The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Tag Archives: ADV Spiritual Growth

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

Total Surrender to God: Understanding the Process

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Total surrender to God is something He is going to be moving us towards as we grow in our relationship with Him.  It’s also a subject which is poorly understood among Christians, so in this post, we’re going to clear up some common misconceptions. Read more of this post

The Process & Purpose of Being Dominated by God

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Caution: This post discusses advanced theology which might be too overwhelming for the spiritually young.

Since everything originates from and revolves around God, close communion with Him is the greatest prize we humans could hope to attain.  But how do we get there?  We certainly can’t just shove our way in—we must first receive an invitation from God to know Him better.  Such invitations come to us throughout our lives, and how well we respond to them determines how many more God offers us.  Read more of this post

Loving People Like God Does: What it Means & How You Get There

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If your overall experience of humanity so far has been positive, then you’re probably not feeling too bothered by God’s command that we love others.  And with the Church constantly promoting people as more important than God, it’s going to make you feel a lot more comfortable on Sunday morning if you aren’t harboring a deep hatred for your fellow humans in your soul.  When the pastor starts expounding on the importance of loving our neighbors, you can say to yourself, “No sweat, I like people.” Yes, you do.  But your main reason for liking them is that they’ve been pretty decent to you. Your “love” for people is based on the fact that they have been doing a decent job of meeting your personal expectations so far.  Well, this isn’t love, this is approval. When you say “I like people,” what you really mean is, “I approve of people.” Should those people who you currently approve of do something awful to you, all of a sudden your attitude towards them would change drastically.

In this post, we’re talking to those of you who really don’t like people.  Maybe you hardcore hate them.  What is your repulsion based on?  Well, you’re using the same standards as the folks who claim to love their fellow humans: you’re focused on approval.  In your case, you feel that your overall experience of humans is very negative.  Maybe you used to like them until some of them really went out of their way to trash you.  Or maybe you’ve hated people ever since the beginning because they’ve never been anything but nasty to you.  Either way, here you are, hating people.  So now what?  Read more of this post

Brain-Soul Mechanics: Why God Doesn’t Expect You to Have Pure Thoughts

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It’s not possible for you to only think pure thoughts. If you make this your goal in life, you’ll end up burned out, beat down, and utterly discouraged. You can take that whole “take every thought captive to Christ” routine and chuck it in the wastebasket. Your thoughts are not soldiers who you can capture and confine. They’re more like ocean waves that keep rolling in no matter what you do.

God doesn’t expect you to keep your thought life pure because God is a reasonable and gracious Creator who doesn’t command His creatures to pull off feats which He knows He hasn’t equipped them for. To honor God with your thoughts, you would have to be able to control your thoughts, and that is something which is entirely out of your reach. Read more of this post

The Purpose & Process of Overcoming Fear

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From our perspective, our fears seem very logical and completely proven. Once you are convinced in your core that something is true, you don’t become unconvinced overnight. At first, you write off every experience that counters your fears as a freak deviation from the norm.  Take the man who is convinced that God is disgusted with him because of something he did in the past. What’s really happening here is that the man is convinced that God must think like he does. Since the man can’t forgive himself, he assumes God can’t either. Since the man is disgusted with himself and believes he deserves endless misery in life, he assumes that God thinks the same way. When God says “I love you” to this man’s soul, the man instantly rejects the message as invalid. At first he pretends to not even hear what God said. When he does finally acknowledge the words, he blows them off as his own wishful thinking. Meanwhile, every time something goes wrong in the man’s life, he interprets it as a sign of Divine punishment. When something goes right, he either divorces God from it or he sees it as God setting him up for another round of pain. Read more of this post

Enhancing Our Love for God

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When we first begin our relationship with God, who is it that we love? Not the real God, but a modification of the real God which we are personally comfortable with. To remain in this place of loving the God we have shaped in our minds might seem satisfying to us, but how satisfying is it to Him? Do you want to be loved for who you are or for who your friend wants to believe you are? What if your friend’s perception of you is a million miles from reality? Knowing this would hardly be a plus to you, especially if she kept resisting every time you tried to correct her understanding of you. Read more of this post

Confident Humility

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At first, the term “confident humility” sounds like an oxymoron, for how can a truly humble person be confident?  And yet the reality is that confidence is the foundation on which humility is built.  As we learned in the post Confidence that Pleases God, confidence is always rooted in some belief, and that belief is either true or false.  One very popular false belief in the Church today is that humans are capable of doing good works apart from God, therefore they deserve the glory for the things that they accomplish.  When we root our confidence in this lie, we end up with arrogance.

The truth is that humans are incapable of doing anything good on their own.  Humans can’t even breathe without supernatural assistance.  Humans are frail, powerless little flecks who are utterly dependent on their Makers for absolutely everything.  When we root our confidence in these truths, we end up with humility.  Read more of this post

Understanding the Purpose of Lifelong Trials

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Many trials are temporary. Annoying coworkers. Flat tires. Colds. School. Being unable to find your car in a parking lot. But there are some trials that last our entire lives. Missing limbs. Brains that are severely limited in cognitive function. Excessive weight. A hair type that is very difficult to manage. External features that our culture labels as ugly. Poverty. Mean siblings. There are some trials that we’re born with and they stick with us until we die. What is God’s point in saddling us with such burdens? Read more of this post

Yearning for More of God: What it Does & Doesn’t Mean

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As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. (Ps. 42:1)

Can you relate? For those of you who are feeling tormented by a desperate craving for more of God, there are some important principles about spiritual growth that you need to understand. The wrong interpretation of your desire can lead to some pretty devastating conclusions. The correct interpretation brings great hope and joy. So let’s get into it. Read more of this post