The Aim and Significance of Communion With God in Prayer
To Enter Into True Communion With God Is the Prerequisite for Understanding the Truth, and for Attaining Salvation and Being Made Perfect
What is the goal of communion with God? Having true communion with God is mainly to understand God’s words and seek the truth; this is one aspect. There is another aspect, which is to rely on communion with God and seek to grasp God’s will when encountering issues; this is also essential. Yet another aspect is that when you are experiencing God’s words, you must gain true knowledge of God, so that a heart that reveres God arises within you. To achieve this also greatly depends upon having communion with God, and this aspect is also essential. There is another aspect in having communion with God which is most fundamental, and that is while experiencing God’s words, to rely on communion with God to gain knowledge of the true state of your own corruption, and your nature and essence; this is the most fundamental aspect. Much of the time, we often see our own corruption exposed; how is this achieved? It is because we have an understanding of the truth, and we use the truth ourselves to measure all of our actions that knowledge of the substance of our own corruption arises within us. This is the most fundamental result achieved through communion with God. To have communion with God, these aspects must be put into practice, and these aspects are all crucial and very important. Every time that you truly commune with God you ought to have these substantial issues and results. Only then can you say that you have truly communed with God. If you do not achieve these results, then you did not truly commune with God. What are these results? Firstly, when communing with God, we can come to know the truth of our corruption and the essence of our nature, achieving the result of knowing ourselves. In the presence of God, we should often reflect on the things we have done to see whether or not they actually conformed to God’s will, to see what it is we’ve relied on to live. If we have lived by the word of God, then that is testimony for entry into life. If we’ve lived by the philosophy of Satan, that is an expression of the corrupt nature of Satan, which is considered a transgression. Secondly, when communing with God, we not only achieve true knowledge of ourselves but we also achieve true knowledge of God, which is the result of communing with God. After achieving true knowledge of God, we will begin to revere God in our hearts, obey God in our hearts, and love God in our hearts, which will eventually bring forth in us the resolve to serve God. This is the result achieved by knowing God, and it is also the result achieved by communing with God. If we do not achieve these results in our communion with God, that is sufficient to prove that we have not entered the right track in our prayers, and that we have not actually communed with God. Some people say: “Well, I’ve prayed for many years, so does that mean that I’m in communion with God?” Then you have to measure this according to these results. Do you have the result of knowing yourself in your prayers to God? Do you have the result of seeking God’s will and the truth? Do you have the result of obeying God? Do you have the result of revering God? Do you have the result of loving God? If you do not have a single one of these results, then your prayers are hollow, they are meaningless, and you simply are not in true communion with God. Some people’s prayers have no content apart from supplication. They have never had any real introspection before God, they have never sought to grasp God’s will, and they have never had the expression of obeying God, much less ever have the words showing that they love Him, or are loyal to Him. This kind of person communes with God no differently than a beggar would, begging Him incessantly. If a person’s prayers to God have nothing but supplication, do not seek the truth, do not grasp God’s will, and are not truly open-hearted with God, then is this kind of person someone who has true communion with God? If a person doesn’t have true communion with God, and has only supplication in their prayers, then this is a religious person, and their prayers are a religious ritual; they don’t know why they need pray to God, and they don’t know what a true prayer is. It is like two people associating with each other; if they are close friends, then there is nothing they won’t say to each other, and they speak everything that is in their heart. And what about if they aren’t friends? Then the discussion between those two people will be very limited, it will all be a polite facade, and they won’t discuss any real topic. If you see someone who is just an acquaintance, who you haven’t really had any dealings with, then would you be willing to say to them what’s in your heart? You wouldn't be willing to do this at all. So would you have true communion with them? No, right? If you don’t speak your mind, then that is not being open-hearted; if it isn’t an intimate friend then you don’t say intimate things to them. Therefore, the key to our communion with God depends on whether or not we are open-hearted with God, whether or not we are speaking our minds to God, and whether or not we have fellowship with Him deep in our hearts. If we have true fellowship with God, if we can take the issues of our own lives, our own fates, exactly how we live, and who we live for, if we can often pray and have communion about these most crucial and fundamental issues to God, then in this way we become more enlightened with every day that passes. We feel like God’s words have become the lamp that shows the way ahead, a light on the path, and we will be walking on the road of true life.
