We should understand that, fundamentally, our faith is not about what we do (as important as that is), nor is it about what we think (as important as that is). Our faith is fundamentally strengthened by understanding who we are through the indwelling Christ. We are who we are because of our union with Him. Nothing else can be the integration point (the place where the promises of Scripture and our identity intersect) of true spirituality. If we make what we do (right actions) the integration point of our faith, then we become fundamentalist and Pharisaical, with the judgement of others’ misbehaviors the preoccupation of our religion. If we make what we think (right doctrine) the integration point of our faith, then we become rationalistic debaters with judgement of other’ faulty doctrine the preoccupation of our religion.
There is a grave danger in ritual familiarity with holy matters, even if you are not a professional. It is all too easy to go spiritually brain-dead when the prelude begins, to “say” prayers rather than pray them, to use the cadence of a confession as a rhythmic anesthetic, to mindlessly mouth the words of great hymns and gospel songs, to nod off during the sermon, to glibly mouth evangelical creeds – and then imagine that we’re really spiritual.