I believe that every person who comes to Christ begins in a relationship with Him. We see our need of salvation and we accept the cleansing, redeeming blood of Calvary as our forgiveness of sin. We are in love with a God who would give up His only Son that we may be saved, but too many times, as we go along, we lose the fervency of the relationship with our Father God and slowly regress into religion. How do we know if we're serving God out of religion or relationship? The main question we should ask ourselves is, "What are my motives, my reasons for following God?"
Religion - Because I'm supposed to. Because I ought to. Because I'm afraid of what might happen if I don't. Because someone will see me do, or not do something that I should, or shouldn't.
Relationship - Because I want to follow Christ. Because I love God. Because I desire to please God. Because my commitment to God is more important to me than anything.
The results of religion are negative while the results of a relationship are fulfilling.
Religion - failure, disappointment, inability to live the requirements, overburdened. Religion, like the law of the Old Testament, cannot be fulfilled.
Relationship - freedom, peace, joy, ability to live in God's grace and receive forgiveness for failures.