We seek the truth to resolve our corruption and to achieve salvation. We mainly do this by the results of our communion with God. Through communion with God we can understand more and more of the words of God. Through communion with God, we understand a little of God’s disposition and essence. Through communion with God, we can gradually develop reverence for God and obedience for God in our hearts. Through communion with God, we can increasingly feel how lovely God is and thereby we can love God and obey God to death. The effects of life growth and changes in disposition completely depend upon our communion with God. The more a person communes with God, the more words they feel they should speak to God, the more problems they feel they should seek God for, and the more matters they feel they should think about and understand thoroughly. Thus, our hearts grow more and more enlightened. People who have gained the truth, it can be said, have a clear view of the world, corrupt mankind, those in power, worldly trends, and life, and therefore their hearts are enlightened. They know how to act in accordance with God’s will, they know how to serve God to satisfy His will; this is all a result of frequent communion with God. Why do some people not understand or clearly grasp so many truths, or see many matters clearly? It is because they lack true communion with God; their entry into the aspects of praying to God, seeking the truth, and having communion with God is too shallow. Thus, there are many issues that they do not understand, and never see clearly. They do not understand the truth; if you let them ask a question, then they will raise some questions about regulations, that they don’t know how to act here, or they don’t know what to do there, always things like this. If you ask them to pray before God, they won’t, and will say: “I’ve prayed, and I got no response, no result.” Do you think you could get results after praying just once? You must take time to ponder this in your heart, and by praying often and trying to figure things out before God, you will unknowingly become enlightened, and will unknowingly come to understand. There is a fact that everyone is aware of; if you are a girl, how did you learn to cook, and on what day did you learn? Can you clearly say? You can’t clearly say it. It was something you went through gradually at home. Sometimes your mother gave you instruction, sometimes you watched, sometimes you practiced, and you unknowingly came to be able to do it. What of communion with God? What about understanding the truth? It is the same. We often pray before God, and whatever matter we do not understand, we pray about it and go seeking to God, and then before God we contemplate it, think about it, and unknowingly we come to understand. However, you cannot speak clearly on which day you understand, but you understand it anyway. The results of your contemplation, praying, and seeking are inconceivable; this is the meaning of God’s wonderful deeds. For matters of spirit, through our prayers and communion with God, the Holy Spirit unknowingly enlightens and illuminates us, and guides us to understand the truth. Communion with God is this miraculous. Now we gather together like this, and fellowship like this, and we can unknowingly come to understand many things. After a few years, you’ll recall, “Ah! When I first started believing in God I didn’t know anything at all! Later, how did I come to understand everything? What day was it that I understood? I don’t know, it was all unconscious.” Therefore, we must learn how to pray, and learn how to grasp God’s will; we must often live before God and contemplate His words, and contemplate the truth. If we train like this, and practice like this, then there will come a time when we will reap the rewards. We will unknowingly come to understand many truths, and see all matters clearly. Just like when there is a gathering of young people, and when you ask these young brothers and sisters about the truth in all aspects, they cannot answer clearly, yet they can all speak some words from their hearts, they can all read God’s words and speak about their own experience and knowledge, and slowly come to understand the truth. Meeting together like this, after one year, two years, or three years, they will reap no small amount of rewards. And if they don’t meet together like this? They will never have rewards, and they will never grow up in life, and that’s a fact. Thus, when praying and having communion with God, if we persist for several years, then we will definitely see a bountiful harvest, and will achieve several different kinds of results. People who have experience all realize this: If during our prayers we have the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and are moved by the Holy Spirit, then at that moment the love for God in our hearts will be especially strong. Tearfully, we will express our resolution to God, and we will be willing to obey Him and satisfy Him. Is this not a result of the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not have this kind of communion with God, then you will not have this kind of result. Thus, communing with God through prayer allows the love in your heart for God to grow, your obedience to strengthen, and your reverence to become more true. This is all achieved through praying, praying over and over, to gain the work of the Holy Spirit, and this is absolutely correct. Therefore, if a person wants to attain salvation and be made perfect by God, they must enter the correct path of communing with God through prayer; this is so crucial!
