The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Putting Zion in Perspective: Dirt Is Not Divine

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As a Christian, you might have noticed that there are a lot of Christian ministries, churches, and individuals who are associating themselves with the name Zion. You might also have noticed that a lot of modern day Christians are referring to Yahweh as the Light of Zion or the God of Zion or the something else of Zion.  So what’s with all the talk about Zion?  What exactly is Zion anyway?  Most importantly, is God a fan of our ongoing obsession with this term?  Or is this just one more misguided Christian tradition that we need to move past?  The purpose of this post is to help you get Zion in proper perspective. Read more of this post

Why We Shouldn’t Be Trying To Draw People Closer to God

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How do we draw other people closer to God?  We don’t.  He does.  This is one of those simple truths that has a profound impact on how we will attempt to relate to both God and humans.

Now at first, it’s easy to shrug and say, “Well, of course God is the One actually drawing people closer to Him—that’s obvious.”  Christians are quick to agree with statements that sound God honoring, but they rarely stop to really absorb those statements into their theologies.  Take the idea of putting God first in life.  We all know that He’s supposed to be our First Love—the One who we’re living to please.  “Put God first” is a common Sunday School mantra, but saying the words and understanding what they mean are two very different things. Read more of this post

The Frequency of Miracles: Why is there so much variation?

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How do you define what a miracle is?  What ingredients are necessary before you’ll use that label?  Does the event have to be rare?  Does it have to be illogical?  Does it have to seem physically impossible?  Do you only think of miracles as positive, helpful events?  Or can a miracle also be destructive, and devastating?

Your cultural context and personal theology greatly influence how you answer these questions.  Some people are quick to refer to an event as miraculous. Others refuse to ever use such a term.  The point is that there isn’t one right definition of a miracle which everyone in the world agrees with.  Instead, definitions vary quite a bit.  Naturally a flexible, broad definition allows for many events to qualify as miracles, whereas a narrow, rigid definition results in the term being used far less often.  Read more of this post

Unlocking Divine Secrets: Understanding How Intimate Knowledge of God is Acquired

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There are two ways to approach trying to learn more about the Beings who created us.  Which approach you use will depend on how you view your access to the information you want.

If you want to know who someone’s biological parents are, what do you do?  You get on the internet and start digging for birth certificates.  When it comes to finding out information about humans, a lot of data is out in the open.  The person you want to know about can’t control how data about them is stored.  Maybe they don’t like the fact that so much information is considered “public record,” but they’re stuck with it.  As long as people are  broadcasting personal facts about others into public data streams, anyone can dip into that stream and sift out the data they want.  In this situation, that data is out in the open–you just have to find your way to it.  All that is required is perseverance on your part.  You don’t need permission from the person you’re researching before you can learn things about them.  Instead, you can go around them and find out things that they don’t even want you to know. Read more of this post

Understanding Hazing: The Dark Agenda Behind the Games

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Since college hazing keeps resulting in deaths that are getting top billing in the news, it’s a good time to explain the psychology behind this ritual.  For anyone interested in joining a fraternity, sorority, or any other social club which requires that you voluntarily submit to a period of being mocked, humiliated, degraded and assaulted by established members before you’ll be “accepted” by the animals, here’s why you don’t want to go there:

Every human relationship has an element of power.  If the power is managed well, you end up with a functional relationship.  If the power is mismanaged, you end up with abuse.

In peer dynamics (teen-teen, child-child, adult-adult), power needs to be equally shared by both parties for the relationship to be healthy.

In authority dynamics (boss-employee, policeman-citizen, general-cadet, teacher-student), the power must be allocated unequally.  The authority figure must insist on keeping the majority of the power, while still allocating enough power to the lower ranking person.  How much difference in power is appropriate depends on the purpose of the relationship. Read more of this post

Using Psychedelic Drugs in Your Search for Healing & Truth: Why It’s a Bad Idea

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Throughout human history, the use of psychedelic drugs has been enormously popular.  Because humans feel that their earthsuits are a central part of their existence, they have always been intensely fascinated by anything which evokes strong sensations in their earthsuits.  A strong shot of caffeine can quickly result in an improved mood and a higher level of energy—what’s not to like about that?  The right kind of sexual stimulation can result in an intense orgasm, and many humans find themselves addicted to that particular kind of rush, while others prefer a good massage or a terrifying movie.  Just as you can cause your car’s engine to rev by pressing down on the accelerator while you’re in a neutral gear, there are many ways that you can rev your earthsuit.  You can stimulate it physically, sexually, emotionally or mentally.  And once you rev one area, the others will be affected as well.  But here’s where we come to the important question: what’s the value in intentionally jolting your earthsuit?  What’s the value of revving your car’s engine while it’s in a neutral gear?  Because you’re not in drive, you’re not moving forward, you’re just forcing the machine to exhaust itself by going through useless motions.  What happens if you keep the accelerator pressed all the way down while the car is stuck in neutral?  Eventually you’ll do damage to the machine, because cars were designed for specific purposes and they have limitations.  If you don’t respect those purposes or those limitations, you’ll end up permanently damaging the car until it can no longer do what it was designed to do.  In the same way, if you don’t respect the purposes or limitations of the earthsuit God has given you and if you go through life forcing it to rev just because you can, you will end up permanently damaging it.  Read more of this post

Understanding Repentance

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TWO WAYS TO JUDGE

God judges you by your soul’s response to Him.  Once God establishes a relationship with you, you constantly make choices about how you will treat Him in that relationship, and those choices are what determine whether God is pleased or displeased with you.

Humans judge you by how you behave—especially by how you behave towards other humans.  Humans have strong opinions about how you ought to treat them, and if you don’t meet their expectations, then they dislike you.  Read more of this post

Serving God vs. Serving People: Understanding the Difference

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You’re a Christian who claims to be serving God.  But is that what you’re actually doing?  Or is it just what you think you’re doing?  Do you understand what it means to serve God?  Most Christians don’t.  We certainly aren’t taught how to serve God in church.  At church we’re only taught how to serve people—people who tell us that we should trust them to interpret God’s will for us.  But should we?  Read more of this post

Maturity Priorities: How much does God care about swearing?

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Suppose you have an old, rundown house that you want to majorly fix up.  What do you do first?  Do you fill the rooms with nice new furniture before you start tearing down the ratty wallpaper and ripping up the stained carpet?  No, you start with the foundational issues first.  You upgrade the wiring.  Then you paint.  Then you carpet.  Moving in new furniture is the last step that you only get around to after the core issues have been dealt with.

In your relationship with God, your soul’s attitude towards Him and your understanding of who He is are core issues which God feels are far more important than surface niceties.  Classy, inoffensive speech is a surface nicety—it’s something that makes you more attractive to other humans but it really doesn’t have much to do with your relationship with God.  Just as your house guests neither see nor appreciate all of the pipes and wires that you upgraded inside the walls of your home, other humans don’t notice or celebrate when your soul starts improving its attitude towards God or gains some new insight about how He views you.  As is so often the case, God’s priorities for you differ quite a bit from other humans’ priorities.  The challenge then becomes for you to choose the right set of priorities to focus on. 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