 'spirit filled' with an 'overflow' that can touch the hardest of hearts then would you pray this prayer with me now: "Dear Father - thankyou for looking out for me and loving me enough not to leave me in my powerless state. I repent for the lack of passion and love for You and I return to my first love today. Set my heart on fire and fill my hands with power that I may go into your world and touch the lost with the power of God. i ask these things in Jesus name - Amen!