The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Trust & Faith

Recognizing Your Spiritual Dependency On Humans

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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

Understanding Your Complete Loss of Faith: Great News for Devastated Christians

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One of the most thrilling moments in a serious Christian’s life is when he suddenly finds his great confidence in God crumbling to dust right in front of him.  As his faith melts away like ice cubes in a pot of boiling water, the Christian is left feeling completely helpless and unable to stop the erosion process.  In a horrifyingly short period of time, he goes from being totally confident about so many things to being in serious doubt about everything–even the reality of God.  Beliefs that used to have such a clear ring of truth suddenly sound so ludicrous that the Christian can’t talk himself into accepting them any longer.  His doubts become so intense and his faith so non-existent, that he feels he has no choice but to thrust the whole concept of God away from him and find some way to try and deal with the dark, meaningless existence that fills the place where his confidence once was.     Read more of this post

Recognizing Trust Lessons: Why God is Refusing to Give You Clear Direction

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When you are very eager to please God, it’s only natural that you want to be 100% sure that you’re doing exactly what He wants all of the time.  In an effort to secure that kind of assurance, it’s very easy to fall into a habit of casting lots or routinely asking God for clear signs before you decide on a course of action.  And yet once you start trying to get God to confirm your decisions before you act on them, you will quickly discover that He starts refusing to do so.  Perhaps He does speak to you through signs the first few times.  But soon He’ll stop speaking to you through them.  If that doesn’t deter you from trying to use them, then He’ll start intentionally deceiving you.  For example, in a fit of frustration, you might ask, “God, if You love me, then make this coin land heads up,” and instead God will cause it to land heads down or do whatever else you’ve set up as your “no” signal.  A couple of rounds of this treatment, and you’ll lose all confidence in casting lots as you pitch into a period of frustration and doubt.  So why does God do this?  Why does He intentionally frustrate your efforts to get clear direction from Him?  Isn’t He supposed to be judging you by your motivations?  Yes, He does.  Then why doesn’t He appreciate the fact that you’re sincerely trying to please Him by being clear about what He wants?  He does appreciate it, and He’s expressing His appreciation by frustrating the heck out of you when you try to get clear leading from Him.  Well, what kind of sense does this make?  This is what we’re going to talk about in this post. Read more of this post

Faithless Worship Songs: ABIDE WITH ME by Matt Redman

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Faith is an activity of the soul.  It’s when your soul chooses to put its trust in a concept regardless of whether or not that concept can be confirmed through sensual data (see Faith Development: Basic Mechanics).  Because we’re used to relying on our senses to guide us in our relationships with other humans and in our interactions with the physical world we live in, we find relying on faith to be very challenging—especially when incoming sensual data seems to be contradicting the facts which our souls are trying to cling to.  If God feels far away to our emotions, does that mean that He really is?  If we can’t see, hear, or touch God, does that mean that He is not present with us? Read more of this post

Understanding Trust Development: Learning to Feel Safe with a Monstrous God

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You’ve submitted to God the best you know how, but He’s acting like a monster towards you.  Perhaps He has a long history of doing cruel things to you. Perhaps He has saddled you with some devastating struggle like pedophilia or sadism or an addiction which is totally messing up your ability to relate to other people and making your future feel hopelessly grim.  Perhaps He’s ripped away something or someone who you dearly loved.  And in the midst of all this, God says that you must learn to trust in His goodness.  Right.  How on earth are you supposed to do that in the middle of this hell? If God is so eager for you to view Him as good, why is He acting like such a creep?  Read more of this post

Understanding God’s Silence: Why He Withholds Affirmation

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Here’s an exasperating pattern which some of you are currently experiencing: when God is displeased with you He is very clear with His corrective convictions, but when it comes to expressing His pleasure with you He’s being deathly quiet.  It’s not that He can’t communicate His pleasure with you—it’s that He won’t.  And because God is being so tight-lipped, you naturally spend a lot of time anxiously fretting about your standing with Him.

God says that if we sincerely care about pleasing Him, then we can know for a fact that He is pleased with us.  We can understand this principle in our souls, but the lack of positive affirmation from God still leaves us squirming.  So what is God’s point in doing this?  Why is He so silent towards the souls who care most about Him? Read more of this post

God Told Me: The Only Valid Basis for Faith

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“God told me” is one of the most abused statements in Christendom. But guess what? It’s the only basis on which you’re trusting in all of those biblical authors. Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul, Peter, John—all of these folks claimed to know what they knew based on revelations from God. How do you know that they weren’t deluded? How do you know we’re not deluded? Today the Church is stuffed to the gills with prophets, preachers, and theologians who are all making the same claim: “I know what I know because God told me.” When Christians claim that the Bible is inerrant, what they’re really saying is, “None of those people who said ‘God told me’ could possibly be wrong.” Well, since when? Just because some ancient Church father decided to blindly accept the claims of Moses, Paul, and Peter, does that mean you should do the same? Paul claimed to receive direct revelations from Jesus. We could make the same claim, but we say that a lot of what Paul says was wrong. Whose “God told me” should you give higher priority to—ours or Paul’s? Should you be blindly trusting in a bunch of dead people who you never knew personally? You don’t know us any better than you know Paul, so on what basis can you trust anything that we say about God? Read more of this post

Why Serious Christians Must Question God

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What if God is really evil? What if Jesus is really Satan in disguise? What if God is just pretending to be all sweetness and love now, but He’s really planning to throw us all into Hell the moment we die? What if the cross was just a big charade that was intended to give us a false sense of security about how much God loves us? What if the whole Bible is a crock and Christianity is just a nutty tale that some alpha personality invented one day and a bunch of other people went along with? What if all the prophets in the Bible were high on drugs when they had their “Divine visions”? As a Christian, have you ever found yourself asking these kinds of questions?  How do you feel when you do? 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

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

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Think positive. Dream until your dreams come true. Pray until something happens. Believe in yourself.

What effect does reciting such mantras have on our relationship with God? Well, for starters, mental focus is a very powerful thing. Repeating something over and over again in your mind is definitely going to affect the way you view life. If you wake up every day, stand in front of the mirror and say, “I’m so ugly and God hates me,” it’s guaranteed that over time, your confidence in God’s love for you will start to weaken. But if instead you were to look in the mirror on a daily basis and recite, “I am so wonderful that the whole world should fall down at my feet and worship me,” you won’t develop problems with low esteem. If you take yourself seriously, you’ll become an arrogant monster. Mental focus is extremely powerful. Read more of this post