The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: His Priorities for Us

Interpreting God: Recognizing Errors in Your Method

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Joe is a man who carries around a bag that is well-stocked with medical supplies.  Inside of his bag are all sorts of surgical tools, syringes, and drugs.  With the components in his bag, Joe could really help a lot of people.  But he could also use the same components to do horrible things to people.  Joe is well equipped to do great good, or great harm.  If Joe should set his bag down in your presence, open it up, and start selecting certain components, what would his intentions be?  Would he be planning to help you or hurt you?  Just looking at the specific items Joe pulls out of his bag won’t give you the answer to that question, because the same items can be used to accomplish drastically different goals.  Read more of this post

It’s Personal: Understanding the Divine Perspective of Trials

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In life, we experience many kinds of trials, but they don’t all feel like they belong in the same category. There are some trials that seem to just happen to us out of the blue. That flat tire on the road. Our kids falling ill. Then there are the trials that other people stick us with. The jerk who steals your purse, and then starts racking up bills in your name. The boss who is always giving you a hard time at the office. And finally, there are the trials that we seem to bring onto ourselves. You cheat on your man, and he divorces you. You steal from the company and you get caught. These are the three main categories that humans tend to divide their trials into. But how does God see it? Read more of this post

Choosing the Right Priorities: How does God want us to treat our brothers?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

“How should I treat my brother?” The common Christian answer to this classic question is “Treat others the way you’d want to be treated.” Or we might say, “God commands us to love one another.” And while these are useful guidelines to have in mind, in real life, we often need more specific instruction. What exactly does loving your brother look like? What if you currently hate him because of something he did to you? While Christians often talk as if love and forgiveness are qualities that we can just pluck off a shelf whenever we feel like it, in real life, we often find ourselves at a total loss when it comes to the resources we need to treat others as we’d want to be treated. So then what? Read more of this post

Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If God was really pleased with you, you’d be happy, healthy, and financially well off. This is a very common belief among both Christians and non-Christians. It’s an absolute lie, yet it’s also an extremely popular idea and one which is aggressively promoted by many very successful Christian leaders. Whenever we find a lie being promoted by folks who know better, it is because they have found a way to profit by doing so.

Prosperity theology—a system of beliefs which is built on the assumption that God wants us to have happy, carefree lives on earth—is a huge moneymaker. It’s rather like teaching Christians that God commands them to tithe: the folks who teach the lie make bank while the people who sincerely believe in the lie end up in a world of hurt. Unfortunately, many of our leaders in the Church today couldn’t care less about how many souls they trash on the way to lining their own pockets. As an individual Christian, you’re just one more chump who they might be able to make some money off of. If you prove to be reasonably easy to manipulate, they’ll spend effort messing with you. If you aren’t, they’ll kick you aside and find someone else. Welcome to the world of false shepherds in the Church: it’s a merciless scene in which there is no real concern for human souls. This is why it’s so important that you not put your trust in human beings to guide you in life. God Himself must be your Guide, because He is the only One you can really trust. But before you are going to develop strong trust in God, you need to grasp that He is for you in life, and before you can understand what that means, you need to learn a few things about how God operates. Read more of this post

Better than Heaven: Pursuing What Really Matters

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Look around at this world you live in. Read the news. Watch people interacting with each other. Ponder historical accounts and realize that everything you see, hear about, and read about is God’s choice. We are living in a reality which God created—a reality which He is currently controlling and outworking to go exactly as He wants. Both the good and the bad—they are all being selected by Him. Consider everything you love and everything you hate and realize that none of it would exist if it weren’t for God. From adorable kittens chasing their own tails to lions ripping the flesh off of creatures who are still writhing in pain—it’s all God’s choice.

God’s choice is a vastly different concept than human choice. We humans are created beings who can only ever choose between a very limited set of options. Those options are placed before us by our uncreated Creator—a Being who has infinite possibilities at His disposal. The more you understand about who God is, the more you realize how impossible it is to argue that anything goes on in this world apart from His will. Can a pen write on its own? No, it can only write when you pick it up and begin running its tip over some writing surface. In the same way, God’s creatures can scheme and dream about all the things they’d like to do, but none of their plans will come to fruition without God’s approval and help. Read more of this post

How God Wants Us to Relate to Four Kinds of Beings

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

As humans, God has introduced us to four types of living beings:

  1. Human beings.
  2. Non-human creatures of earth—such as animals, plants, and microorganisms.
  3. Supernatural creatures, such as angels and demons.
  4. God.

Are there more than just these four groups? Of course there are. God has countless creations going on at the same time, and His view of reality is vastly different than ours. But as limited creatures who are being intentionally kept ignorant about most of what God is up to, we only need to concern ourselves with the four groups He has told us about. Should He ever present us with a fifth group, He’ll tell us how to relate to that group in a way that honors Him. Meanwhile, He has already given us instructions on how we are to relate to the four groups of beings which we already know about and those instructions are as follows: Read more of this post

The Mechanics of Spiritual Growth: Four Essential Attitudes

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

God loves you and He wants a close relationship with you. Your life is not a series of random events, but a carefully directed sequence of experiences which are all designed by God with the specific goal of strengthening your personal bond with Him. Once you understand this, you learn to start viewing your life as the very personal interaction between you and God that it is. You aren’t going through motions on earth while He’s off in Heaven barely noticing you. God is with you in life, and He is intimately involved in every aspect of your existence. You are never alone. You are never acting independently of Him. He is ALWAYS involved. Imagine what it would be like to have a human friend going with you absolutely everywhere. No matter what you were doing—eating, working, sleeping, showering, driving, thinking—this person was never more than six inches away from you. If you really had someone sticking this close to you in life, you’d naturally talk to them a lot. It would feel weird to ignore them because they were always in your face. Well, this is how it is with you and God: He is ALWAYS with you. In the bathroom, at the office, in the park, in the car, in bed—He is there. He is always focused on you, always listening to you, and constantly interacting with your soul. The only reason you forget about Him is because you can’t detect His Presence in a sensual way. But this doesn’t change the reality that He is always right there. Read more of this post

Boundaries in Marriage: Inappropriate Submission

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As a Christian, it is vital that you keep a firm distinction in your mind between created and uncreated things. Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are uncreated. Everything else is created. You need to treat these two groups very differently. If you try to treat them the same, you will end up in a major mess.

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Why God Isn’t Fixing You (The Jungle Metaphor)

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Two Christians are standing in front of a dense tropical jungle. Neither of them has any experience with outdoor survival. Suddenly the Holy Spirit appears in front of them. He says, “Heaven is on the other side of this jungle. You have two choices. I can either take you there right now, or I can take you through this jungle first. If you decide to come through the jungle with Me, it will not be an easy journey, but I promise I will get you through it.” Read more of this post