The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Dependency

Understanding 1 Kings 13: Why Yahweh Fed His Prophet to a Lion

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If you record the phrase, “Always check with God before you accept a message as being from Him,” and then play that recording out loud on a continual loop, you’ll get a good sense of what we teach you in our material.  God is the Supreme Authority.  God is the One you’re supposed to be serving, obeying, and following, not humans. Humans lie—both intentionally and unintentionally. Humans don’t begin to have a complete grasp of truth.  Humans are very limited, foolish creatures who possess no spiritual wisdom of their own.  This means that when a human says to you “I have a message from God for you,” your immediate response should be to say to God in the privacy of your own soul, “Hey, God, this person is claiming to have a message from You.  Are they legit or not?”  You always need to ask God.  Always, always, always.  It doesn’t matter if the person talking has given you 1,000 messages before that were all legitimate.  For all you know, their next message could be pure hooey.  Humans will never be reliable sources of truth, which is why giving them your blind trust is guaranteed to lead you spiritually astray.  So no matter who is talking, no matter what titles they’re using, what degrees they’re waving, or how nice their website looks, you must check with God.  Read more of this post

Recognizing Your Spiritual Dependency On Humans

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Jason’s father is the pastor of a mega church and a very dominant personality who has most of the Bible memorized.  When Pastor Jack declares that God disapproves of something or someone, Jason feels like God Himself has spoken.  The problem is that Jack is a hard man to please—impossible, in fact. Jason has spent his whole life trying to earn his father’s approval, only to have Jack constantly find fault with him.  Today Jason is convinced that he’ll never succeed at pleasing God unless he manages to please his demanding father, because he’s convinced that the two beings think alike. Read more of this post

The Spiritual Cost of Pursuing Fame

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

English speakers have an old saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  To appreciate what this means, you must first imagine that you’re someone who really loves cake. You love cake so much that it thrills you to see a nice big slice of cake sitting on your plate.  But as much as you always want cake to be available to you, you also love eating it because it is so very delicious.  The problem with eating your cake is that after you eat it all up, you don’t have anymore.  Your slice is gone.  It is physically impossible for you to still have cake sitting on your plate once you’ve eaten it.  Here’s where we get to our old saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  It means there are times in life when you will be forced to choose between two things that you really want because having both of them just won’t be an option. Read more of this post

Why Serious Christians Shouldn’t Pray the Lord’s Prayer

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13)

The Lord’s Prayer is one of the most well-known passages of Scripture.  It’s also one of the most misapplied.  First, we ignore context.  The Lord’s Prayer was part of the Sermon on the Mount—a long speech by Jesus which was intended to strike terror into the hearts of Jews who were blowing off the importance of reverentially submitting to God.  Second, we get hung up on the fact that Jesus is the One doing the talking.  Even though Jesus is God, we aren’t open to Him having a variety of agendas when He speaks.  We try to make everything Jesus says a direct message for sincere Christians, when in reality most of Jesus’ recorded words were directed at rebellious adherents to Judaism.  Ignoring Jesus’ original audience is guaranteed to lead us astray with our applications of what He said.  But the third mistake we make is not asking Jesus Himself to help us properly apply His words in our lives today.  It’s not like Jesus has ceased to exist and the biblical records are all we have to remember Him by.  No, Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all actively involved in our lives today and They encourage us to come to Them directly with our questions.  When we skip the step of asking Them, then we just end up eavesdropping on what Jesus said to a bunch of Jews 2,000 years ago and deciding that anything He said to them must apply to us as well. Read more of this post

God’s View of Self-Defense

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Guns. Knives. Pepper spray. Martial arts. Burglar alarms. There are many ways to try and protect yourself in this world. There is also a lot of common sense floating around. Don’t go down that dark alley alone. Stay out of the bad part of town. Don’t wear those colors in that gang’s turf. But if we totally cater to those who want to do violence—if we all back off and obey their ridiculous rules—isn’t that giving in? Isn’t that letting fear rule our lives? But then again, are we testing God if we intentionally put ourselves in harm’s way and assume that He will rush to our defense? Is the man who keeps a loaded gun by his bed honoring God by embracing his role as the family’s protector, or is he dishonoring God by putting his faith in his own skills and a manmade weapon? There are no blanket answers to these questions. There are no rules of behavior that we can say will apply to every situation. But there are guiding principles which you can use to figure out how you should handle the concept of self-defense, and that is what we’ll discuss in this post. Read more of this post

Practicing Dependency: Appreciating the Wisdom of God

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When a pilot tries to decide whether or not it’s a good time to take a flight, what does he do? He checks the weather report. He checks his fuel. He checks some routine mechanical parts. The pilot then makes a decision to fly based on what he knows. The weather looks good. His gas tank is full. The engine seems sound. But what the pilot doesn’t realize is that one of the wings of his plane has a severe crack in it which is going to cause the whole wing to snap off if the pilot attempts lift off. In this scenario, what the pilot doesn’t know is the most important information of all.

Or take the woman who starts up her car in the morning. When she fires up the engine, she doesn’t see any warning lights on her dash. She sees that there is fuel in the tank. The engine sounds normal. Based on these facts, she decides to go for a drive. But what she doesn’t realize is that someone has attached a bomb to the underside of her car, and that bomb is going to go off in thirty seconds. In this scenario, what the woman doesn’t know is far more important than what she does know.

As a human being, you know things. Knowing things is good, but if you don’t know the most important things, how can you make a wise decision? Our pilot is going to crash and our woman is going to get blown up because of their ignorance. It’s not the pilot’s fault that he doesn’t have x-ray vision to see into the structure of his wing. The woman had no way of knowing that she should have checked the underside of her car before getting in. Both of these people are acting reasonably, but they’re still going to end up in a heap of trouble because of their limited knowledge. It’s the same with you. If you try to go through life relying solely on your own limited information, it’s guaranteed that you’re going to end up in a major mess. Read more of this post

Prophets in Action: Isaiah Walks Around Naked

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

One of God’s major pet peeves is when we rely on ourselves or other people more than we rely on Him. Now of course we all have relationships that are important to us. Sometimes we even say things like “I can’t imagine my life without ___.” But if we’re Christians, then we’d better be exaggerating when we make such an extreme statement. God is very jealous by nature and He wants to be the only One we truly can’t live without. If He starts feeling like He’s having to compete with other things for our attention and trust, He’s going to get agitated. When God gets agitated, the people we’ve become too dependent on have a way of suddenly dying. Read more of this post

The Gibeonite Deception (Joshua 9)

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After two major victories (Jericho & Ai), Joshua takes time out to review Moses’ entire Book of Laws with his people in a formal ceremony.

“Joshua read every command that Moses had given” (Josh. 8:35).

So far, he’s doing everything right. He’s looking like a super-devoted, God-centered leader…so how is it that the next minute he is duped by the shady Gibeonites? Read more of this post