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

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

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

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

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

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

Interpreting God: Recognizing Errors in Your Method

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Joe is a man who carries around a bag that is well-stocked with medical supplies.  Inside of his bag are all sorts of surgical tools, syringes, and drugs.  With the components in his bag, Joe could really help a lot of people.  But he could also use the same components to do horrible things to people.  Joe is well equipped to do great good, or great harm.  If Joe should set his bag down in your presence, open it up, and start selecting certain components, what would his intentions be?  Would he be planning to help you or hurt you?  Just looking at the specific items Joe pulls out of his bag won’t give you the answer to that question, because the same items can be used to accomplish drastically different goals.  Read more of this post

Miracles in the End Times: The Mechanics & The God-Honoring Response

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Humans do not have supernatural powers.  They can’t perform miracles, their spells and curses are nothing but noise, and they can’t see into the future.  They can’t read minds, and they can’t separate their souls from their earthsuits, much to the chagrin of many astral projection addicts.  We could spend this entire post talking about what humans can’t do, but no matter how true it is that humans are impotent little specks who aren’t even smart enough to understand how much they don’t understand, most people would think we’re wrong to paint humans in such an unimpressive light.  Do you know why?  Because humans are such undiscerning dopes that you can get them to believe anything if you just toy with their senses and tell them what their egos want to hear.  Now don’t misunderstand—we love humans.  Humans are the most precious element of this creation and the only part of this world which God is going to keep when He wipes this place out.  If humans were content to be the dearly loved, powerless specks that they are, we wouldn’t need to bother with this post.  But because humans refuse to accept how limited they are, they insist on putting their faith in fantasies.  From the very beginning, humans have been seeking out ways to try and lessen the difference between them and their Creators.  Why did Adam and Eve sample the forbidden fruit?  Because they thought it would expand their abilities and move them one step closer to being equal to God.  Why do we constantly do what God warns us not to do?  Because we resent the whole notion of Him putting limits on us.  How dare He.  Who does He think He is, anyway? Read more of this post