The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Serving God

Respecting the Difference Between God & His Prophets

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Because the Church today has made a complete mockery out of the prophetic calling, few Christians understand how it really works.  You see, there’s an enormous difference between calling yourself a prophet and having God call you one.  Suppose you decide to take a tour through Europe just because you want to.  Since the whole trip is your idea, where you decide to go and what you decide to do will entirely depend on what you feel like doing.  You’ll be your own tour guide, and when problems arise, you’ll resolve them however seems best to you.  This is what it’s like for the vast majority of the folks who are claiming to be speaking for and serving the Christian God today.  They’re just saying and doing whatever they want, and then they slap His Name on it. When problems arise in their self-made ministries, they resolve them however seems best to them.  They don’t really care about what He wants, but they do expect Him to bless anything they do in His Name, even though He never approved of it. Read more of this post

Why We Shouldn’t Be Trying To Draw People Closer to God

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How do we draw other people closer to God?  We don’t.  He does.  This is one of those simple truths that has a profound impact on how we will attempt to relate to both God and humans.

Now at first, it’s easy to shrug and say, “Well, of course God is the One actually drawing people closer to Him—that’s obvious.”  Christians are quick to agree with statements that sound God honoring, but they rarely stop to really absorb those statements into their theologies.  Take the idea of putting God first in life.  We all know that He’s supposed to be our First Love—the One who we’re living to please.  “Put God first” is a common Sunday School mantra, but saying the words and understanding what they mean are two very different things. Read more of this post

How to Avoid Witnessing Burnout: It’s Not Your Job to Save the World

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Why do people end up in Hell? According to God, Hell is a just punishment for humans who willfully refuse to submit to Him as the Supreme Authority that He is.  Given the fact that you can’t even exist without God constantly sustaining you, it’s hardly unreasonable for Him to demand that you embrace your place as the powerless fleck who depends on Him for all things.   When God demands that you acknowledge His supremacy over you, it’s rather like you being told to agree with the fact that you need oxygen to survive.  He’s really just demanding that you accept a reality that you can’t change.  God outranks you: this is a fact that you have no control over.  God controls your quality of life, therefore it’s more than a little stupid for you to scoff at His Authority.

Now when you’re born,  your body needs oxygen to survive, but you don’t understand this fact until someone teaches it to you, and that doesn’t happen until years into your life.  The fact that you don’t understand something doesn’t make that something cease to be true, but it does change how accountable you are.  Before God introduces Himself to you and explains about the vast difference in rank between the two of you, He doesn’t expect you to know who He is.  Before God teaches you that He wants you to submit to Him, He doesn’t blame you for not doing so.  The possibility of you being eternally damned only comes up after God has personally given you all of the information you need to meet His salvation requirements.  No one ends up in Hell by accident.  We only get there by willfully defying God and intentionally spurning His Authority.

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Witnessing Realities: Why Your Testimony Is Irrelevant

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Here’s a common stream of logic that is used by Christian leaders when they are discussing the subject of evangelism.

  • There are many people in the world who have never submitted to God, either out of ignorance or because they’re choosing to embrace an attitude of spiritual rebellion.
  • As an individual Christian, it’s your spiritual duty to try and persuade unbelievers to convert to your religion so that God’s Kingdom will grow. Witnessing—the verbal sharing of your faith with others—is a critical way that you do this.
  • There are many ways to approach witnessing. One of the most effective ways is to share your personal testimony.  In other words, you should tell others about why you became a Christian, and what God has done for you.  Since well-stated testimonies are the most convincing, take some time to work out what your testimony is.  Practice saying it until you’ve got a nice, polished story.  Then get out there and start pitching God to unbelievers and see how many new converts you can herd into His Kingdom.

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Serving God vs. Serving People: Understanding the Difference

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You’re a Christian who claims to be serving God.  But is that what you’re actually doing?  Or is it just what you think you’re doing?  Do you understand what it means to serve God?  Most Christians don’t.  We certainly aren’t taught how to serve God in church.  At church we’re only taught how to serve people—people who tell us that we should trust them to interpret God’s will for us.  But should we?  Read more of this post

When God Sets You Up to Look Stupid: Help for Humiliated Christians

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We all start off serving God on a “give to get” basis.  When we obey Him at great costs to ourselves, we naturally expect Him to reward us within the same context.  If obeying Him causes us to look really stupid in the eyes of others, then we would really appreciate God rewarding us in that same context–by doing something that shuts everyone’s faces and proves that we were right.  Noah looked like a lunatic when he was building the ark–but then the flood did actually happen, thus he got his “Ha, I told you so,” moment.  When Daniel was chucked into the lion’s den, he got his “told you so” moment the next morning when he was still alive.  When Shadrach and his friends were thrown into the fiery furnace, they got the satisfaction of God publicly exalting them by keeping them alive.  Plenty of us would be willing to put it all on the line for God if we knew our earthly humiliation would end in earthly glory.