To truly commune with God is to take all of one’s difficulties and problems before Him, and then to resolve them by relying on praying to God and going seeking to God. This way, people can enter reality and enter onto the correct path in their communion with God. All those who during their communion with God can solve their own practical difficulties, can obtain the truth, and can grasp God’s will, are people who have entered the correct path of communion with God. This shows that they are able to pray, that they can commune with God, and that they have faith before God. Now you may still have some problems; are you willing to take them before God and pray to Him? Do you have this faith? If a person has knowledge from experience, then they will have faith. If they do not have knowledge from experience, then they will have no faith—is this not the case? Knowledge from experience is not so simple! Think now about how much of all the understanding and all of what you have gained from your faith in God comes from what others have told you, and how much has been understood unknowingly through prayer and pursuing? Try and summarize it. If you can truly summarize it, and you reach the conclusion that “most of it has been unknowingly understood through prayer and seeking,” then you know that communion with God is guaranteed to achieve results. Some of it is gained through the man’s fellowship, and some of it is understood through your own experiences and through fellowshiping many times with brothers and sisters. Some is understood at last after much pondering and thinking about it by yourself; no matter what, it is all the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. Have you discovered any problems within yourself? If you really discover some problems, how would you pray before God? How would you commune with God? For example, when facing some issue, you are unable to be obedient to God, but instead you rely on the flesh and on emotions to deal with it; is this not a problem? What kind of problem is this? You do not obey God, but live by the flesh. So can you go before God and pray? Go before God and say, “God! Today I have encountered this issue, and I’ve realized that I still cannot obey You. I’ve discovered a practical problem; I am not a person who obeys God. There are many things in which I cannot obey You, but rather I rely on the flesh and on satanic philosophies to live. This is absolutely a serious problem. God, may You help me to break free of Satan’s ensnarement, so that I can obey You, so that I can live by Your word, and attain true salvation.” After you pray and entrust your problem to God in this way, you then make a resolution, saying how you will seek to grasp God’s will when facing matters in the future, and how exactly you are going to obey God. Afterward, you should be careful, for after a few days, when you are facing some matter, you immediately become aware that last time you faced that issue you did not go by the word of God, but acted relying on emotion and on the flesh. This time, you must change the format, and consider how to practice by God’s word. Now you have started on the path of entry, you know how to practice, you have changed your mindset and chosen God’s word, and to live by God’s word, so go ahead and practice. During practice, some more problems arise, namely how to practice correctly. These are problems of entering into experience, of entering into true experience. While you are in the midst of experiencing, you will probably make some errors, and some impurities will be introduced, as well as some falseness. But you have now grasped the road, and you see the road clearly, then perhaps one day you will truly be able to live by God’s word. During your long experiences, you can pray about each experience to God, and you can sincerely open your heart about each experience to God. You will unknowingly experience to such a degree whereby you will be able to practice God’s word, and live by God’s word—this is the result achieved through communion with God.
Now everyone is seeking to be an honest person, and trying to solve the problem of lying and deceiving; so how do you pray about this problem to God? How do you commune with God? That is, how do you practice in each and every kind of matter? In which matters do you still engage in deceit? And in which matters do you also tell lies, and engage in deception? Bring this practical matter out into the light, bring your true behavior and your true thoughts before God, and fellowship with God. This is true communion with God, this is being open-hearted with God and telling Him what is in your heart, and this is speaking practicality and reality. Most of the words that you say in prayer to God when everything is fine are useless, they are all empty words, and are unrealistic. How in practical matters we should put God’s words into practice and how we should obey God—take this kind of matter and this kind of experience before God, and fellowship this kind of problem with God. This is true communion with God. To commune with God is to bring Him into real life. Bring all matters of real life before God to pray, seek, and fellowship, and in the end you will achieve understanding of the truth, and you will have a path of practice, and then you will return to life and practice the truth and practice God’s words. This is the entire process of communion with God. During this period of time, you must keep an account in your heart of the problems you focus on in your communion and prayer to God, how you have advanced and what you have obtained. In each period of time, we must concentrate on one aspect of the truth and have fellowship with God in order to gain true entry. Only this kind of communion with God will achieve true results—do you understand clearly? Are there people who, when facing problems, do not pray to God? Some people do not practice the truth and they live by satanic philosophies, neither do they pray nor seek, and in the end they do just as they please and live however they want to live; they pray only to solve those superficial doctrinal problems. Does this kind of person have true communion with God or not? They have not brought God into real life! Thus, they cannot bring how to practice God’s words, how to seek the truth, and how to live by God’s word in real life before God, or commune with God. So does this kind of person have God’s words in their life? No. Without God’s words, they are a person outside of God’s words; can people outside of God’s words attain salvation? If a person does not have God’s words in real life, and does not practice the truth, then this kind of person is someone outside of God’s words. They only pay lip service in their belief in God, and their belief is so far divorced from reality and from life. Their belief in God is empty, and without reality. Thus, their belief in God is untenable, and they are a non-believer; this kind of person cannot attain salvation.
