The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Soul vs. Earthsuit

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

Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities

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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

Understanding Divine Judgment: Illumination, Empowerment & A God Who Delights In Mercy

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Most Christians are in a confused muddle about how God judges them. When we believe that God expects more from us than He does, we end up trapped in an endless cycle of pain, shame, and despair. We conclude that God is impossible to please, and this leads us into all sorts of harmful activities. Do you repent for the same sins over and over again? Do feel the need to injure your body or deprive your life of any joy as a means of atoning for past sins? Do you avoid a lot of subjects in your prayer life or do you avoid praying altogether because you’re afraid of God blasting you with some wrathful response? All of these are common symptoms of believing that God is impossible to please, and that belief stems from not understanding what God expects from you. To get yourself out of this cycle of misery—or to prevent yourself from getting sucked into it in the first place—you need to learn about two concepts that are critical to gaining a proper view of Divine Judgment. Those two topics are spiritual illumination, and Divine empowerment.  Anyone can gain a clear idea of how God judges them if it’s explained to them properly, and as a Christian, it is vital that you understand where the lines of responsibility fall. Read more of this post

Brain-Soul Mechanics: Why God Doesn’t Expect You to Have Pure Thoughts

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It’s not possible for you to only think pure thoughts. If you make this your goal in life, you’ll end up burned out, beat down, and utterly discouraged. You can take that whole “take every thought captive to Christ” routine and chuck it in the wastebasket. Your thoughts are not soldiers who you can capture and confine. They’re more like ocean waves that keep rolling in no matter what you do.

God doesn’t expect you to keep your thought life pure because God is a reasonable and gracious Creator who doesn’t command His creatures to pull off feats which He knows He hasn’t equipped them for. To honor God with your thoughts, you would have to be able to control your thoughts, and that is something which is entirely out of your reach. Read more of this post

Brain-Soul Mechanics: Sorting Out the Voices

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In our post Voices in Your Mind, we explained that many of the thoughts in your mind don’t originate from you. We also explained that the thoughts that do actually come from you are your brain’s attempt to translate portions of what your soul has already said. Because your soul doesn’t use a verbal language to communicate, much of what it says simply can’t be put into words. For this reason, and because your soul is simply too hard to keep up with, your brain only translates a small portion of your soul’s thoughts into verbal words in your mind. Read more of this post

Faith Development: Basic Mechanics

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When we talk about exercising faith, we mean choosing to believe that something is true in the absence of sensual confirmation or in the presence of countering sensual feedback. Why is faith development so challenging? Because in this world, we have to rely on our senses to interpret reality for us and to keep ourselves safe. It is your physical senses that tell you to stay back from fire so you won’t get burned. When your eyes see the edge of a cliff approaching, you know to stop continuing forward. God created this world to be a sensual, physical place. To function in this world, our non-physical souls need physical vehicles that they can move about in. Those vehicles are what we call our bodies or earthsuits. We use the term earthsuit because our bodies function like a spacesuit does for an astronaut–allowing a man to live in an environment that he couldn’t deal with in his natural state. Read more of this post

Understanding Soul-Earthsuit Mechanics: The Origin of Warm Fuzzies

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You’re singing a worship song to God and suddenly you experience a surge of physical energy and emotional joy. You pray to God when you’re afraid and a sudden wave of peace comes over you. You hear God speaking to you through something you hear or read and suddenly you feel an electric tingle run up your spine. We call these things “warm fuzzies.” But what really causes these things and how do you know whether they are from God or not? To answer this question, we must venture into the complex world of soul-earthsuit mechanics. Read more of this post

Pleasing God When You Can’t Control Your Flesh

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“How much do you care about pleasing God? Let’s see you prove it.”

This is what Christians will say to you in the Church. This is what the New Testament writers will tell believers in their letters. But there’s a major problem with this little challenge, and it comes with those last five words:

“Let’s SEE you prove it.”

What can humans see? Can they see your soul longing for God? No. God has blinded other people from seeing the real you because He considers your soul’s response to Him to be none of their business. On this earth, He has you hidden from view inside this physical earthsuit that you drive about in. As a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit riding along in that earthsuit with you and He knows exactly how you feel about Him. But other people don’t, and it bugs them. Other Christians think that you should find their approval of your spirituality desperately important. Other Christians think they are qualified to stand in for the Holy Spirit and assess your spiritual progress for you. So when other Christians see you getting drunk again or waking up in bed with someone else’s spouse, other Christians are going to say that you obviously don’t care about God. When they see you getting that divorce or abusing your kids or beating up your wife in a fit of blind rage, they’re going to start questioning the validity of your salvation. If you listen to other people’s assessment of you, you’re going to end up drowning in shame and self-loathing and brainstorming ways to end your life. You’re going to end up turning away from the only three Beings who stay by your side when your flesh is dragging you through the moral muck: Jesus, Yahweh, and the magnificent Holy Spirit. Read more of this post

Courageous Coward: Pleasing God When You’re Afraid

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Suppose God calls you to serve Him in a way that will involve some very upsetting extras. In your heart, you want to obey and you tell God you will follow Him anywhere because He is your King. But here is where you must remember that you are a spirit being who is traveling about in an earthsuit that has a mind of its own. Your earthsuit doesn’t care about pleasing God—it only cares about protecting and pleasing itself. Your earthsuit is going to adamantly oppose any assignment which puts it at risk of physical injury, emotional stress, or relational conflicts. So while you can be courageously dedicated to God inside, your earthsuit is going to be a sniveling coward and it will try to do anything it can to sabotage the mission. Rocks in your stomach, watery knees, taut nerves, sleepless nights—your earthsuit is going to throw the equivalent of a two-year-old’s tantrum to try and get you to change course. These are very smart bodies that God gave us. They are rather like those computerized machines we see in the movies that lock up the controls when they sense danger and ban the humans from overriding their safety systems. Your earthsuit has no use for pleasing God. Your earthsuit doesn’t care about God. It is an unregenerate, selfish mess that is only going to care about itself until the day that God ejects you from it. Read more of this post

God’s View of Your Body

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Think of someone in this world who you really like. Now suppose you are standing outside somewhere waiting to meet this person for lunch. Much to your surprise, they come driving up in the ugliest car you’ve ever seen: splotchy paint, major dings and dents, ratty looking tape covering over a broken window, a missing headlight, a warped frame. As your friend pulls to a stop and begins to get out, you cry out, “Stop! Stay in that car! I refuse to be seen with anyone who drives such a hideous looking vehicle! Yuck!” Can you imagine yourself talking so crazy? Of course not. Your friend is the one you want to have lunch with, not the car. Your friend is the one you like. The two of you might have a good laugh about how ridiculous the car looks as you head off towards the restaurant together, but you’d never confuse your friend with some broken down vehicle. Neither would God. Read more of this post