The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Spiritual Discernment

You Love God But You Crave Revenge: Why You’re Not a Spiritual Failure

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If someone kicks you in the leg, you will immediately feel two things: anger, and a desire to hurt the person back.  You won’t want to just hurt them back a little—you’ll want to hurt them back to the same degree or more.  This is how functional humans are supposed to feel.  This is actually a sign of good mental health.  Read more of this post

Rethinking Genesis: Is God Really Threatened by Us?

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Joe brings your friend Rachel some flowers.  When Rachel tells you about it, she says, “Guess what?  It turns out that Joe is attracted to me just like I’m attracted to him!  Look, he brought me flowers! Obviously he is hoping to date me.”  This is Rachel’s interpretation of the flower event.  And you assume that her explanation of Joe’s motivations is accurate.

Well, later on that day, you run into Joe at a coffee shop.  You say, “Hey, Joe, I heard about how you gave Rachel flowers.  So you really like her, huh?  When are you planning to ask her out?”  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

God, Terrorism & You

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As solo terrorist attacks dominate the daily news headlines with increasing frequency, it’s a great time to think about what you are supposed to be learning from all of these suicide bombers, random stabbers, and crazed gunmen.  The psychological factors that turn Average Joe Citizen into a screaming assailant really aren’t so mysterious.  People always have logical reasons for what they do, and whether it’s revenge, desperation, or dreams of a better life in eternity, the final results look the same to the public: some random guy violently assaulted a bunch of people without warning and now some people are dead and others are so horribly injured that they wish they were dead.  Terrorism is, well, terrifying.  So how is it affecting you when you pull up the news and read that another attack has occurred?  Have you ever been caught in one of these gruesome events, or have you known someone who was?  Noticing your own level of angst is quite important, because the more upset you are by these events, the more there is for you to learn.  You see, when it comes to your own spiritual development, there’s a principle that’s quite useful to bear in mind: if it upsets you, then it’s partly about you.  Read more of this post

Soul vs. Earthsuit: Two Sources of Fear

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Suppose you’re sitting in a room with a stranger and suddenly that man starts to look very upset about something.  How does this affect you?  You might be having a good day, and you don’t even know this other fellow, and yet you’re going to find his behavior distracting.  You won’t be able to help wondering what is troubling him.  The more upset he behaves, the more concerned you will become, and the harder you will find it to ignore him.  Read more of this post

The Resurrection of Christ: Why It Really Isn’t Critical for Christians

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The fact that someone is quoted by other people doesn’t mean their statement is true or profound.  As a Chinese proverb says: “Paper lets anything be written on it”—meaning that you can write something stupid or something wise and your paper will just sit there and take it.  So will the internet.  But what about your soul?  Is your soul just going to sit there bobbing its head and automatically amening every statement that it comes across about the Christian faith?  You are not a brainless idiot, so don’t act like one.  Instead, make use of the fact that the God of all Wisdom is generously making Himself available to you and ask Him what He thinks of authoritative statements others make about Him.

In our material, we pepper you with authoritative statements, but since you’re not an undiscerning piece of paper, you should not be accepting anything we say as true until you ask God what He thinks about the things we say.  After all, we could be putting out a bunch of useless malarkey.  Sure, we claim that God is the Source of our teaching, but what is that even worth?  A ton of people claim to be passing on pearls from God while they totally contradict each other.  Titles, degrees, and claims of authenticity are utterly worthless.  God is the only Teacher you can trust, so you need to be asking Him directly for wisdom in life.  Read more of this post

Salvation Song Bombs: OH THE POWER by Kari Jobe

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Spiritual discernment is about accurately telling truth from lies.  The better you get at discernment, the harder you are to con, and the stronger your relationship with God will be.  But wait—how does developing good discernment skills help you grow closer to God in your personal life?  Because God is the One who defines what truth is, and He’s never going to share much truth with you until you get serious about honoring Him with your soul attitudes.  God delights in souls who cling to Him like flypaper and embrace a mindset of “I can do nothing without You.”  This isn’t an exaggeration—you literally can’t do anything apart from God, because you are totally dependent on Him for every breath as well as for every kernel of wisdom.  The problem is that most Christians are clinging to the arrogant delusion that they are less than absolutely dependent on God.  Instead, they prefer to think they are actually wiser than God in many areas, thus they are qualified to constantly criticize Him in their prayers. Read more of this post

The Gospel of Judas: Fragments of Foolishness

Here’s what you need to know about the Gospel of Judas. The only known copy of it was discovered in a cave in an Egyptian desert during the 1970s. It was a ratty papyrus document bound in leather. When we say ratty, we mean the thing is literally in more than 1,000 pieces due to corrosion and bad handling. So there are a lot of big holes in the paper, which means a lot of the words are missing, and this makes translating the thing a challenge. Plus it’s written in an outdated Coptic language—a version of the Egyptian language that was in use from the 2nd to 17th centuries. The Coptic alphabet is an adaptation of the Greek alphabet, but now we’re getting into details that aren’t all that important. Read more of this post

The Book of Enoch: Let’s All Obsess Over Angels

There are only two men who are mentioned in the Old Testament records as departing from this world without physically dying or leaving behind a corpse.  The prophet Elijah was whisked up to Heaven by God in some kind of fiery tornado. We know a fair amount about Elijah. Then there was Enoch: the great grandfather of Noah of whom we know very little.

Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him. (Gen. 5:24)

To “walk with God” meant to be faithful to God.  So we know that Enoch chose to respond to God well on a soul level.  We know that he disappeared at 365 years of age.  That sums up Enoch. Read more of this post

Discernment Essentials: How to Benefit from Harshly Worded Messages

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In this post, we’re going to teach you how to digest harshly worded teaching on spiritual matters without getting dragged down by a bunch of false conviction.  False conviction—which Christians often think of as condemnation—is when you think God is expressing negative feelings towards you when He isn’t.  False conviction comes from demons and the folks they target the most with this particular attack strategy are souls who sincerely care about pleasing God.  Because demons want spiritual rebels to stay rebellious, they give them the opposite of condemnation by constantly encouraging them in their ways.  It’s just the souls who really want to please God who get pounded on with false conviction, and if demons see that you’ve got no defenses in this area, they’ll pound you relentlessly.  Whether you consider yourself an actual Christian or not, if you sincerely want to please the Gods who made you, then you’re going to be a prime target for false conviction, and at some point, you’ll need to learn how to defend yourself from it.  Read more of this post