How to Pursue the Truth (7) Part Three

Having fellowshipped up to this point, let’s continue fellowshipping about how people should understand and perceive the relationship between their ideals, desires, and their duties. First, let’s talk about ideals, specifically the ideals of those people we mentioned earlier. Is it appropriate for people to pursue the realization of their own ideals in God’s house? (No, it is not appropriate.) What is the nature of the issue? Why is it inappropriate? (By pursuing the realization of their ideals while doing their duties, they are showcasing themselves and establishing their own careers, rather than pursuing the fulfillment of their duties as created beings.) Tell Me, is it improper to pursue the realization of one’s own ideals and desires? (Yes, it is improper.) If you say it is improper, does this deprive one of their human rights? (No, it doesn’t.) Then what’s the problem? (When people believe in God, they should pursue the truth and follow the path that God’s words point out for them to pursue. If they only pursue their own desires and ideals, they are pursuing what their flesh desires, which is an ideology instilled by Satan.) In the world, it is considered proper to pursue the realization of one’s own ideals. Regardless of what ideals you pursue, it’s fine as long as they’re legal and don’t cross any moral boundaries. Nobody questions anything, and you don’t get caught up in matters of right or wrong. You pursue whatever you may personally prefer, and if you get it, if you reach your goal, then you are successful; but if you miss, if you fail, that is your own affair. However, when you enter God’s house, a special place, regardless of what ideals and desires you carry with you, you should let go of all of them. Why is that? The pursuit of ideals and desires, regardless of what you pursue specifically—let’s just talk about the pursuit itself—its course of action and the path it takes all revolve around egoism, self-interest, status, and reputation. These things are all what it revolves around. In other words, when people pursue the realization of their ideals, the only beneficiary is themselves. Is it just for a person to pursue the realization of their ideals for the sake of status, reputation, vanity, and physical interests? (No, it is not.) For the sake of personal and private ideals, thoughts, and desires, the methods and approaches they adopt are all self-centered and focused on personal gain. If we measure them against the truth, they are neither just nor legitimate. People should let go of them, isn’t that certain? (Yes, it is.) They should let go, let go of egoism, let go of personal ideals and desires. This is seen from the perspective of the essence of the paths people take—pursuing the realization of one’s own ideals and desires is not a positive thing, it has been negated. That is one aspect. Now let’s discuss another aspect, what kind of venue is God’s house, the church, regardless of its name? What kind of place is it? What is the essence of the church, God’s house? First, from a theoretical perspective, it is not the world, society, or any human corporation or organization in society. It does not belong to the world or to mankind. Why was it established? What was the reason for its appearance and existence? The reason is because of God and His work, right? (Yes.) The church, God’s house, exists because of God’s presence and His work. Therefore, is the church, God’s house, a place to showcase personal talents and fulfill personal ideals, aspirations, and desires? (No, it is not.) Clearly, it is not. The church, God’s house, exists because of God’s presence and the presence of His work. As such, it is not a place to demonstrate personal talents or realize personal ideals, aspirations, and desires. It does not revolve around life in the flesh, fleshly prospects, fame and fortune, status, reputation, and so on—it does not work for these. Neither did it emerge or exist because of the material fame, status, enjoyment, or prospects of humans. So, what kind of place is it then? Since the church, God’s house, was established because of God’s presence and the presence of His work, isn’t it supposed to carry out God’s will, proclaim His words, and bear witness to Him? (Yes.) Isn’t this the truth? (Yes.) The church, God’s house, exists because of the presence of God and His work, so it can only carry out God’s will, proclaim His words, and bear witness to Him. It has nothing to do with personal status, fame, prospects, or any other interests. The principles that govern any and all work done by the church, God’s house, should be based on God’s words, His requirements, and His teachings. Broadly speaking, it can be said to revolve around God’s will and His work; specifically, around expanding the gospel of the kingdom and bearing witness to and proclaiming His word. Is that correct? (Yes.) Apart from carrying out God’s will, proclaiming His words, and bearing witness to Him, is there something even more important to the church, God’s house? (It is the place where God’s chosen people experience His work, receive cleansing, and obtain salvation.) You’ve hit the nail on the head. The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and most importantly, it is a place where people can receive salvation. Have you remembered that? (Yes, I have.) Read it. (The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and God’s chosen people receive cleansing and salvation.) The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and His chosen people receive cleansing and salvation. It is such a place. In a place like this, is there any task or project, no matter what it may be, that aligns with the fulfillment of personal ideals and desires? There is no work or project serving the purpose of fulfilling personal ideals and desires, nor does