79. The Principles of Being Devoted to God
(1) It is necessary to experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, to come to understand the truth and know oneself, and to be rid of one’s corrupt disposition. Only thus can one be devoted to Christ;
(2) It is necessary to know that there are too many lovable aspects of Christ to count; only thus can one treasure God’s word the truth in their heart and come truly to love Him, exalt Him, and testify to Him.
(3) It is necessary to know that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, and that there is no salvation but through Him. Only thus can one willingly expend themselves for Christ and be loyal to Him;
(4) It is necessary to have a true and pure love for Christ, and to get to where you can submit to Him unto death. Only thus can one be faithful to God unto the end.
Relevant Words of God:
Belief in God requires obedience to Him and experience of His work. God has done so much work—it could be said that for people it is all perfection, refinement, and even more, chastisement. There has not been a single step of God’s work that has been in line with human notions; what people have enjoyed is God’s stern words. When God comes, people should enjoy His majesty and His wrath. However, no matter how stern His words may be, He comes to save and perfect mankind. As creatures, people should fulfill the duties that they ought to, and stand witness for God in the midst of refinement. In every trial they should uphold the witness that they should bear, and do so resoundingly for the sake of God. A person who does this is an overcomer. No matter how God refines you, you remain full of confidence and never lose confidence in Him. You do what man should do. This is what God requires of man, and man’s heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him in every passing moment. This is an overcomer. Those whom God refers to as “overcomers” are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an “overcomer.” If your pursuit is excellent when God blesses you, but you retreat without His blessings, is this purity? Since you are certain that this way is true, you must follow it until the end; you must maintain your devotion to God. Since you have seen that God Himself has come to the earth to perfect you, you should give your heart entirely to Him. If you can still follow Him no matter what He does, even if He determines an unfavorable outcome for you at the very end, this is maintaining your purity in front of God. Offering a holy spiritual body and a pure virgin to God means keeping a sincere heart in front of God. For mankind, sincerity is purity, and the ability to be sincere toward God is maintaining purity. This is what you should put into practice. When you ought to pray, you pray; when you ought to gather together in fellowship, you do so; when you ought to sing hymns, you sing hymns; and when you ought to forsake the flesh, you forsake the flesh. When you perform your duty, you do not muddle through it; when you are faced with trials you stand firm. This is devotion to God.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What I desire is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know that the testimony to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testimony to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness to Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function, or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (even if it be death or destruction), or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear witness to Me, and be loyal and obedient to Me. What’s more, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to progress unimpeded. Hence, I exhort you to be wise and treat neither your life nor the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in the days to come, and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I have held man to a strict standard throughout. If your loyalty comes with intentions and conditions, then I would rather be without your so-called loyalty, for I abhor those who deceive Me through their intentions and extort Me with conditions. I wish only for man to be absolutely loyal to Me, and to do all things for the sake of—and in order to prove—one word: faith. I despise your use of blandishments to try to make Me rejoice, for I have always treated you with sincerity, and so wish for you to also act with true faith toward Me.
Excerpted from “Are You a True Believer in God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you can devote your heart, body, and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate of His will—not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your own personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household, taking God’s word as the principle and foundation in everything—then by doing so, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will then be a person before God who receives His praise. The people God likes are those who are absolute toward Him; they are the ones who can be devoted solely to Him. Those whom God loathes are the ones who are half-hearted toward Him and who rebel against Him. He loathes those who believe in Him and always want to enjoy Him while yet being unable to completely expend themselves for His sake. He loathes those who say they love Him but who rebel against Him in their hearts; He loathes those who use eloquent, flowery words to engage in deception. Those who are not genuinely dedicated to God or who have not truly submitted before Him are treacherous and overly arrogant by nature. Those who cannot be genuinely submissive in front of the normal, practical God are even more arrogant, and they especially are the dutiful progeny of the archangel. People who truly expend themselves for God lay out their entire being before Him; they genuinely submit to all of His utterances, and are able to put His words into practice. They make God’s words the foundation of their existence, and they are able to search earnestly within God’s words to find out which parts to practice. Such are people who truly live before God.
Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God. When you have truly become God’s intimate is precisely when you will rule together with God.
