21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:21 – 23 ESV
Religion is a culture. It is the result of people coming up with their own conclusions about who the Lord is and what He will, or will not, do. This is not the result of the Lord revealing Himself. Religion comes from people thinking about the Lord while leaving Him out of the equation. The result is that they come up with their own conclusions and make them the foundations of their beliefs.
People dominated by religion are blind. They actually don’t know what they are really worshipping. It is another case of professing to be wise while actually being quite foolish. The truth ends up being substituted for something very inferior.
The only cure for religion is revelation. We must come to see the Lord as He truly is. Once we see Him clearly, we must lay aside our falsehoods and embrace the truth. When we embrace the truth we will experience real transformation. Seeing the truth about God will cause us to enter into true worship. Seeing the Lord as He is causes us to move from religion to relationship, and those who live in relationship with the Lord know all about living in the Reign.