Bible Stuff That Won't Bore You

Nothing stunted my spiritual growth more than giving in to temptation and holding on to sin

Growing up, as much as I read the Bible, sang praise music, prayed, helped others, etc…, it took decades to realize that the single biggest barrier to my spiritual growth was the choice to lead a “double life” of sin–I just never realized how much I was hurting my relationship with God in the process

Whoa, So Wait, Sin Affects Our Relationship With God? What…?

I know this sounds like a completely ridiculous statement as everyone knows God hates sin, but we often approach our relationship with God as if it will be the same no matter how we live–this is simply not true

For example, in both the OT and NT the Bible is clear God reserves a special place of friendship, and regard, for those who love and respect him, and looks at people who obey him differently than those who do not

Psalm 25:14
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them

(God reserves a special level of friendship for those who respect him)

Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him

(God’s love is without measure for those who respect him)

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear

Psalm 34:15-16
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth

(In the OT people’s sins separated them from God, and he did not answer their prayers, but people often think because of the new covenant that things are different, but…)

1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil

(Peter quoted the very same verse when writing in the NT to Christians as well, so the same is true today under the new covenant)

Psalm 25:10
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant

Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands

John 14:21
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him

(This is important because Jesus does not say he and the Father will intimately show themselves to everyone, he says only to those who obey what they command–it is conditional. The Greek word for “has” actually means “understands”, so what Jesus is saying is, “whoever [understands] and obeys”, which means awareness of God’s righteousness is not enough, we have to model ourselves after it!)

John 15:9-11
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete

Those are some pretty amazing statements, as they show that even Jesus, who was our ultimate example to follow, remained in God’s love because he obeyed God’s commands, which is a reflection of a sincere love and respect for God, ie: we look at God not as one who gives us “rules” to follow, but as one whose character we genuinely adore and honor so much we model ourselves after it

Okay seriously, since this is some heavy stuff, let me share how I saw this translated in my life as I was certainly not enjoying a model Christian relationship!

What Does It Mean To Have True Respect And Love For God?

Even though I studied the Bible for years, and had been a Christian ever since I could remember, I never stopped to think about the damage I was doing to my relationship with God through my choices to live sinfully, because the reality was, no matter what I did in other areas of my life that honored God, the sinful parts I would not let go of were the equivalent of me saying:

“God, I know you paid for my sins, and that you are perfect love and wisdom itself, but I am going to go ahead and keep doing this sinful/pointless/disobedient thing because I don’t want to stop, thanks for loving me anyways!”

…uh, yikes

I would never have stood before God and said something like that, but, there I was, living those words out loud with my actions when it came to drugs, alcohol, porn, non-Christian relationships, anger, unforgiveness, selfishness, obsessive hobbies, and all sorts of other things that separated me from him

When I stop and think about it now, I am baffled I had so little regard for how this type of behavior impacted my intimacy with God, and my spiritual growth

I mean honestly, unless I was reading from a different Bible, God does not exactly have a history of walking intimately with people who did not love him, so why did I think he was going to stay intimate, and close to me when I constantly hurt him and knowingly disregarded his feelings so I could do sinful things?

Wishful thinking?


For me, it was a combination of both, but it was mostly due to a lack of spiritual maturity as I did not understand God’s character, nor did I take to heart what I knew was in the Bible, but, most importantly, I did not understand what kind of damage I was really doing to my relationship with God with my choices

Just How Badly Can We Damage Our Relationship With God Through Sin?

This is particularly difficult to accept when compared to contemporary Christian teachings, but Peter, James, and Paul talked about Christians becoming enemies of God if they maintained lifestyles of sin after becoming Christians

However, before looking at the scriptures, I want to highlight that it is very different for someone to willingly go on sinning after they know something is wrong, as knowing the difference between right and wrong usually reflects some degree of spiritual maturity, than for someone to do bad things in ignorance or without full knowledge of God’s truth

Psalm 19:12
Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults

Please read the verses below with that in mind!

