I can make a religion out of spending all my time inspecting the invitation to participate in relationship with God. Religion or witchcraft also looks like trying to reduce relationship with God down to a religious performance. This was never about Him using me and He will never settle for me simply playing a part even in my ignorant attempts to manipulate Him.
There is no formula. Relationship is total freedom and total respect, but never excusing, enabling, or condoning. It doesn’t depend on me, yet everything I do matters. I can insist on going down a path that leads me to the end of myself if I don’t trust and see yet that I am completely safe, secure, and deeply, dearly loved. God wants me close, but will endure the pain of my wrath when saying no to me is better for my ultimate health and healing. This was never about punishment. He has always been passionately furious for me and His redeeming wrath will not settle for anything less than what is absolutely best for me.
People are watching us even if they aren’t ready to listen. It’s ok to be silent and not force connection. It is intelligent, wise, and safe to wait until people have laid their weapons down. We do not have a legalistic obligation to be in relationship withanyone, but we can experience more freedom as we participate with God in pursuing the process of forgiveness and forsaking taking punishment into our own hands. We are not responsible for the growth and change that others will find in their own conversation and relationship with God.