Believing in God and accepting God’s words doesn’t integrate reality; can this kind of person enter reality? They regularly say they obey God, and speak doctrines of belief in God, but as soon as a practical issue comes along, they do not obey God anymore, they become self-righteous and arrogant. No matter what anyone says, they don’t listen, and they do just as they please. Is this kind of person someone who obeys God? There is an old sister whose belief in God is good, and whose faith is strong; she likes to fulfill hosting duties. I arrived at her house, and at mealtime she fried fish and roasted chicken. I said to her, “Could you not make this fish and chicken? Eat some vegetables, have some soup; they’re delicious. You always make very oily, greasy food, and this is not good.” Her mouth replied “yes,” but when the time came the table was still laden with meat, meat and more meat. I said, “Why do you always make this? Make some cabbage with some starch noodles or something like that; that would be very good.” I asked her to make some vegetable dishes without much meat mixed in. As she was making it, she forgot and made the dish her way. Then, in prayer, she said, “God, I am willing to obey.” But as soon as she started to practice, what happened? I asked her to make the dish the way I told her and she couldn’t do it, and in the end, I had no choice but to teach her. Even though she turned it over in her mind for a week or more, she still wouldn’t be able to put it into practice. Why could she not be obedient in such a small matter? Her place was a host family, and she often had brothers and sisters going there; in the room where she hosted brothers and sisters, the beds were all inappropriately placed, and looked very awkward. I said to her, “These beds are placed poorly, it’s awkward. Change it up, place it like this, it’s very simple.” At first, she felt embarrassed to say “No,” but just nodded her head and said, “Okay.” In the end, she still didn’t place it like I’d said to. When I saw that she was still not being obedient, I just asked her if she could move the beds, and in the end what did she say? “This is my house, I will place things how I want to place them.” She was unable to obey no matter what. I guided her on such things, but she would not listen to me, and she just did as she pleased. Can this kind of person obey God? She can’t even accept people speaking the right words, how then can she obey God? Obedience to God is very complex! You must grasp God’s will, and truly understand the substance of God’s words, and what it is that God’s words are saying. You must then understand how to practice them in certain matters, and how to act with principle—that is much more difficult to do than to hear one sentence of right words and put them into practice. When a person tells us how to do something, is it not the simplest matter? Why is it that we can’t obey in the simplest of matters? Why can we not practice it? Can this kind of person be obedient to God? I have discovered that there are many of this kind of person; I see such a person as finished, a waste, useless. Can I still guide this kind of person? There is no way to guide them. They do whatever they wish to do, but patience is the only way to deal with it. They don’t listen to you, so you have to give up. Therefore, as to whether someone is acting obediently to God, look first to whether or not they are willing to listen to the correct words of other people. If they truly have a heart that obeys God, then when people speak correctly they can put that into practice. For people who don’t have a heart that obeys God, no matter how right the things are that people say to them, they will not practice them. Now that they cannot practice anything that someone says to them that is right, he will especially not obey God, and this is certain! Suppose there was a person who wouldn’t practice anything anyone ever said to them, no matter what they said, he wouldn’t listen, but who would still say that he himself was someone who obeyed God; is this possible? Are you this kind of person? In what matters do you have this kind of behavior? When people speak correctly, no matter what they say you don’t listen, you would rather die than listen, and you look death in the face without flinching—is there this kind of person? For example, you wear some clothes that you like, and if someone says to you, “Don’t wear these clothes, wear clothes like that,” and you happen to not like those clothes, then no matter what they say you won’t wear them, and you would rather die than wear those clothes. This kind of person cannot obey God; he holds onto his own things too strongly. Why then does he not listen to people? He thinks that other people are wrong, that only he is right and superior, so he doesn’t listen to you. He is extremely self-righteous, and extremely stubborn; this kind of person does not easily obey God. To obey God, you mustn’t come up with your own excuses, or reasons; if you possess this kind of resolution, then you can obey God. This way, you will be able to not persist in your own conceptions, you will be able to forsake yourself, and even when you speak correctly and well you will still forsake yourself. When other people say things that are at odds with your conceptions, and you regard them as wrong, you will still obey them. If you can achieve this, then you can obey God. Therefore, the lesson of obeying God is the most profound, and the most difficult truth to enter is obeying God.
So are people who are relatively obedient to God self-righteous? They have some self-righteousness. But sometimes, they are able to suffer and they can forsake themselves, and while they are forsaking themselves they will suffer; this is true. They say, “Ah! I think doing this isn’t appropriate; but there’s nothing I can do. I’ll obey God. Even though I don’t think it’s appropriate to practice like this, I’ll still do it this way.” Even if their heart is miserable, they still practice in this way. This kind of person can obey God. So if it is a matter that conforms to that person’s conceptions, then they find it even easier to obey. If it is a matter that doesn’t conform to their conceptions, then they can endure the pain and suffering and put it into practice. In matters that conform to a person’s conceptions, it is easier to obey, is this not so? If a person cannot be obedient in matters that do not conform to their conceptions, and also have limited obedience in matters that do conform to their conceptions, then that doesn’t demonstrate obedience—that is acting freely according to their own conceptions. When God’s words conform to their conceptions they can put them into practice, and when Satan’s words conform to their conceptions they can also put those into practice; is this someone who obeys God? That is someone who lives by their own conceptions, and this is all that can be said. This corresponds with reality, right? For example, you currently have a good job, and God says: “You can give up your work, and expend yourself for God.” Can you put this into practice? You won’t necessarily be able to do this. If you always speak at gatherings for your own status, and always try to maintain your own position, if you attack whoever constitutes a threat to your position, and if you reject anyone who has preconceived ideas about you, then God will say, “Just bear witness to God and do not speak for the sake of your own status, OK?” But this won’t do for you, and you do speak for your own status, and you would rather die than not speak