Excerpted from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You have followed Me all these years, yet have never given Me one iota of loyalty. Instead, you have revolved around the people you love and the things that please you—so much so that at all times, and wherever you go, you keep them close to your hearts and have never abandoned them. Whenever you become eager or passionate about any one thing that you love, it happens while you are following Me, or even while you are listening to My words. Therefore, I say you are using the loyalty that I ask of you to instead be loyal to and cherish your “pets.” Though you may sacrifice a thing or two for Me, it does not represent your all, and does not show that it is Me to whom you are truly loyal. You involve yourselves in undertakings about which you are passionate: Some people are loyal to sons and daughters, others to husbands, wives, riches, work, superiors, status, or women. You never feel weary or annoyed toward the things you are loyal to; instead, you grow ever more eager to possess these things in greater quantity, and higher quality, and you never give up. I and My words are always pushed back behind the things you are passionate about. And you have no choice but to rank them last. There are even those who leave this last place for things they are loyal to that they have yet to discover. Never has there been the slightest trace of Me in their hearts. You may think that I ask too much of you or am wrongfully accusing you—but have you ever given any thought to the fact that while you are happily spending time with your family, you have never once been loyal to Me? At times like this, does it not pain you? When your hearts are filled with joy, and you are rewarded for your labors, do you not feel disheartened at not having furnished yourselves with sufficient truth? When have you wept for not having received My approval? You rack your brains and take great pains for the sake of your sons and daughters, yet still you are not satisfied; still you believe that you have not been diligent on their behalf, that you have not done everything you can for them. Toward Me, however, you have always been remiss and careless; I am only in your memories, but I do not endure in your hearts. My devotion and efforts forever go unfelt by you, and you have never had any appreciation of them. You merely engage in brief reflection and believe that this will suffice. Such “loyalty” is not what I have long yearned for, but that which I have long despised.
Excerpted from “To Whom Are You Loyal?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
My concern continues to be the way in which each of you acts and expresses himself, on the basis of which I shall determine your end. However, I must make this clear: Toward those who showed Me not the slightest loyalty during times of tribulation, I shall be merciful no more, for My mercy only extends so far. I have no liking, furthermore, for anyone who has once betrayed Me, much less do I like to associate with those who sell out the interests of their friends. This is My disposition, regardless of who the person may be. I must tell you this: Anyone who breaks My heart shall not receive clemency from Me a second time, and anyone who has been faithful to Me shall forever remain in My heart.
Excerpted from “Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today, what you are required to achieve are not additional demands, but the duty of man, and that which should be done by all people. If you are incapable of even doing your duty, or of doing it well, then are you not bringing trouble upon yourselves? Are you not courting death? How could you still expect to have a future and prospects? The work of God is done for the sake of mankind, and the cooperation of man is given for the sake of God’s management. After God has done all that He is supposed to do, man is required to be unstinting in his practice, and to cooperate with God. In the work of God, man should spare no effort, should offer up his loyalty, and should not indulge in numerous notions, or sit passively and await death. God can sacrifice Himself for man, so why can man not offer his loyalty to God? God is of one heart and mind toward man, so why can man not offer a little cooperation? God works for mankind, so why can man not perform some of his duty for the sake of God’s management? God’s work has come this far, yet still you see but do not act, you hear but do not move. Are not such people the objects of perdition? God has already devoted His all to man, so why, today, is man incapable of earnestly performing his duty? For God, His work is His first priority, and the work of His management is of the utmost importance. For man, putting God’s words into practice and fulfilling God’s requirements are his first priority. This you should all understand.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As a human, to accept God’s commission, one must be devoted. One must be completely devoted to God, and cannot be half-hearted, fail to take responsibility, or act based on one’s own interests or moods; this is not being devoted. What does being devoted refer to? It means that while fulfilling your duties, you are not influenced and constrained by moods, environments, people, matters, or things. “I have received this commission from God; He has given it to me. This is what I’m supposed to. I will therefore do it regarding it as my own affair, in whichever way yields good results, with importance laid on satisfying God.” When you have this state, you are not only being controlled by your conscience, but devotedness is also involved. If you are only satisfied with getting it done, without aspiring to be efficient and achieve results, and feel that it is enough simply to put forth some effort, then this is merely the standard of conscience, and cannot be counted as devotion. When you are devoted to God, this standard is a bit higher than the standard of conscience. This, then, is no longer just a matter of putting forth some effort; you also must put your entire heart into it. You must always regard your duty as your own job to do, take burdens for this task, suffer reproach if you make the slightest mistake or if you are slipshod in the slightest, feel that you cannot be this kind of person, because it makes you so unworthy of God. People who genuinely have sense fulfill their duties as though they are their own jobs to do, regardless of whether anyone is supervising. Whether God is happy with them or not and no matter how He treats them, they always have strict demands of themselves to fulfill their duties and complete the commission with which God has entrusted them. This is called devotion. Is this not a higher standard than the standard of conscience? Most of the time, the standard of conscience is influenced by external things, or one just uses all one’s strength; the level of purity is not that high. Speaking of “devotion” and “being able to faithfully keep to one’s duty,” the level of purity gets higher, and simply exerting some effort is not enough. This requires you to throw yourself into your duty with your entire heart, mind, body, and soul. Sometimes your body must suffer a little; you must apply all your thought to this. When many environments befall you, you cannot be influenced or constrained by them, and you should not suffer their bonds. You must put personal matters second; you must pay many a price, relinquish your personal interests, your pride, your emotions, physical pleasures and comforts, and you must even relinquish your youth, your marriage and your prospects. As such, you will have achieved devotion.
