The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Relating to God

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 Your Complete Loss of Faith: Great News for Devastated Christians

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

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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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

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

Relating to God: Recognizing the Trap of Symbolic Pain

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Humans are big on symbolism.  This means that much of what you do and say in life is an attempt to communicate messages that are quite unrelated to the things you’re actually doing and saying.  For example, when Holly hears her boyfriend Todd say he loves blondes, Holly goes out and bleaches her brown hair blonde.  She does this not because she wants to change her hair, but because she wants to keep a secure hold on Todd’s affection.  When she then asks him “Do you like my hair?” what’s she’s really asking is, “Have I gained more of your approval by adjusting myself to be a better match to your preferences?”  For Holly, dyeing her hair was a symbolic act that was meant to communicate to Todd how much his approval means to her and how much she wants him in her life.  Read more of this post

Talking to God: Why is He being so cryptic?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Suppose you have a best friend named Sam who lives next door to you.  You both work from home and the two of you are in a habit of sending humorous text messages to each other throughout the day.  Well, one day, there aren’t any text messages from Sam.  You wonder what’s wrong.  You send him a text asking if he’s alright.  There’s no answer.  You look out your window to see if Sam is home.  There he is: standing in front of an open window holding a mirror.  He’s using the mirror to catch the sunlight which he’s reflecting at you in strange bursts.  Well, that’s odd.  You send him another text, asking what he’s doing.  There’s no response.  You look out your window and see him once again pick up his mirror and start flashing bursts of sunlight at you.  What on earth is he doing?  You’re starting to get annoyed, but then you get distracted by a phone call which leads to more distractions, and by the time you’re thinking about Sam again, it’s dark outside.  You send him another text—one which makes your annoyance with his evasive behavior quite clear.  There’s still no response.  Aggravated, you march out of your house, cross over to Sam’s and knock loudly on the door.  Much to your irritation, Sam won’t open up.  Instead, he peeks out at you through the living room window.  Now he’s got a flashlight in his hand which he’s flashing at you in strange, rhythmic bursts.  You go over to the window and demand to know why he’s acting so weird.  He finally pulls a sticky note out of his pocket and slaps it on the window.  It says “Morse Code.”  Then he keeps flashing his light at you.

Now you suddenly realize that all of these irritating flashes are actually a code which you’re supposed to be deciphering.  Long, short, long, short, short.  Sam’s simulating the dots and dashes of Morse code. Well, that’s irritating.  You’ve never used Morse code before. Sure, you could research it on the internet and struggle to start deciphering Sam’s message, but what a hassle that would be.  And it’s all so utterly unnecessary when Sam could just pick up his phone and text you or open his door and talk to you face to face.  Well, Sam isn’t going to.  Sam is on this strange trip with Morse code and he’s just not going to talk to you any other way.  If you want to keep communicating with your friend, you’ve only got one choice: you’re going to have to start learning Morse. Read more of this post

Choosing Our Futures With God

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

One of the great secrets to finding peace in life is realizing that we are creatures of limited choice, and choosing to use our choices well. We aren’t totally free, as some like to claim. We are primarily responders—things happen to us and we choose how we will respond. None of us chose to be born, for example. There was a day when we were simply thrust from the womb by forces which were beyond our control. None of us chose to grow—our bodies acted of their own accord, elongating and developing without any sign-off from us. We did not choose our human guardians. We do not choose to see, hear, and taste. We do not choose so many of our emotional reactions: fear, anger, falling in love. In life, experiences are constantly being thrust upon us by a God who is greater than us. All we can do is identify when we have an actual choice available to us and then decide if we want to use those choices well or not. Read more of this post

Making Good Ideas Go Bad: Understanding God’s Motivations

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

God wants you to have problems in life. Not because He wants you to be miserable, but because problems provide a context for you to mature and develop a closer bond with Him. It’s when our lives aren’t going smoothly that we start really looking for God’s involvement in them. Problems also provide an opportunity for God to teach us more about who He is. Read more of this post

Relating to an Alien God

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Suppose you want to hear some music. You turn on your radio and a talk station comes on. You don’t want talk, you want music. Here is where you might say, “This radio is dumb. It doesn’t play any music.” Yet is this a correct conclusion? No. Your radio’s antenna is receiving all kinds of music transmissions, but before you can enjoy certain ones, you have to tune in to the right station. It works the same with God’s Voice. He is always talking to you, but He broadcasts His messages on many different stations. Most Christians refuse to acknowledge more than one or two stations. They want God to speak to them through emotional experiences or in the form of some clear thought voice. God does speak in these ways, but He also speaks in a variety of other ways. God is constantly changing which station He’s broadcasting on. If we’re going to hear Him, we need to learn how to listen to multiple stations at the same time. This is what the Holy Spirit will teach you to do if you are willing to submit to His education process.

Learning to recognize God’s Voice begins with realizing two critical facts. First, that He is always talking to you personally. Second, that His communications come in a wide variety of forms. As long as you are refusing to accept one or both of these facts, you simply aren’t going to get very far in your relationship with God. Read more of this post

All About Fleeces: Asking God for a Sign

All About Fleeces (Asking God for a Sign)

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Putting out fleeces can feel like an awkward subject to talk about. We don’t like to broadcast our insecurities about God, nor do we like to talk about the little games and desperate measures we resort to in order to get some clear guidance from Him. But putting out fleeces is nothing to be ashamed of. For the sincere Christian, this strategy can play an important role in learning to recognize God’s Voice and develop faith. In this post we’ll take a comprehensive look at the subject so you can understand how to use fleeces properly and what role they play in building faith.

WHY IS IT CALLED A FLEECE?

Whenever we try to determine God’s will for us by asking Him to do some specific event, it’s called using a fleece or putting out a fleece. We get the term from Gideon, who used an actual fleece—a piece of wool—to seek confirmation about God’s will (Judges 6). Today most of us aren’t using wool, but the term stuck as a catch-all phrase for asking God to give us a specific sign. Read more of this post