for your own status. Can this kind of person be obedient to God? He views his own affairs as too important, more important than God’s will. He pays no heed to what God cares about the most, or what God’s will is. He lives and acts for himself in all respects; is this not someone who betrays God? Therefore in God’s house the thing that God hates the most is this kind of person, who always bears testimony for themselves, and shows off, and who always speaks and works for their own status; they do not bear testimony to God or bring people before Him. If there are some people who misunderstand you, and are prejudiced against you, or are hostile toward you, and yet you still bring them before God with a loving heart, you still endure the pain and humiliation and bring them before God, and you think not about your own flesh, or whether your own desires can be satisfied, but instead wish only to satisfy God, then only someone like this shows consideration for God’s will. Just like filial children, they do not care how much they suffer, as long as their parents have enough food and clothing then they are happy. It doesn’t matter if they themselves don’t eat well, for their priority is to satisfy their parents; this is someone who is filial to their parents. And what about someone who truly shows consideration to God? That is someone who works to satisfy God’s will, who works to achieve God’s wishes, who doesn’t work or speak for the sake of their own status. That is someone who speaks one thousand phrases, and of them nine hundred and ninety-nine are to let people know God; this kind of person is someone who shows consideration for God’s will. Is it not a little selfish and mean to only consider the comfort of your own flesh, and to ignore God’s will? Is this not being bent solely on profit for yourself? Therefore, if this kind of person experiences pruning and dealing many times and doesn’t change, still acting the same way behind your back, then they should be replaced. This is the last choice, for they cannot carry out God’s will. They always satisfy their individual wishes, and the more they do this, the more status they have in the church; the more they do this, the more brothers and sisters have a place for them in their hearts and no place for God. Is this not an antichrist? This is walking the path of the antichrist. These kinds of people all resist God, they are evil, they show not the slightest bit of consideration for God’s will, they seek only personal fortune and personal satisfaction. This is exactly what an antichrist is!
Whether one can forsake the flesh and satisfy God is the sign by which whether or not someone is an honest person is measured. An honest person knows only to be considerate of God’s will, and to serve God; they know only to exalt God and bear testimony for God, to live by God’s word, and act in accordance with God’s word. And a deceitful person? They look to seize every opportunity to gain advantage, they work in name but really they act only to achieve their own goals; this kind of person is someone who deceives and resists God. By engaging in one’s own business and expanding one’s own power, they establish their own position, and make people listen to them in the name of serving God; are such people not despicable? This kind of person doesn’t have the truth, and they don’t think things through; what can you get from everyone listening to you? What can you gain from everyone exalting you? What are you in front of God? How will God treat you? Can you satisfy God? What have you become? He doesn’t think about these things. If you achieve your own goals in the name of serving God and through the duty that God has given you, then does such a person as you not cause God to despise you? If God hates and detests you, can your heart feel at ease? If you do not care that God detests and hates you, if you only want brothers and sisters to support, exalt, and obey you, and then you will be satisfied enough in your heart, does this kind of person have conscience and reason before God? They have no conscience or reason, therefore such a person has no humanity, and is a devil. In the past, God’s house has eliminated some leaders and workers. The main reason for eliminating them was this very issue, that of people not being honest, and being too deceitful, and too selfish! This kind of person has no true communion with God, and they always work only to achieve their own goals. God asks you to build the church up into His kingdom, so that all people can be honest and have communion with Him, so that they can all obey Him, and worship Him. And you? You have made the church into your own kingdom, so that people listen to you; you are the king of this kingdom, and you have seized power—what kind of person are you? Is this not being an antichrist? Is this not betraying God? He asks you to lead the church, and yet you do this instead, and you make a satanic kingdom and make all people listen to you—what manner of person are you? This is not an honest person; someone who truly believes in God does everything in order to satisfy God, and no matter what duty they must fulfill, satisfying God is their only desire. You must not satisfy yourselves, for that will bring trouble upon you. While serving God, a person must reflect on themselves often; “Were the words I’ve said or the work I’ve done during this period of time impure in any way? Were they ultimately satisfying to God, or was I speaking for myself? Did my work, and my preaching and fellowship during this time solve those real problems of my brothers and sisters? What truths does my fellowship and preaching allow my brothers and sisters to understand? What kind of true entry has there been? What exactly has been achieved? Are there still any problems that exist within my work? Are there any malpractices? Do my brothers and sisters worship me because of my work? Not listening to God’s words, not praying before God, but instead if they have any problems they ask me and let me resolve it, and I always have the final say—Is there such a consequence?” You must often engage in introspection regarding these issues. After this introspection, you must correct the problems you discover. If you do not have this intention, but there still are consequences and side-effects for some of your actions, this is also bad. No matter how you act, if there are some negative consequences, this must be resolved. This is something that a person who serves God must remember. “Do my actions ultimately bring people before God or not? Do people enter the right track in their belief, in praying to God, and in their communion with God? Do they advance? Do they progress? Have brothers’ and sisters’ relations with God during this period of time been normal or have they become estranged? Has worship of people increased or decreased?” These things need even more introspection. If people who serve God turn a blind eye to these problems, and never examine themselves, then it is easy for them to set down an evil path, the wrong path. People must have conscience and reason before God, and they must examine themselves. There is such a need for this self-reflection; because people are corrupt, they must often reflect on themselves. If they don’t reflect on themselves for a while, then this corruption is not easy to completely eradicate. To achieve the final result of communion with God, that is, attaining salvation and being made perfect, then you must examine yourself often! This is the behavior of an honest person, and is something that an honest person