The king…made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!" And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin… —1 Kings 12:28-30
King Jeroboam sought to create an easy religion for the people. His reasoning was, "It is too hard for you to go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord. That takes too much of a sacrifice. So we will make it easy on you. We will put gods right here in your own community."
Easy religions always appeal to the flesh because they don't require a denial of self. Yet what did Jesus give as the first requirement for someone who wanted to follow Him? "Deny yourself." I cannot live after the Spirit and after the flesh. These two things are contrary.
Easy religions will never bring you to the true and living, eternal Creator.
Easy religions might please my flesh, but they do not please God. In seeking my own pleasure, I lose His. If you follow these easy religions, you will find yourself alienated from the true God as you seek to make a god out of yourself.
The path into eternal life begins at the cross; you can't escape it. It is a straight path. It is a narrow path. But it leads to eternal life.
Father, if our passion or the motivating center of our lives is something other than You, help us deny ourselves and bring it to the cross, that we might follow You wholeheartedly. Amen.