any aspect of these exist for the realization of personal ideals and desires. Therefore, should personal ideals and desires exist in God’s house? (They should not.) They should not, because personal ideals and desires are in conflict with any work that God wishes to do in the church. Personal ideals and desires contradict any work that is done in the church. They contradict the truth, deviate from God’s will, from the proclamation of His words, from bearing witness to Him, and from the work of cleansing and salvation for God’s chosen people. Regardless of one’s ideals, as long as they are personal ideals and desires, they will hinder people from following God’s will, and affect or hinder the proclamation of His words and bearing witness to Him. Of course, as long as they are personal ideals and desires, they cannot allow people to receive cleansing and salvation. It is not just a matter of contradiction between the two sides, they run fundamentally counter to each other. While pursuing your own ideals and desires, you obstruct the carrying out of God’s will, the work of proclaiming His words and bearing witness to Him, as well as people’s and of course your own salvation. In short, no matter what people’s ideals are, they are not to follow God’s will and cannot achieve the actual result of absolute submission to God. When people pursue their ideals and desires, their ultimate purpose is not to understand the truth, or understand how to comport themselves, how to satisfy God’s will, and how to perform their duties well and fulfill their role as created beings. It is not for people to have true fear of and submission to God. On the contrary, the more one’s ideals and desires are realized, the farther one drifts from God and the closer one gets to Satan. Similarly, the more one pursues their ideals and achieves them, the more rebellious against God one’s heart becomes, the farther one moves away from God, and in the end, when one is able to fulfill their ideals as they wish and realize and satisfy their desires, they grow more disdainful of God, His sovereignty, and everything about Him. They may even walk the path of denying, resisting, and standing in opposition to God. This is the final outcome.

After understanding what God’s house, the church, is, people should also understand what attitude and stance to adopt as they live and survive in God’s house as a member of it. Some people have said, “You won’t let us pursue the realization of our own ideals or realize our own desires.” I am not restricting you from pursuing your own ideals; I am telling you how to appropriately live in God’s house, how to appropriately take a proper stance and fulfill your duties in God’s house as a created being. If you insist on pursuing the realization of your own ideals, then I can be straightforward and say: Please leave! The church is not a place for you to pursue the realization of your ideals. Outside of God’s house, you can do anything in your ideals you want to do and pursue your own ideals and aspirations. All you have to do is leave God’s house, and no one will interfere with what you do. However, the church, God’s house, is not a suitable place for you to pursue the realization of your ideals. To put it more precisely, it is impossible for you to pursue your own ideals and desires in this place. Should you stay in God’s house, the church, for even a day, don’t even think about realizing or pursuing your own ideals. If you say, “I give up on my own ideals. I am willing to do my duties according to God’s requirements and become a qualified created being,” then this would be acceptable. You could do your duties according to your place and according to rules in God’s house. But if you insist on pursuing and realizing your own ideals, aiming to not live your life in vain, then you can give up your duties and leave God’s house. Or you can write a statement, saying, “I voluntarily withdraw from The Church of Almighty God to pursue the realization of my own ideals and desires. The world is wide, and there must be a place for me there. Farewell.” That way, you can leave in a way that’s proper and fitting and pursue your own ideals. However, if you say, “I would rather give up my own ideals, fulfill my duties in God’s house, be a qualified created being, and pursue salvation,” then we can find some common ground between us. Since you wish to remain peacefully in God’s house as a member, you should first learn how to be a good created being and fulfill your duties according to your place. In God’s house, you would then become a created being that lives up to its name. Created being is your outward identity and title, and it should come with specific manifestations and substance. It’s not just about having the title; but since you are a created being, you should fulfill the duties of a created being. Since you are a created being, you should fulfill the responsibilities of such. So, what are the duties and responsibilities of a created being? God’s word clearly lays out the duties, obligations, and responsibilities of created beings, doesn’t it? From today onward, you are a genuine member of God’s house, that is to say, you acknowledge yourself as one of the created beings of God. Consequently, from today, you should reconsider your life plans. You should no longer pursue but should let go of the ideals, desires, and goals you previously set for your life. Instead, you should change your identity and perspective in order to plan the life goals and direction that a created being should have. First and foremost, your goals and direction should not be to become a leader, or to lead or excel in any industry, or to become a renowned figure who carries out a certain task or masters a particular skill. Your goal should be to accept your duty from God, that is, to know what work you should be doing