I have heard lots of great definitions of religion. I’ve heard it described as a hamster wheel where people run faster and faster, going nowhere and exhausting themselves in striving to gain something they already possess, or the busy bee trying to find nectar while unknowingly sitting on the prized flower.
I’ve heard it described as trying to accomplish what God has already done. There are many other variations of the same idea related to striving to accomplish, through self-effort, what has already been accomplished through Jesus.
His death, burial, and resurrection were yours, too. He has eternally united Himself with you.
He has established a new and better covenant, a new agreement with men through the blood of Christ. Through this covenant, He has plopped you into the receiver role. He LOVES you! You are now given, as a gift, the things of God, as an endless inheritance.
Simply believing Christ is the Son of God. The Messiah!—is what actualizes the connection. You are eternally and inseparably united with God. You are made one with Him! By faith, you realize that you are already at rest with Him.
That said, think of your connectivity with God as an electric circuit. Picture a room. Next to the door, there is a light switch. On the ceiling, there is a light bulb. Running between the switch and the bulb are wires that connect the two. The wires allow electrical current to flow. This is an electrical circuit.
The light switch is flipped up and down to open and close the circuit, controlling the flow of electricity.
When the switched is flipped up, the circuit is closed, creating a complete connection, allowing electricity to flow uninhibited through the wires, from the energy source to the light bulb, the endpoint of the circuit. The light bulb is illuminated.
When the switch is flipped down, the circuit is opened, the perfect connection is broken. The electricity can no longer flow and the light bulb has no access to the power source. No more connection. The light goes dark.
Thinking of you and God being an electrical circuit:
Closed is good—it means connection. Perfect flow.
Open is not good—it means no connection. Broken flow.
Some will tell you that by your actions and behaviors, there are things that you can do that will change God. If you do enough correctly, He may flip the switch up, close the circuit and complete the connection. He may not, though, or he may flip it down and reopen it if you misbehave. You are left constantly wondering what it will take to close the connection, and keep it closed. You are left to wonder how many hoops you have to jump through in order to get God to move on your behalf.
Some say that, you have to act holy and righteous.
No! No! No! Understand this truth: Jesus closed the circuit once and for all and became the connector (past tense). This means, even when you don’t feel connected, the circuit is still as closed as ever.
He is the holy and righteous one, and you took on His life.
Your connection is set, sealed and unbreakable. It is both eternally factual and fully real in the temporal.
He really is that good, and so are you.