We don’t need rituals to follow Jesus, we just have to believe and confess
If I go back to the time when I had not accepted Christ I would say that my relationship with Him was one way. It was Him doing many things for me and me not realising it. As for religion, well, honestly I did not care for it for all the reasons listed so far. I see now that there is a distinction between the religion of Christianity and being a Christ Follower. I’d rather be known as being a Christ Follower.
My relationship with God is the most important one to me. I love my family, friends… but I pray that those relationships ( as wonderful as they are) will never be first or come before my relationship with My God. I believe everything belongs to God- He gives, He takes away- and that because everything is His, I live knowing that my family / friends are going to die one day ( same as me). It is so important to me that I be what He wants me to be. Prayer. I can’t put enough emphasis on prayer and the power or praying. I have to have that daily communion with My God. I long for it, and that time alone with God is a priority- I can’t start my day, or end my day or be in the middle of the day without prayer. In my view, prayer is essential to my life, just like breathing is.
My personal relationship with Jesus is something that develops my heart. It is guide by a Person, it is deep, it is real. It changes me more into Who He is. The practice of my religion is the outward expression of my heart. It is how people can see my heart. It is a way I can be the hands, feet, and voice of Him to others.