How to Turn Religion into Reality

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How to Turn Religion into Reality

Do you ever have those “ah-ha” moments in your life?

Maybe that moment when you realized you could not eat all of the ice cream and Cheetos that you wanted and still stay thin.

It could be that moment when you realized that your kids were going to move out one day.

Maybe, like me… You’ve had moments when you realized you’re not as strong or as fast or as flexible as you used to be.

These are all “ah-ha” moments.

We can have these spiritually as well.

My Recent Stay-Put Situation

In recent days, I found myself closed in tight in a stay-put situation.

Doors would not open. Locks would not give. The path was not clear.

Then, I talk to my good friend Kim and told her about my stay-put situation. In wisdom, she said to me, “I believe God is leading you to wait. Don’t press against this, Melanie!”

I stopped and took a deep breath.

This situation took me from going my way to turning back and going God’s way. God used it all to turn my religion into my reality.

When we have these challenging moments, we learn so much about ourselves and about God.

Truly, we discover if what we say we believe – is really what we do believe.

How to Turn Religion into Reality – A Bible Example

Today, from a wonderful Old Testament story, I want to share with you some truths about God that may give you a pause or an aha moment.

I pray that these truths from Scripture will make all of us ponder a little bit more about how our great God really works.

These truths come from my Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible and from an outline actually shared by Pastor Adrian Rogers years ago. 

And what he shared is so profound that I wanted to pass it along to you today.

How to Turn Religion into Reality

Now, Let’s talk about how we can turn our religion and what we say we believe into what we actually believe.

In first Samuel 4, the armies of God’s people had lost 4,000 men in a heated battle with the Philistines.

They call for the Ark of God, that symbol of God’s presence because they thought the ark would give them victory.

So they got the ark, and then they lost another 30,000 men!

Not only that, but the Philistines captured the Ark of God. It was a disaster!

So what can we learn from this story?

Here are four truths that Pastor Adrian Rogers so eloquently shared that I want to share with you.

FIRST – God cannot be USED!

God’s people thought they could bring God into their fight. 

They presumed they could take advantage of His presence – via the Ark! But they quickly found out that God cannot be used.

They weren’t honoring the Lord.

And, God will never be used for our purposes!

Instead… They were trying to use God.

They looked at their losing battle and ran to get the ark.

But God wasn’t their first thought. 

Instead, He was their last resort.

Pastor Rogers said it this way: 

“God isn’t about to be your copilot. He won’t be your business partner.

He is Lord.

Indeed, He is capital L, Capital O, Capital R, Capital D!”

So the first truth is this… we cannot use the Lord God. 

SECOND – God cannot be CAPTURED!

Not only will God not be used, but God will not be captured.

The Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant, and that was a tremendous mistake. 

People think they can borrow someone else’s religion or someone else’s guide. One church looks at another and wants to “borrow” or “copy” their program or their music or their pastor.

But God cannot be borrowed.

In fact, secondhand religion always causes calamity and trouble.

Like me, you’ve seen people who depended on the faith of their parents or their grandparents.

But our faith must be our faith. We must personally accept the Lord Jesus and follow him.

No one is grandfathered into a relationship with Jesus.

An Interesting Example of this Truth

It was my privilege to go to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, for my undergraduate studies. Baylor was a wonderful place, and I met so many people.

As a freshman girl, I decided to go through the sorority rush. I learn so much through this experience.

One of the things I discovered was something called, “being a legacy.”

If you were related to someone who had been in the sorority, you were automatically asked to join. You were exempted from having to be chosen because of the relative who had been in the sorority before you.

But neither my mom nor my grandmother had been in a sorority. 

When I went through the sorority rush at Baylor University, I was ALL ON MY OWN.

That’s the way it is in our spiritual lives as well.  Our grandparents or our parents and our aunts and uncles can’t have faith for us. 

We must trust Jesus ourselves and have faith for ourselves.

THIRD – Here’s the third truth about God – God cannot be MANAGED!

Although many of us have tried!

Truly, I know I have tried to manage God and his plans for my life. Maybe you have as well.

In second Samuel Chapter 6, David tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant home. But he was headed for trouble. David’s men didn’t carry the ark the way that God commanded them to carry it. 

There were very specific instructions on how the Ark of the Covenant was to be handled.

Instead of doing it God’s way, David’s men pulled it along in a cart, just like the Philistines did.

And that messed it all up!

The Truth is This!

The truth is this, whenever we try to haul the Ark of God using the world’s philosophies, God won’t allow it to happen.

God will not be managed.

God will not be manipulated.

No matter how clever we are, we can’t outsmart, out direct, outfox, or outmaneuver the Lord God.

We have to do it his way, or no way at all.

So God cannot be used, captured, or managed. 

FOURTH – There’s one final truth about God that can turn our religion into reality.

Here’s the fourth thing… God can be enjoyed.

In second Samuel 6:11, we see David seeking God’s presence again. But this time, he brought the Ark home in the right way. 

