Relationship, not Religion

The Living Room:
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After 8 years of sitting in church, find out what happened when Wayne discovered the difference between religion and relationship.

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Wayne's Story

This is the same sort of argument I had with myself, because I tried to convince myself that this is just a book. How can this stir up so much inside of me?

I grew up in a Christian household, but I wasn't very disciplined at that stage about going to church. I started becoming a little bit more dedicated once I got married. I thought, I'm going to start a family, so it will be a good thing to bring my kids up in church as well.

It was more of a religious thing, just attending church. I didn't seek anything further, or any relationship with God at that stage. I always just stood at the back and watched people in the front with their arms open, being in the presence of God, and I wanted that.

At that point, I heard this word that came to me, and it said, "Read my word." I thought, well, it does make sense. Because during my years of attending church, and being a Christian, I hadn't picked up the Bible to actually read God's word. I used to just take on whatever scripture was put up by the preacher every Sunday and try to make sense of it.

I felt like, even though I attended church, that I had no connection with God at all. I thought, well, I need to start reading the Bible. There's a point in the Bible that shook me, and it's almost like, God wanted to tell me who He was. In John 1:1 where it says, "In the beginning, there was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Jesus was there from the beginning, the beginning of all creation, and Jesus was the Word and the Word became flesh. He walked amongst us and He set the example of how we are to live. Then willingly He gave His life for us, just to pay for all our sins and everything.

For the first time I experienced the fear of God, how big, and how Almighty He is in this kingdom that we're in. Once I had felt that, I just wanted more of God, I needed to intensify that feeling, because the first time I felt it, I just felt fulfilled. I felt like the things that I had previously chased after, a lot of pride, money, acknowledgments, all sorts of worldly things and other stuff, I'm not really interested in anymore. I just want to do God's will, you know. He's created me for a purpose and I want to fulfill that. The only way of doing it is just walking in alignment with His word, seeking Him, speaking to Him and just having that relationship with Him.

For me, I spent many years attending church and I never felt God. So it is possible that you can go to church and not have a relationship.

I want to pass on the goodness that I feel in this fulfillment, I want others to also be able to feel it and you need to want to have that relationship. There was a point where I got desperate and I wanted a relationship because I just knew that it couldn't be about just attending church on Sundays.

There needed to be more and I didn't actually know that there was such a depth of relationship with God. You know, you might attend church, you might not feel connected and you need to seek it.

The Living Room

From everyday parents, to gangsters, business professionals, and drug dealers, The Living Room features a diverse range of people with one thing in common - through the love and power of Jesus they overcame adversity and strife. Hear their stories, share their wonder.

Full series


Release Date:
November 25, 2021
5 mins
True Stories
Wayne Cooper

This content has not been independently classified. Parental guidance recommended. Adult themes.