But what if it doesn’t? Read more of this post

Christians vs. Muslims: The Futility of Debating Beliefs

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Locking horns with a dedicated Muslim is an epic waste of time.  People who really want to find God will seek Him in the privacy of their own souls and He will reveal Himself to them.  You don’t find God through logical debate.  Faith is a soul thing.  Debating spiritual issues is a waste of time, because while people are busy arguing semantics with you, they’re not talking to God, and He is the only Source of truth.  No one should be changing religions because of some persuasive argument that another human made.  No one should be deciding who the real God is by imitating someone else’s convictions.  We personally know who the real Gods are, because we’ve done our own spiritual homework.  But we can’t do anyone else’s work for them, and neither can you. Read more of this post

Serving a God Who Lies

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God has a long history of lying to human beings.  This is one of those uncomfortable truths that none of us want to deal with, so we try to ignore it as long as possible.  But when God calls you to function as one of His prophets, you end up forced to deal with the lying business, because you’re the one He’s very likely to do some of His lying through.  Who wants to look like an idiot by prophesying something that doesn’t happen?  No one.  But prophets aren’t the only ones who get affected by God’s deceptiveness.  If you pursue God long enough, it’s only a matter of time until He lies to you about something you really care about.  Then what?  You’ll feel all bitter and disillusioned, of course.  There’s nothing fun about the first time God hits you with some bit of crushing disillusionment.  It’s rather like a first heartbreak—it’s really miserable and it permanently changes you.  Of course it’s a lot easier to get sympathy for a broken heart than it is for God lying to you.  Among Christians, it’s taboo to use the phrase “God lies,” and souls who are caught in this stage with Him often end up shunned, harshly criticized, and blamed for all sorts of things.  This is one of the reasons we discuss the topic of God lying in such depth on our site: because when you’re dealing with it for the first time, it’s a very lonely road.  Read more of this post

Your Second Chance At Life: How To Use It Well

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God could end your life at any time.  This is true for all of us, but for the most part, we don’t really give much thought to God’s absolute control over life and death.  But when God arranges for us to have some close brush with death, suddenly our perspective changes.  Maybe He healed you from some fatal disease.  Maybe He saved you from dying in some horrible collision.  Maybe He botched your attempt to commit suicide.  Maybe you were impaled by a bullet or a knife that barely missed puncturing some critical organ.  Maybe you almost died on an operating table.  Maybe you’ve lived past the expiration date that medical experts put on you.  Maybe you survived someone’s attempt to have you killed in the womb.  Maybe you were saved from execution at the last second.  Whatever the circumstances, when God does this sort of thing, He’s forcing you to see how easily He could have taken your life.  He’s also making His decision to prolong your life on this planet feel like the very personal, purposeful decision that it is.  The big question now becomes: why?  Why is God keeping you here?  Why didn’t He have you die when it seemed you should have?  Why is He making an exception in your case?  If you’re currently pondering these questions, then you’re definitely on the right track, and helping you stay on the right track is the purpose of this post.  Read more of this post

Toxic Success: How Thriving Ministries Can Drive Us Away From God

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Mark and Emma are a husband-wife missionary team who have been engrossed in a thriving evangelistic ministry for the last ten years.  Their work is so consuming, so exciting, and so rewarding that it has become their entire life.  When they are out in the field, it’s all about helping other souls grow closer to God.  When they are alone together, the ministry is all they talk about.  The work is so intense, the feedback so encouraging, and the subject matter so important, that they feel totally satisfied. They plan to keep going like this for the rest of their lives.  Why not?  They’re doing God’s work.

But then, after a decade of work, the unthinkable happens.  Mark and Emma suddenly have their funding cut off and then they get forced to leave their mission field and return to their home country on another continent.  As they settle into their new home, they also settle into a deep depression.  They simply don’t know what to do with themselves now that they have no ministry to focus on.  Even worse, they realize that they’ve totally lost touch with each other.  Before they got engrossed in the ministry, they were very close.  But somehow in the last ten years, they’ve gone from feeling like best friends to feeling like polite housemates.  The intimacy feels lost, and they no longer enjoy each other’s company the way they used to.  As long as they had other souls coming to them for help all day every day, sacrificing their personal time together felt like the noble thing to do.  But now all of those souls are an ocean away, the rush has ended, and they suddenly realize that they’ve lost something truly precious.  Read more of this post