The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Discernment Exercises

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

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

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

Downgrading the Devil: Debunking the Myth of Lucifer

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Among Christians, it is commonly believed that bad ole Satan wasn’t always the shady, malicious character he is today.  Instead, Christians are told that a long time ago, evil Satan used to be a beautiful, brilliant, perfect and powerful angel named Lucifer.  Lucifer had it all.  Lucifer was the chief angel—God’s right hand guy.  But then Lucifer got a big head and all greedy for more power.  So he staged some kind of coup against God, which sparked a massive civil war among the angels.  A third of the angels sided with Lucifer, the rest sided with God.  Team Lucifer lost, and they all got booted out of Heaven, cursed, and turned into the ugly, slinking creatures we know as demons today.  The archangel Michael then took over as the top commander of all the good angels, and today he and Lucifer are constantly going at it.  This is the quick summary of who Christians think Lucifer is.  And guess what?  It’s all a bunch of hooey. Read more of this post

The Real End Times: Why Israel is Irrelevant

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If you read through our material on the end times, it won’t take you long to notice something very strange.

We don’t talk about Israel.

But wait—we are prophesying about the end times, aren’t we?  Yes, we are.  And we are claiming to be getting our information directly from God, aren’t we?  Yes, we are.  Unlike so many false prophets who get together and synchronize their “visions” before they publicly broadcast their messages, we don’t give a flip about what any other yahoo is telling you about the end times.  Such is the freedom of knowing when God is talking to you: you don’t need the big boys to agree with you.  Read more of this post

Isaiah 58-59: Rebellious Jews & Warrior Yahweh

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Ever feel like there is hardly anyone left in your country who really cares about God?  Ever feel like evil is winning the day while God is off in another universe not even noticing how bad things are?  This is how sincere believers in Isaiah’s time felt.  The vast majority of Israelites were entrenched in spiritual rebellion and Israel’s society was a cesspool of immorality.  Crime was out of control.  All of the law enforcers were corrupt.  And while evil doers were partying on, true believers like Isaiah were feeling totally bummed.  Where was Yahweh? Read more of this post

Bossing God to Music: YOU SAID by Hillsong

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Written by Hillsong’s own Reuben Morgan, the worship song You Said teaches you to interpret certain statements from the Bible as promises from God to you.  Is Morgan teaching you correctly or is he just leading you down the usual path of greed-driven misapplication by encouraging you to tell God that He’s obligated to fulfill certain promises to you?  Well, we’re writing a review of this song: there’s your first clue.  We don’t plug people or products.  But we do use bad songs to teach you how to improve the way that you treat your three glorious Creators.  So let’s now get into Morgan’s Bible-based bomb and see what useful lessons we can glean. Read more of this post

2 Chronicles 6-7: Why We Shouldn’t Ask God to Heal Our Land

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“…if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)

Sound familiar?  This little gem could win an award for how often it is quoted in Christian circles.  Whenever the American economy takes a dip, or when our news media starts cranking out pictures of crops withering from a lack of rain, out comes good old 2 Chronicles 7:14, and a bunch of Christians start preaching that chanting these words is a surefire way to get God to give us what we want.  But is it?  Is God really talking to Americans in this passage?  Of course He’s not.  And as long as we’re pretending to care oh so much about seeking God, it would be nice if we actually listened to everything He says in this speech instead of just ripping out the one line that we find personally appealing.  Read more of this post

Why We Need to Grow Past the Wishful Thinking of Psalm 1

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Human beings are spiritual beings. You are your soul, not your body, and yet while you’re in this world, your body seems very important to you. In this world, your body, or earthsuit, feels as critical to your survival as a rocket ship does to an astronaut who is orbiting earth. If something goes wrong with the astronaut’s ship, he’s going to feel very stressed and fearful because he needs that ship to survive in outer space. In the same way, when something goes wrong with your earthsuit, you get very stressed and fearful and you start praying for God to fix whatever the problem is. It is because we humans are so focused on our earthsuits that we end up deciding that what our earthsuits want is what matters most. Our earthsuits are amazing machines with minds of their own, and what your earthsuit wants boils down to two basic principles: feeling good, and being safe. A lot of things make your earthsuit feel good: comfy cushions, nice cars, being popular, being rich. A lot of things make your earthsuit feel safe. So as a human, you want these things very much, and it’s very easy to get so consumed by the thought of having them that you totally lose sight of what really matters.

So what really matters? Pleasing your Makers. Why? Because They control the well-being of your soul, and your soul is the only part of you that’s going to go on to eternity. Now you could say, “Hey, I’m not in eternity yet, so why not live for my earthsuit while I’m here?” This would be a fine plan if it weren’t for the fact that your Creators are going to use your soul choices in this world to determine what They’re going to do with you in eternity. It is because your soul’s response to your Creators now is going to have such a major impact on you later on that putting Them off is such a foolish decision. Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit say that now is when you need to be seriously seeking Them, listening to Them, and fully submitting to Them as the Supreme Authorities that They are. Read more of this post