now, at this moment, and to understand what duty you need to perform. You need to ask what God requires of you and what duty has been arranged for you in His house. You should understand and gain clarity on the principles that should be understood, laid hold of, and followed regarding that duty. If you can’t remember them, you can write them down on paper or record them on your computer. Take the time to review them and ponder over them. As a member of the created beings, your primary life goal should be to fulfill your duty as a created being and be a qualified created being. This is the most fundamental life goal you should have. Second and more specific is how to fulfill your duty as a created being and be a qualified created being. Of course, any goals or directions related to your reputation, status, vanity, future, and so on should be relinquished. Some may ask, “Why should we give them up?” It’s simple. Pursuing fame, wealth, and status will hinder the carrying out of God’s will, disrupt certain work in God’s house or the church, and even undermine certain work of the church. It will impact the spreading of God’s word, bearing witness to God, and, most seriously, people receiving salvation. In order to fulfill your duty up to standard and become a qualified created being, you can set goals and summarize your experiences in any way you want, but you should never pursue the realization of your own ideals. Your ideals should not become intermixed in any of the principles or approaches you take in performing your duty. In order to perform your duty well and up to standard and become a good created being, you should seek principles within God’s words and a more accurate path of practice, rather than summing up your own personal ideas and opportunities outside of God’s words. These principles of practice ultimately revolve around how to be a qualified created being and fulfill your duty. Everything is centered on understanding the truth, fulfilling your duty as a created being, and ultimately understanding the principles to abide by when facing various people, events, and things in the process of performing your duty or in your daily life. Is this clear? (Yes.) Of course, if you perform your duty according to the requirements and principles of God’s house, and strive to be a qualified created being, you can achieve these results. However, if you pursue the realization of your own ideals, you will never receive God’s approval.

If people persistently pursue the realization of their own ideals without following the path of pursuing the truth, they will ultimately become more arrogant, selfish, aggressive, ferocious, and greedy. What else? They will also grow increasingly inflated and full of themselves. However, when people give up pursuing the realization of their own ideals and desires, and instead pursue an understanding of various truths as well as various aspects of God’s words and criteria of the truth concerning how to view people and things, comport themselves, and take action, they will live with more of a human likeness. When carrying out various tasks or experiencing different environments, they will no longer feel lost and confused as before. Moreover, they will no longer be trapped in negative emotions as they often used to be, unable to extricate themselves, constrained and bound by negative thoughts and emotions, eventually leading to being controlled and covered by various negative emotions. Pursuing the realization of their own ideals and desires only takes people further away from the principles both of God’s words and of accurately becoming qualified created beings. They are unaware of how to submit to God’s arrangements and orchestrations, and have no understanding of what human life, aging, illness, and death are all about. They don’t know how to handle hatred or deal with various negative emotions. Of course, they are also clueless about how to navigate the people, events, and things that come into their lives. When faced with various people, events, and things, they are helpless, filled with confusion, and at a loss. In the end, they can only allow negative emotions and thoughts and viewpoints to spread and develop in their hearts, allowing themselves to be controlled and bound by them. Furthermore, led by these negative emotions or thoughts and viewpoints, they may also engage in extreme behaviors, or do things that harm themselves and others, creating unthinkable consequences. Such actions obstruct people’s legitimate pursuits and damage the conscience and reason they should have. Therefore, the most important thing now is for people to examine deep within their hearts what are the things they still yearn for, and what are the things that belong to the flesh, to the world, and to the interests of the flesh, such as fame, prestige, reputation, status, wealth, and so on, that they still yearn for, still need, and are unable to see through, and that frequently bind and tempt them. They may even be deeply trapped by these things or have a deep admiration for them, and with a slight misstep, they could be easily captured by them at any time and in any place. In that case, these things are their ideals. Once they achieve these ideals, that is when they become their downfall and the source of their demise. How do you view this matter? (People should examine deep within their hearts what things they still yearn for. They need to see through things such as fleshly and worldly fame, prestige, reputation, status, wealth, and so on; otherwise, they might easily be captured by them.) They can be captured by them, right? So, these things of the flesh are very dangerous. If you cannot see through them, you will always be in danger of being influenced or even captured by them. So, the most crucial thing for you to do now is to dissect and understand these fleshly