Excerpted from “Only by Being an Honest Person Can One Be Truly Happy” in Records of Christ’s Talks
At the outset, people are reluctant to practice the truth. Take devotedly fulfilling one’s duties as an example: You have some understanding of fulfilling your duties and being devoted to God, and you also understand the related truths, but when will you be able to completely devote yourself to God? When will you be able to fulfill your duties in both name and deed? This will require a process. During this process, you could suffer many hardships. Some people might deal with you, and others might criticize you. Everyone’s eyes will be fixed on you, and only then will you begin to realize that you are in the wrong and that you are actually the one who has done poorly, that lacking devotion in the fulfillment of your duty is unacceptable, and that you must not be careless or perfunctory. The Holy Spirit will enlighten you from within, and reproach you when you make a mistake. During this process, you will understand some things about yourself, and will know that you are too impure, you harbor too many personal motives, and have too many immoderate desires when fulfilling your duties. Once you have understood the essence of these things, you can come before God in prayer and truly repent; in this way, you can be cleansed of those impurities. If, in this manner, you frequently seek the truth to resolve your own practical problems, you will gradually set foot upon the right path of faith. The more someone’s corrupt disposition is purified, the more their life disposition will transform.
Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you wish to be devoted in everything you do to meet God’s will, you cannot merely perform one duty; you must accept any commission God bestows upon you. Whether or not it corresponds to your tastes and falls within your interests, or is something you do not enjoy or have never done before, or is something difficult, you still should accept it and submit. Not only must you accept it, but you must proactively cooperate, and learn about it and attain entry. Even if you suffer and have not been able to stand out and shine, you must still commit your devotion. You must regard it as your duty to fulfill; not as personal business, but as your duty. How should people understand their duties? It is when the Creator—God—gives someone a task to do, and at that point, that person’s duty arises. The tasks God gives to you, the commissions God gives to you—these are your duties. When you pursue them as your goals, and you truly have a God-loving heart, can you still refuse God’s commission? You should not refuse. You should accept it, right? This is the path of practice. What is the path of practice? (To be utterly devoted in all things.) Be devoted in all things to meet God’s will. Wherein lies the focal point here? It is “in all things.” “All things” does not necessarily mean things that you like or are good at, much less things with which you are familiar. Sometimes you will need to learn, sometimes you will encounter difficulties, and sometimes you must suffer. However, regardless of what task it is, as long as it is commissioned by God, you must accept it from Him, regard it as your duty, be devoted to fulfilling it, and meet God’s will: This is the path of practice.
Excerpted from “Only by Being an Honest Person Can One Be Truly Happy” in Records of Christ’s Talks
No matter what God asks of you, you need only work toward it with all your strength, and I hope you will be able to come before God and give Him your utmost devotion in the end. As long as you can see God’s gratified smile as He sits upon His throne, even if this moment is the appointed time of your death, you should be able to laugh and smile as you close your eyes. You must, during your time on earth, do your final duty for God. In the past, Peter was crucified upside down for the sake of God; but you should satisfy God in the end, and exhaust all your energy for His sake. What can a created being do on behalf of God? You should therefore give yourself up to God, sooner rather than later, for Him to dispose of you as He wishes. As long as it makes God happy and pleased, then let Him do as He will with you. What right do men have to speak words of complaint?
Excerpted from “Chapter 41” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
After years have passed, man has become weather-beaten, having experienced the hardship of refinement and chastisement. Although man has lost the “glory” and “romance” of times past, he has, without knowing it, come to understand the principles of human conduct, and has come to appreciate God’s years of devotion to saving mankind. Man slowly begins to loathe his own barbarousness. He begins to hate how feral he is, all of his misunderstandings toward God, and the unreasonable demands he has made of Him. The clock cannot be turned back. Past events become regretful memories of man, and the words and love of God become the driving force in man’s new life. Man’s wounds heal day by day, his strength returns, and he stands up and looks upon the face of the Almighty … only to discover that He has always been at my side, and that His smile and His beautiful countenance are still so stirring. His heart still holds concern for the mankind He created, and His hands are still as warm and powerful as they were in the beginning. It is as if man returned to the Garden of Eden, yet this time man no longer listens to the enticements of the serpent and no longer turns away from the face of Jehovah. Man kneels before God, looks up at God’s smiling face, and offers his most precious sacrifice—Oh! My Lord, my God!
Excerpted from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh