There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is death; so the scripture teaches (Proverbs 16:25 & 14:12). That way is the way of religion. It was religion, remember, that crucified the Lord of Glory.
The way of God is to abide in Him, to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty, to abide in the shelter of the Most High. It is a continuing and constant thing; we are always to be walking in the presence of God; to think with His mind, see with His eyes, speak with His mouth and hear with His ears. He is the One who speaks and we are to be those who follow; the best thing for us is that we never get out of His shadow. It is the only safe place!
But the ways of man are different. They take the things of God and turn them to their own use, to do as they wish while searching the scriptures for a text, or more correctly, a pretext, to justify that which, in any event, they want to do and are going to do. Men own religion and make the precious things of God their own. This allows them to avoid the discomfort of abiding in the presence of God continually; the inconvenience of trusting Him in all things. Religion allows you to just take some scriptures and do your own thing, while periodically, you make various religious observances and sacrifices as a substitute for abiding in Him; it is making golden calves all over again. These are the ways of man but the end of it all is death.
One of the great lies that the spirit of anti-Christ has inflicted upon the church is that the Bible is written for everyone in the world, but it is not; it is written exclusively for God’s people. This error has produced a mindset in which God’s people assume that the warnings in scripture are only for the world whereas the blessings in scripture are for the people of God. This is palpable nonsense. The Bible is written for God’s people and for God’s people alone!
The mechanics of turning the ways of God into the ways of man should be understood; firstly, the spirit of the world uses material comforts, fleshly desires, worldly anxiety, the pleasures of this life, or whatever it takes, to turn us away from the ways of God; then the spirit of anti-Christ deceives us by supplying a text to justify our doing whatever it is we want to do and we are going to do; suddenly, what is in our own will becomes the will of God! That is the mystery of lawlessness at work.
To preserve ourselves against religious deception, we should see to it that we stay with God in the secret place more than we stay with men in the public place; only thus can we keep our hearts open to the inflowing Holy Spirit. We must ensure that we cultivate the acquaintance of God more than the friendship of men; only thus can we know the living presence of the Holy One that sets us free from religious bondage and allows us to live in true liberty.