things I mentioned earlier based on God’s words and the truth. Once you can dig them up and discern them, you should let go of them and invest your body, mind, and energy into becoming an ordinary created being, as well as into your current duties and work. Stop seeing yourself as a special or invincible person, or someone with extraordinary talents or abilities. You are just an insignificant individual. How insignificant? Among all the created beings and all things created by God, you are merely one of them, the most ordinary one. To what extent are you ordinary? You are as common as any blade of grass, as any tree, mountain, drop of water, or even a grain of sand on the shore. There’s nothing for you to boast about, nothing worthy of admiration. That’s how ordinary you are. Moreover, if there still exist the images of idols, grand figures, celebrities, great people standing tall in the depth of your heart, or certain things that you envy, you should remove and let go of them. You should see through to their nature essence, and return to the path of being an ordinary created being. Being an ordinary created being and fulfilling your duties is the most fundamental thing you should do. Then, you should return to this topic of pursuing the truth and put more effort into the truth. Try to minimize your exposure to external news, information, events, and celebrity profiles. It’s best to avoid anything that could reignite the desire to realize your own ideals. Now, you need to distance yourself from people, events, and things that are of no benefit to you and are negative. Isolate yourself from them and try to steer clear of everything in this complicated and chaotic world. Even if they pose no threat or temptation to you, you should still distance yourself from them. Just like how Moses lived in the wilderness for forty years; wasn’t he still able to live well? In the end, despite his poor speaking ability, he was chosen by God, which was the most honorable thing in his life. It wasn’t anything bad. Therefore, first and foremost, recover your heart deep within your thoughts, and deep in your thoughts you should possess a mindset of hungering and thirsting for righteousness that pursues the truth in your faith. You need to have such a plan, such a will and a desire, rather than constantly dwelling on your ideals or putting continuous efforts and contemplation into whether or not you can achieve them. You should completely sever your attachment to previous ideals and desires, and strive to be a qualified and ordinary created being. Being one of ordinary created beings is not a bad thing. Why do I say this? It is actually a good thing. From the moment you start to let go of your fleshly ideals and desires, from the moment you make a firm decision to be an ordinary created being without any special status, position, or worth, it means you have the willingness and determination to fully surrender to the dominion of God, to the dominion of the Creator, allowing God to orchestrate and rule over your life. You have the willingness to submit, to give up and cast aside personal ideals and desires, to let God be your Lord and rule over your destiny, to become a qualified created being with such a mindset, and to fulfill your duty well with such a mindset and attitude. This is the life outlook you should have. Is this correct? Is this the truth? (Yes.) What do your life goals and the direction of your life center on? (Fulfilling the duties of a created being.) That is the most basic thing. What else? (The pursuit of becoming an ordinary created being.) Anything else? (Pursuing the truth to attain salvation.) That’s another one. Anything else? (Centering on God’s words and putting more effort into the truth.) That’s a little more concrete, isn’t it? All of your life goals and the direction of your life should revolve around God’s words, and you should put more effort into the truth. Take the enthusiasm you had before in pursuing vague ideals and redirect it toward reading God’s words and pondering the truth, and see if you will make progress toward the truth. If you have truly made progress toward the truth, there will be specific manifestations in yourself. That is, when faced with various people, events, and things involving human thoughts and viewpoints, as well as principles, you will no longer feel at a loss, confused, perplexed, or bewildered. Instead, you will pray to God, be guided by His words, have a calm and steadfast heart, and know how to act in a way that submits to God and conforms to His will. That is when you will truly be on the right path in life. Many people make slow progress in their lives because, in the process of doing their duties, they always pursue their own ideals, fame, status, and the life goals they imagine, and wish to receive blessings while satisfying their fleshly desires. As a result, they cannot fulfill their duties in a down-to-earth manner, and they do not experience true life entry. From start to finish, they are unable to share a genuine experiential testimony. Consequently, no matter how long they have been doing their duties, their progress entering into life and the truth remains minimal, and they bear little fruit. If you truly devoted yourself to doing your duties, putting all your energy into the pursuit of the truth and working hard toward the truth, you would not find yourself in the current state, stature, and condition you are in. It is because people usually focus only on mundane tasks, professional work, and the task at hand, and the underlying essence of these activities is to fulfill personal desires and aspirations while realizing their own ideals. What are these ideals? It is that people always want to find themselves in their work, and having won certain achievements, earned certain results, and gained recognition from others, at the