1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil

James 4:4
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God

Philippians 3:17-20
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ

Some people contend that since we are under the new covenant, God’s approach to mankind is now so different, he looks at us the same no matter what we do, but Peter, James, and Paul were preaching otherwise in the verses above (ironically, Peter is quoting a Psalm to make his point)–all of these writers were speaking to Christian audiences, they are not talking to, or about, non-believers

Jesus showed us in the parable of the sower that the Word of God can be planted but not actually bear fruit enough in a person’s life to save them in the end–yet they first receive the gospel with sincere joy, and believe. Also, apart from Jesus speaking of people believing and falling away when tested due to a lack of maturity, take note that Jesus differentiates between when satan robs people from believing the gospel in the first place, from those who believe and fall away

Luke 8:11-15
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop

A Lesson Of Damaged Intimacy Taken From Marriage And Human Relationships

Referring back to the point made earlier about how I was knowingly choosing to sin even though I knew it hurt God’s feelings, take note of how James compares Christians to people who cheat on their spouses when he says “You adulterous people”, this is really important because he says Christians who put worldly desires, pleasures, etc… before their relationship with God, become “an enemy of God”

Look at it this way, imagine we are in a wonderful, loving relationship, and could never imagine willingly doing anything to hurt our partners

If one day, our partner gave us a list of things that would hurt, and offend them, so much they would consider us their enemy for as long as we did them, how would we respond to that list?

What if some of the items on the list were things we liked to do or disagreed were wrong?

We may keep on doing them, and sure, our partner promised that if we stopped at any point, they would forgive us, but what would it say about our character if we kept on knowingly doing these things with the expectation they will forgive us, knowing full well it was hurting their feelings?

Think about how it would damage the intimacy in the relationship!

In the same way, intimacy between God and mankind, is influenced incredibly by our lifestyles, as if we know something is wrong, but we do it anyway, we are literally choosing that thing in preference over God’s love, intimacy, and friendship

Psalm 25:14
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them

When we continue to willingly sin, regardless of how thankful we are to know him, and how good we are in other areas, it puts distance between us and God

He does not walk out on us, but we do not have the kind of intimacy available to us as if we loved him with all of our hearts

2 Timothy 2:11-13
If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself

Even if popular Christian opinion cannot accept the idea that willfully living a sinful life will have a negative impact on our intimacy with God, because we now have this magical thing called “grace” that acts like a get out of jail free card, it does not mean that the Bible’s teachings are untrue

I can honestly say, there were times in my life where I honored God in a lot of ways, even “most” areas of my life, but there were still sinful things I openly disobeyed God’s righteousness in, and I was well on my way to standing before God with a list of things to answer for that would have been awful

Romans 14:12
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God

Apart from this, the damage my choices were doing to my relationship with God in the present was tremendous, which, ultimately, caused my spiritual growth to only be a shadow of what it could have been, as in some areas I was following the enemy’s temptations, and pursuing my own sense of right and wrong based on my sinful desires

This stunted my growth because without true intimacy with God, I was missing out on all those God inspired “aha!” revelations when reading the Word, I did not hear the whisper of God’s guidance when I prayed, and I was not always seeking to reflect the beauty of God’s perfect love, and righteousness in my life, which meant I had less of an impact on others as a Christian–I was not bearing fruit!

Psalm 25:14
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law

I mean honestly, spiritual growth does not miraculously happen as the result of sitting on the couch watching Adult Swim at 3am or staying up watching YouTube videos until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore, it takes work!

Part of that effort to greater maturity and growth, is that we have to trust God, letting go of sinful things that separate us from him, then as we mature, we will truly understand what intimacy with him really means

The truth is, if we want to change, we will, by allowing God’s will to take hold in even the most difficult areas of our lives. This process is not instant, so we need to be honest with God at all times, voicing our difficulties, and asking for greater faith, wisdom, strength, and intimacy as we seek to be holy like him

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall

Psalm 19:13
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression

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  • Wonderfully written and very blunt. I just wish I knew what to do with it. How could you have come out of such a place? I admire you

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