The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Principles of Conviction

Comparing Consequences: Why do some people get away with sin?

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Sam and Wendy succumb to the temptation to have sex and it ruins their relationship.  Grieving the loss of the man she had hoped to marry, Wendy doesn’t understand why her friend Amy landed such a good marriage.  After all, Amy and Bill also had sex while dating, so why didn’t Bill lose respect for her and dump her the way Sam did with Wendy?  Why isn’t Amy suffering the same consequences as Wendy when they both made the same mistakes?  Read more of this post

The Contradictory Convictions Con: What To Do When God Can’t Seem To Make Up His Mind

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Suppose Jesus were to suddenly materialize in front of you and say, “Quick!  Sit down on the ground!”  So you do because, after all, it’s Jesus.  But as soon as you get settled onto the ground, Jesus says, “No, no, get up again—hurry!”  So you scramble to your feet, only to have Him then say, “Quick, sit down again—hurry!”  So you do, and at this point, you’re feeling quite confused.  But soon that confusion is paired with exhaustion as Jesus keeps having you hop up and down for no apparent reason.

In this post, we’re going to deal with the issue of contradictory convictions.  Now and then some eager-to-please soul comes to us for help because the God they’re trying so hard to please just isn’t making any sense.  One minute He tells them to do something that seems rather bizarre and usually quite inconvenient.  The next minute, He tells them to do just the opposite, and the end result is usually some kind of loss or embarrassment or misery.  As if one round of this isn’t confusing enough, some souls find themselves getting caught in what feels like an unending cycle of God double talking them.  They usually hang on for a while, dutifully obeying every order He gives, no matter how much of a hassle it is.  But after a while, they get so frustrated that they start to wonder if maybe they’re missing a piece of the puzzle.  And they are, because the truth is that they’re being duped by a rather nasty little game that demons love to play with serious Christians.  In this post, we’ll explain how the game works, how to see through it, and how you can get yourself off of the exhausting treadmill.  Read more of this post

Understanding Conviction: Invitations to Engage

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You’re thinking about getting an abortion and God convicts you not to.  Is He worried that you’re going to snuff out a life prematurely?  No, because He hasn’t placed that power in your hands.  You can’t mess up God’s plans for another soul.  You can’t cheat them out of opportunities that He wanted them to have.  God isn’t convicting you because He’s worried that you’re about to mess up His universe.  He’s convicting you to force you to choose between obedience and rebellion.  He’s after engagement.  He doesn’t need your help. Read more of this post

Help for Stressing Christians: Is God punishing you?

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Believing that God is mad at you when He really isn’t results in all kinds of needless angst and misery. Believing that God is very difficult to  please is what drives many sincere souls to get stuck in endless confession sessions and cycles of self-persecution.  And yet the reality is that every serious Christian spends a lot of time fretting over problems that don’t really exist between them and God.  Why is this?  Because before you can accurately assess God’s current view of you, you must first understand some basic principles about how God relates to you, and those principles are rarely discussed by the Church. Read more of this post

Conviction Q&A

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1. What is conviction from the Holy Spirit?

God says many things to you. If we divided all of the things He says to you into various topic categories, convictions would be one of those categories. Convictions are a form of guidance.  God essentially says, “Let Me guide you onto a path that will be better for your soul.”  Convictions can be corrective or educational. Read more of this post

Identifying False Conviction: Three Easy Tests

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It takes a ton of practice and review to learn how to identify false conviction. False conviction (which is also known as condemnation) is when demons try to imitate God’s Voice in your mind and convince you that He is saying something to you which He really isn’t saying. Once you accept that God is the source of a lie, that lie becomes extremely powerful in your life. Believing false conviction can drain your life of hope, fill you with fear, and it might even drive you into suicidal despair. Your beliefs control the quality of your life. Demons know this, so they put enormous effort into trying to get you to put your faith in lies. If you want to stop being their helpless victim, you need to realize that you have choices and decide that you are going to start fighting back. With a little education, anyone can learn how to identify false conviction. Once you identify the lies, you can practice rejecting them and countering them with God’s positive truths. To help you in the education area, here are three easy ways to identify false conviction. Whenever you start feeling upset by something, run through these three tests in your mind and see if what you’re stressing over is from God or not. Read more of this post

Constrictive Convictions

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In certain seasons of spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit will start convicting us about all kinds of things which seem rather nitpicky.

I don’t want you to keep watching that television show.
I don’t want you laughing at those kinds of jokes.
I don’t like the music you are listening to.
Get rid of that shirt—the message bothers Me.
Don’t get that tattoo. It offends Me.
Don’t hang out at that place with your friends. I don’t like the atmosphere.
Don’t get physical with your girlfriend—not even a light kiss.
Your shorts are too short to wear out in public. Read more of this post

Present Convictions vs. Past Commands

Present Convictions vs. Past Commands

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God’s direct convictions to you must be viewed as superior to any other command you have received from Him in the past or read in the Bible. Convictions always trump commandments. Those who pleased God in the past learned this principle and we find examples of them applying it in the Word. According to the Old Covenant Laws, prostitutes were to be publicly executed. They were certainly not to be slept with or married. This was a clear command which Yahweh had given His people through Moses, and yet later on He told the prophet Hosea to go out and marry a prostitute named Gomer. Because Hosea understood that personal convictions trump written commands, he immediately obeyed God. He didn’t sit there saying, “No, God, I won’t disobey Your commands.” This is what Peter said when God spoke directly to him about eating unclean meat (Acts 10). At first Peter responded the way many of us respond today when the Holy Spirit convicts us to do something that counters a previous command of God. Read more of this post

When God speaks, how do YOU react? (Lessons Learned from Jeremiah 26)

88The culture of the ancient Jews revolved around ideas that we struggle to identify with in some modern cultures today.  For example, the whole concept of God residing in a physical place sounds bizarre to us.  Yet to the ancient Jews, the idea of Yahweh dwelling in their midst was one of their core beliefs in life—it was an essential fact of their existence which greatly affected how they viewed this life and the next one.  When Jews see visions of Heaven in the Bible, God shows them one with a Temple, because He knew it was simply inconceivable for them to picture going to be with God and God not having a physical house.  Today, this is very strange to us Christians.  We didn’t grow up fantasizing about what went on inside those sacred rooms which only consecrated priests could enter.  In an atheistic culture like America, we don’t think of gods as having physical addresses or being bound to certain patches of land or groups of people.  Yet in the world of the Old Testament, this is how people thought.  And from the very beginning of His relationship with them, Yahweh made a huge deal out of the fact that His Presence was abiding with His people.  From the pillar of clouds that drifted ahead of them in the wilderness, to the holy Ark that no one could look at, to the sacred Tabernacle and later the ornate Temple, God drilled it into His people that His Presence was with them in a very physical way.  We have to try and get into the mind of an ancient Jew to fully appreciate how traumatic it would be to have Yahweh ditch His own people.  To just leave them behind—abandoned to the power of ruthless pagan armies and scary pagan gods.  Surely Yahweh would never just up and walk away, would He? Read more of this post

Can God force us to obey?

Can God force us to obey?

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Can God force us to obey Him? He can and He does all the time. We are not independent from God. We depend on Him for every breath. We literally can’t make a move without Him, so when God doesn’t like the move we’re planning on making, He simply prevents us from making it. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

There are two main reasons why we don’t obey God. One is that we can’t, the other is that we won’t. God uses different methods to handle each of these situations. Read more of this post