must possess. If you are trying to be an honest person but you do not reflect on your true situation, and do not take responsibility for all that you do, then this is rather like taking a perfunctory, slipshod approach to God, and even somewhat deceiving God. Is someone who doesn’t take responsibility an honest person? Irresponsible people have a bad conscience! They are definitely not good people! Now we’re trying to be honest people, so we must take responsibility in all matters, take responsibility for people, and take responsibility for our actions. You must take responsibility for the people that you lead; have they made progress? Where exactly have you led them? Have you brought them before God? Have they entered the right track? If you do not reflect on yourself, then you will not have true knowledge, and you will not be clear on these issues. You will take people halfway along the path and in the end, you won’t even know that you have led them astray, and you will still think that you have brought them before God—wouldn’t you then be a fool? Wouldn’t you then be the most stupid person there is? These problems must be solved through frequent prayer and communion with God. If you are not someone who truly prays to God, then you will find these problems difficult to solve. If these problems can’t be solved, then the danger of failing in your belief in God and the danger of being eliminated will remain. There would then still be a one hundred percent chance that you will betray God.
How do you exercise obedience to God? If church leaders and workers tell you how to act, can you obey and comply completely? Some people say, “But what if he’s wrong?” If that’s incorrect, and is at odds with the truth, then you can engage in fellowship. And if it’s correct? If it conforms to the truth? Can you be completely compliant? This is so crucial. If people speak correctly and it conforms to the truth and you don’t listen, and you say that you are someone who obeys God, is this realistic? This isn’t realistic; if you can’t even obey when they speak correctly and what they say conforms to the truth, how can you obey God? You say: “If I obey God then I obey God alone; I won’t listen to any person, I’ll just obey God.” This isn’t practical, this is empty talk, this is unrealistic. Can you understand what I’m saying? If you can, then just try it first. If a leader or a worker speaks correctly, can you comply? If you can be compliant, then you can achieve obedience to God, and you have hope. If a leader or worker speaks correctly and in conformity with the truth and you still can’t be compliant, and you always think yourself to be right, then your obedience to God is false. You saying that you obey God is deceptive, it is not realistic, and it is your imagination; is this not the case? Practicing the truth is knowing, in the matters that you encounter, how to practice the truth in conformity with God’s will and then to go ahead and practice it—this is one aspect. The main thing is whether or not you can be compliant when brothers and sisters speak correctly and in line with the truth; this is key. If you can practice this and can enter into it and obey, then you can also gradually achieve obedience to God’s words and to the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Your obedience will become stronger level by level, and deeper level by level, and in the end, you will attain absolute, true obedience. At present, some people live by their own conceptions, and regardless of what matters they face, they do whatever they want. They think that they can be obedient to God, but is this realistic? This isn’t realistic. People who truly obey God can listen to others when they speak correctly; this is evidence of obedience to God, and this is one aspect of behavior of obeying God. Because sometimes God uses people to lead you, help you, and guide you, if you don’t comply with or obey anything this person says, then your obedience to God will not be realistic, nor tenable. This is one path of entry into the practice of obeying God. Some people say that they can be obedient and docile to what one person says, but apart from that person they don’t listen to anyone else. Some people say that if the one used by the Holy Spirit speaks to them, they will listen, but they won’t listen to anyone else. Is this someone who obeys God? Such a person is not obedient to God; he listens to whoever he worships, yet doesn’t listen to those he doesn’t worship even if their words conform to the truth. How is this being obedient? The principle of obedience is this: It doesn’t matter who it is, as long as their words conform to the truth and conform to God’s words, I will listen. If you possess this principle then you can prove your obedience to God. The lesson of obedience is so profound! Thus, this lesson of obedience becomes deeper level by level, and if you want to enter into it, it is not something that can be thoroughly solved in ten or twenty years. Can you put it into practice the most preliminary, shallow obedience, that which conforms to your own conceptions and to the truth? You can practice that which conforms to the truth and conforms to your conceptions; that is the shallowest form of obedience. However, when you put it into practice, it is not pure, you still have your own motives. A little deeper is when something conforms to the truth but not really to your own conceptions, and you can still put it into practice. This is where conceptions do not play a major role; as long as it conforms to the truth you are willing to obey, and this is practicing obedience at a slightly deeper level. And even deeper again? This is when something conforms to the truth, but you are most unwilling to practice it, and when something is completely contrary to your conceptions. Is this easy to put into practice? This is the most difficult to put into practice. If you can resolve situations of this kind, if you can possess this kind of expression of obedience, then you are someone who truly obeys God. There is also one other kind, that stems from the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, but is not good for your flesh, that requires you to suffer greatly; is it easy to be obedient in this? In this, it is even more difficult to be obedient. And yet another kind; if God gives explicit instructions for you to die for Him, is this easy to obey? This is even harder to obey. Broadly dividing these 5 or 6 levels, none of them are easy to obey, because they are strongly out of keeping with people’s conceptions. For example, a matter that is most out of keeping with people’s conceptions is to plant a tree upside down; can you do it? Being unable to do it is unacceptable; now you’re told to plant a tree upside down, so plant it! If you cannot do it, then that is being disobedient to God. Some people say, “That doesn’t make sense, so how can I obey?” Their obedience requires the premise that it must make sense and conform to their conceptions before they will obey. If it doesn’t make sense to them then even if God says it, they will not obey. This produces a problem: Even if God says it, as long as it doesn’t make sense to me, I won’t listen or obey. Is it right to draw such a conclusion? This is the issue at hand. Is this obedience to God? Therefore, all those people who adopt principles of obedience according to their own conceptions or whether or not something makes sense, are not obedient to God. They will all perhaps become people who resist God, and all are capable of actions that resist and betray God.
