When I wrote the post, Diligently Seek Him back in February of this year, there were things going on in my own life/Christian walk that I did not understand, though I thought I did, and these misunderstandings led to some ideas that I need to clear up.
1. Things written pertaining to Christians “falling away,” or those with the Holy Spirit who became corrupt.
In a nutshell, what I thought at the time was that we could receive the Holy Spirit and still fall away if we were not obedient or didn’t use the gifts we were given wisely or with a pure heart. When I wrote this, I was concerned with some “ministers of righteousness” who claimed to be Holy Spirit filled, but to me seemed to be filled with some kind of darkness. One thing I noticed was that some of these appeared to be very genuine, humble, and truthful in the earlier parts of their ministry, then as time progresses they became prideful and started falling under delusion – then began teaching things that were not true and actually became a dangerous distraction from the truth of Jesus Christ.
I still don’t fully understand what is happening in these instances, but there are some things I want to clear up that misunderstand the sovereignty of God.
For one, I don’t believe that anyone who is truly called to be a child of God will fall away. I believe that all who God intends to save will be saved, and those who seem to “fall away” are loosing something they only “seemed to have.” I have a series called The Severity of Sin and the Mercy of Jesus that I’m working on, and I hope to go into these kinds of ideas more fully at that time.
One thing I wrote pertaining to this idea that I agree with is the ways in which Satan can pull you astray – even if you are called and chosen. There are so many things out there that distract us from the simplicity that is in salvation through Jesus Christ. But, I also believe that God is in control of all things, including the purposes of evil and Satan himself. The devil can only do to us what God allows, so if we are “going astray” or being tempted or going through some other difficulty, it is under the authority of God, and these experiences will eventually work out for our good – leading us to a greater righteousness and strengthening of spirit.
2. How to seek Jesus “diligently” through prayer.
The section “How do we Seek Jesus” is full of things I misunderstood, such as this idea of “falling away” as I just mentioned. Because of this fear, I became trapped in this kind of legalistic obedience to Christ, and I was afraid of being duped by Satan and going off of the “narrow way.” One good thing about that fear was it enhanced my prayer life because I used prayer to try and stay focused on Jesus alone.
Through this, I started experiencing the power of prayer more and more, but I had a very legalist mindset along with some other confusions. I started to find the ability to resist temptations that had previously ruled me through prayer, and I thought I had found the solution to overcoming sin once and for all. This idea is flawed because it does not consider the fundamental truth of Jesus writing the laws of righteousness in our hearts. This idea of walking uprightly through constant prayer is a very works-based view of salvation, and it is not correct.
I also want to say something in brief about “spiritual warfare.” I was also duped by this idea of battling demonic spirits through prayer. There might be some truth to this, and I don’t claim to know it all by any means. In-fact, something I’ve been thinking about is the mechanism of sin. What I mean by that is how sin really works, like if we have a struggle, how much of that struggle is our own nature and how much is demonically induced? I don’t know the answer to that, so I can’t say much about this. But, I do know that seeking freedom from sin through Jesus so we can walk according to his ways no matter what is the only “spiritual warfare” that really matters.
After reading the statements I wrote about prayer, it also gives off an heir of self-righteousness that I don’t like. I didn’t feel proud our anything like that at the time, I was just excited about what I thought I had learned regarding the power of prayer – but instead it gives off this “praying to be seen” kind of vibe, and that’s not what was intended.
That being said, I do think it’s important to develop a good prayer life, but that does not mean we need to set aside tons of time every day. I don’t. I try to start off everyday with a small prayer, because daily life is challenging for me, and I need all the strength I can get. After that, I just do what I can to acknowledge the Lord throughout my day, spending a couple extra minutes if I feel myself giving into certain sins like being too impatient with my kids or falling into some other negative mindset. If I’m feeling troubled or want to pray for someone else, I will spend more time.
One thing I wrote concerning prayer that I agree with was that we should call on the Lord before battles get too tough. When in the middle of a struggle, it’s harder to focus on the Lord because we are often consumed with the problem at hand. Seeking the Lord early helps avoid those problems in the first place before we become deeply trapped. I might write something up on prayer in greater detail at some point.
Final Thoughts: I see that this post is about things I need to clear up rather than a second version, so I will probably write an actual “Diligently Seek Him (Version 2)” at some point. There was some valuable information in the first article, but those ideas are not as effective as I want them to be.
Diligently Seek Him (Version 2) was posted on 08/20/2017