same time they always want to realize their dreams and the goals of their pursuit in order to demonstrate their own value. Then they feel fulfilled. However, this is not the pursuit of truth; it is merely satisfying the emptiness within themselves and using work to enrich their lives. Isn’t this the way it is? (Yes.) Therefore, no matter how long a person labors or how much work they have done, it is all unrelated to the truth. They still don’t understand the truth and are far from pursuing it. In terms of the principles related to their work responsibilities, people still have no entry or understanding. Consequently, you feel exhausted and wonder, “Why are we always being pruned? We put in a lot of effort, endured a lot of hardships, and paid a heavy price. Why are we still being pruned?” It is because you don’t understand the principles. You have never understood or grasped the principles, nor have you put any effort into them. In other words, you haven’t put effort into the truth, into God’s words. You simply follow a few rules and act according to your own imagination. You always live in a world of your own ideals and notions, and everything you do is irrelevant to the truth. You are pursuing your own career, not following God’s will. So, you still don’t understand the principles in God’s words, and in the end, some people are labeled as being service-doers, and some feel wronged. What is the reason they feel wronged? It is because they think that their suffering and paying a price is equivalent to practicing the truth. Actually, their suffering and paying a price is just enduring some hardship. It is not practicing the truth or following God’s way. More accurately, it has nothing to do with practicing the truth; it is just exerting effort and doing work. Is merely exerting effort and doing work fulfilling your duties up to standard? Is it being a qualified created being? (No.) There is distance and a gap between these two.

Regarding the topic of letting go of negative emotions of repression, let’s stop our fellowship here for today. Can you clearly see these problems that arise for those people who feel repressed because they cannot achieve their own ideals and desires? (Yes, it is clear.) What’s clear? Let’s summarize a little. First, let’s talk about what ideals are. The ideals being dissected here are negative, they are not legitimate or positive things. What are ideals? Use precise language to provide a definition for “ideals.” (They are empty thoughts that deviate from normal human conscience and reason, that humans imagine for themselves but do not align with reality. They are not real.) What you have mentioned are the ideals of idealists. How would you define ideals in general? Can you define them? Are they difficult to define? What are the pursued goals that people establish for their own status, reputation, and prospects? (The pursued goals established by people for their own status, reputation, and prospects are ideals.) Is this definition correct? (Yes.) The pursued goals established for people’s own status, reputation, prospects, and interests are ideals and desires. Is this the broad definition of ideals as referred to by unbelievers? We are defining it based on its underlying essence, right? (Yes.) Regardless of the specific type of ideals, whether they are lofty, lowly, or average, they are all pursued goals established by people for their own interests. These goals are their ideals or desires. Isn’t this the ideal of those whom we fellowshipped about and dissected in the previous examples? The pursued goals established by people for their own status, reputation, prospects, interests, and so on, are ideals and desires. Those who pursue ideals and desires but cannot realize them often feel repressed within the church. These people feel repressed. Think for a minute, are you also in such a state and situation? Do you also often live in such a condition, with such emotions? If you have these emotions, what are you striving for? It is for your own status, reputation, prospects, and interests. The ideals and pursued goals you have established are often restricted and hindered by the truth and positive things—they are not able to be realized. As a result, you feel unhappy and live with emotions of repression. Is that not it? (Yes.) This is the issue of human ideals. First, we dissected human ideals, and then what did we fellowship about? We fellowshipped that the church, God’s house, is not the place for people to fulfill their ideals. Then we fellowshipped about the correct goals that people should pursue in their faith in God, how to be a qualified created being, and how to fulfill the duties of a created being. Is that not it? (Yes.) The main purpose of fellowshipping about these things is to tell people how to choose and how to treat their ideals and duties. People should abandon their improper ideals, while their duties are what they should pay for in this life and devote their entire lives to. The duties of a created being are positive things, while human ideals are not and should not be held on to but relinquished. What people should hold on to and pursue is to become a qualified created being and fulfill their duties as such. So, what should people do when their ideals conflict with their duties? (They should let go of their own ideals and abandon them.) They should abandon their ideals and hold on to their duties. No matter when or to what age they may live, what people should do and what they should pursue must revolve around how to fulfill the duties of a created being and achieve submission to God, His words, and the truth. Only through such a practice can one live a meaningful and valuable life, right? (Yes.) Alright, let’s conclude our fellowship here for today. Goodbye!

December 10, 2022

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