Now if God’s house asks you to do something and it doesn’t make sense to you, will you obey? This is key, and very revealing. Some people say, “It doesn’t make sense to me, so once I do it, I’ll be humiliated in name and reputation. If it does make sense and I do it, my reputation will be glorious, people will be unable to judge me and I will also feel good in my heart.” How would you choose in this kind of situation? Would you choose one kind of obedience that is for the glory of your reputation and for the comfort of your heart? Or would you endure great suffering and humiliation to be obedient? Which road do you choose? This is not an easy choice. To give an example, say you’re cooking dinner; you only know how to stir fry the shredded potato and cabbage, and then I ask you to stir fry some eggplant, and you say, “I don’t know how.” Even if you don’t know how to do it, you must still try and cook it; do you obey or not? Is this easy or not to practice? How do you put this into practice? You don’t know how to fry eggplant, and fried eggplant is your least favorite thing to eat, so how do you practice? In putting this into practice, what are the several principles that you must have? To put this into practice, you must forsake the flesh, is this not so? To practice the truth, you must always forsake the flesh; sometimes you have to forsake your own conceptions, and sometimes forsake your own excuses. Now to be obedient, can you suffer and pay the price? This is key. If you can’t even stand the slightest bit of suffering, that suffices to show that you cannot be obedient to God. Is this not a reasonable explanation? It is completely reasonable. Thus, communion with God is not a simple matter! Communion with God must relate to these real problems. Regarding these real problems that must be entered in life, and these problems that exist in reality, if you do not take them before God for prayer and communion, then you are not a person who has true communion with God. To have true communion with God, you cannot evade real problems; no matter what kind of difficulties you face, you must always bring them before God and pray. No matter what demands God makes of you, how you should practice obedience to God when facing any matter, or what problems you have, you must take all of these things before God and pray, and have communion with God, and be able to forsake the flesh to satisfy God. If your communion with God can achieve this kind of result, then this, finally, is a person who is truly obedient to God’s work, and only this is a person who truly believes in God. This is how life experience is entered; not having this kind of practice and this kind of experience shows that you are not a person who obeys God’s work. Obeying God is the hardest lesson to learn. As we experience obedience to God, we see how strongly we rebel, and we see exactly what our own nature and essence are. If we are not exposed by the truth, then we can never come to know ourselves, right? When the truth comes, God’s demands are placed before us and His work requires our obedience. It is only at this moment that our heart’s true reaction and true state are revealed, and all of the problems in our heart are exposed. Rebelliousness, resistance, conceptions, excuses—all are laid bare. At this time, if you do not rely on prayer and communion with God, are you able to stand firm? Can you enter reality? Can you attain obedience to God? All of this is empty talk. Thus, those people who do not have true communion with God will never attain the truth; they are all failed believers in God. Now there is no-one around you who makes such strict demands on you, and no-one making demands that target your weaknesses, therefore the problems that exist in your heart are not easily found, is this not so? No matter how much rebellion, how much resistance, or how much arrogance and conceit you have, or how many difficulties there are in obeying God, you will never discover those problems. Therefore, there are many people who still rely on their imaginations when it comes to themselves, thinking: “If God has requirements of me, I guarantee that I can fulfill them. I can definitely obey God, and even if I listen to no-one else, I will listen to God.” Such a person has no experience, no experience at all. He has never discovered how many difficulties there ultimately are and how many problems exist in his own obedience to God, so that’s just easy for him to say.