David made sure he followed God’s directions.

Then he showed us that in order to enjoy the presence of God and turn religion into reality, there’s one thing we have to do.

What is it?

It’s obedience to the will of God.

Jesus said, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he that loves me.” John 14:21

There is no substitute for obedience.  

If you want to know the reality of God, obey him.

Most people think that we need more religion, yet religion never really helped anybody.

Religion is man’s effort to somehow make himself acceptable to God, but biblical salvation is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

It’s time that people stopped enduring religion and began enjoying salvation. Enjoying our salvation always begins with obedience.

It’s time we turn religion into reality!

So what might this look like for you and me this week?

In my life… it may be as simple as what I was sharing at the beginning, where I sensed God saying to me,

“Honey, sit down.

Be still. Keep doing what I’ve given to you to do.

It’s not over yet!

No matter how much you are ready to move on, you need to stay a little longer. 

You are just going to have to trust Me on this one.”

What is your place where you need to obey?

What is that thing God has been putting on your heart?

Is there someone you need to forgive?

Or, is there someone you need to call or send an email to?

Is God calling you to be still like He is with me?

Do you need to mend a relationship with someone?

Does God want you to take better care of your health or what you’re eating and drinking and putting into your body??

Does the Lord want to help you with your money, your job or your budget, or your bills?

Perhaps He is asking you to give something to someone in need.

Is there something He is leading you to do in your church or in your neighborhood or in your friendship?

To Turn Your Religion Into Reality

I have no idea what you’re personally dealing with today. But I can tell you what to do about it… Obey God!!

Do all you know that God has told you to do. 

When you feel that nudge or that caution deep within – pay attention. Or, when something is keeping you up at night and always on your mind. Or, when something is really bothering you…

That’s likely the place where God wants to work and wants you to obey!

That’s likely the Holy Spirit leading you!

When you realize “the thing” God has put His finger on – this is the place in which you need to obey.

Don’t push ahead.

Also, don’t bust in the door.

Don’t demand that God change things.

Don’t try to manipulate the hand of God.

Instead – Do it God’s way and there will be a great joy.

Great Quote about How to Turn Your Religion into Reality

I close with one of my favorite quotes of all time from missionary Amy Carmichael.

She said, “In acceptance, lies peace.”

Often, for most of us as women, we want to micromanage God.

Today, I believe if you and I can accept what’s come from his hand into our lives, we will find peace.

Quit trying to manage God.

Instead, today, let’s try saying, “Yes, Lord! I will do this thing. Because I trust You, I will stay or I will go. And, I will surrender to your will.”

Why not Pray like Jesus, “Not my will but Yours be done!”

Final Thoughts:

If you’d like more on this topic today, why not check out the amazing resources on the LWF website related to obedience?

There are sermons and resources just for you! Here is the link – Obedience Resources.

Also, as I’ve talked today, I realize that some of you may not be enjoying your relationship with Jesus.

I’ve got a wonderful message you can go and listen to. It’s called, Come to Jesus.

You can listen to it HERE.

As we go, can ask I ask 4 quick favors:

First, share a review on the podcast!

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Let your friends, family, and co-workers know where they can find inspiration and encouragement!

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Share an idea or a prayer request. We LOVE to hear from you!

Fourth, join us in ministry!

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We are ordinary women pursuing an extraordinary God who adores us!  

In Him, we can face the future without fear!

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©Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

Further, excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is there joy in your life? Peace? Hope? Favor? Sweetness? To really enjoy your relationship with God and turn your religion into reality, there are some great truths to follow. Discover these truths today with Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God.


  1. Nancy Fiebig

    Hi Melanie…I’m glad I’ve met you and those you have as guests on the YouTube talks. It’s been very encouraging to me.
    Thank you for sharing your time to strengthen women in their walk with the Lord!

    • Women Living Courageously

      Hey Nancy,
      Thank you so much for letting me know that you are enjoying the YouTube videos!
      We love making them!
      Praying that God will bless and encourage you today!
      So glad you are part of this ministry!

  2. Bobby Hancock

    Thank you for a word from His Word . . . All of this was truly good – I pray all will read, study, pray over and apply = especially in these “dark/getting darker days” we are living in – TRUTH!

  3. Dawn Wallis

    Hi, Melanie, this is excellent! God cannot be managed—so good, so true. Yes, peace is found in resting in God and trusting in His promises, not in trying to make my agenda His. I’ve been struggling with a current situation where I am waiting and have been tempted to think, if I pray harder, read my Bible more, etc. What a lie from the enemy! I am called to wait, not work. And definitely not scheme. God has everything in control and in His timing. Thank you for this timely reminder. And thank you also for liking and commenting on my IG posts. I appreciate your ministry. Love and hugs, Dawn

    • Women Living Courageously

      Amen, Dawn!
      We are so glad that you stopped by to visit and leave a comment. We are so blessed that you did!
      And, it’s our joy to be friends on IG!
      Appreciate you and your kind words today~


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