Now, have you realized how your own obedience is? When I’m not being serious with you, you think it well. If I start to get serious with you, especially about the fulfilling of your duties, your difficulties come out, your excuses come out, and you even come up with a heap of complaints. And, if what I say is a little unpleasant to listen to, you even go so far as to feel displeased in your heart, and you think, “Why do you speak like this? You are not how I imagined!” What you imagine does not conform to reality, and you must not rely on your imagination with anything. Whatever is based on imagination is untenable, and will ruin you. This is not a battlefield; if this was a battlefield, and you weren’t obedient, that wouldn’t be a matter that could be dealt with by saying a few harsh words to you. Wouldn’t that be the case? When it is seen that your actions could result in overall failure, you would immediately be shot. They would first have to solve this stumbling block and obstacle that is you. Thus, a battlefield is more serious than this. Relying on imagination, can you imagine it? You cannot imagine it, and relying on imagination is not realistic. Belief in God cannot rely on imagination. What do those people who rely on imagination say? “God’s house is just like the world; whoever speaks well is good, and the above likes those who speak well.” Is this right? Which people in the world are able to prosper and be popular? Those who speak well, who are good at ingratiating themselves with people; those who are beautiful, those with class, those who upon first meeting inspire adoration and good feelings; these kinds of people prosper. And in God’s house? How are these people? If they don’t have the truth, they’re no good! In God’s house, whoever understands the truth, whoever has the testimony of life experience, and can guide people into entering reality, is a good person. It doesn’t matter what this person looks like, how well they live, or how cleverly they speak; only having practical use matters, only being able to achieve real results matters. God’s house stresses reality above all. There are many people who take the same view of God’s house as they do of the world, who compare matters of God’s house with the matters of the world, who use matters of the world to weigh up matters of God’s house. Aren’t people like this so very foolish? If you have no experience or knowledge of matters of belief in God, then don’t make arbitrary judgments; are God’s house and the world the same thing? Are God’s house and the religious world the same thing? The religious world is the same as the world; and what does the world of religion say? Whoever is highly educated and whoever is a graduate in theology determines those selected to become priests, elders, and deacons; those who study theology are those who have the highest status within religion. And in God’s house? It is not about your level of education, and you don’t have to have studied any theology; it’s about whether or not you have true knowledge and experience of God’s work and words today. It’s about deciding how to use you, or whether or not you can be used, according to whether or not you can practice the truth, and whether or not you are an honest person. God’s house does everything according to the truth; it stresses reality above all else. Why is the world of religion dark? Because it is under the power of Satan, and of evil people. Those who have knowledge of religion and knowledge of theology have not the slightest bit of obedience to God in their hearts, much less do they have hearts that revere God. They are evil people; their sermons are only to serve their own status and reputation, and to make people worship them, follow them, and revolve around them. They work in order to achieve their goal of both fame and gain, and therefore these are evil people who betray God; they are all religious swindlers. How can the religious world not be dark, with these people in power? With these people in power, how can the Holy Spirit work there? There is no way for Him to work, right? What is the root of the darkness within the world of religion? It is evil people being in power, and they are all religious frauds in power. God’s house is bright—where is that brightness? It comes from Christ being in power, and God’s words wielding power. Moreover, in God’s house, the work of the Holy Spirit holds sovereignty. All those people used and selected by God’s house are people who have the work of the Holy Spirit; they are all people who pursue the truth, and they are all people who have humanity and who are quite honest. These people wield power; these people are leaders. They can obey God’s work, they can be close to God, and they can seek the truth; their lives have continuous entry, and finally, changes within their life dispositions gradually occur and gradually they become fit to be used by God. Therefore, ultimately God’s words will wield total power, the work of the Holy Spirit will wield total power, and people with the truth and with humanity will wield total power. In this way, God’s house will, bit by bit, become bright and fair, and filled with righteousness and justice; this is the emergence of the kingdom of God. In other words, as for those people who think that “God’s house and the world are the same, and whoever speaks well is good, and the above likes those who can speak well,” these people’s conceptions and imaginings are fundamentally untenable. To have communion with God, you must take these problems that exist in reality before God, and pray to God and have communion with God. If a person does not take them before God for communion, then their conceptions and imaginings cannot be resolved; such a person would have no true, realistic knowledge of God’s work.
Only when those of us who believe in God have this kind of frequent prayer and communion with God can our lives have continuous true entry, can our life dispositions see constant change, and can we ultimately attain knowledge of God and be saved and made perfect. Thus, having communion with God is so critical! Regarding communion with God, if people have true entry, and their communion with God becomes more and more realistic, then you will make constant progression in your life. If your communion with God is not realistic, and is not sincere, if there is too much empty talk and too many imaginings, then your entry into life is hopeless, and entering reality is even more out of the question. Communion with God is laying down a path; it is the prerequisite for entry into life. If people enter the right track in their communion with God, have true results, attain God’s approval, they will always have the work of the Holy Spirit. If people’s communion with God does not enter the right track, and is unrealistic, then it will not be easy for them to attain the work of the Holy Spirit.