Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God Perfects Those After His Heart”
Question 8: My experience of being honest has helped me lie less and fool around in my duties less than I did before, but I’ve also faced revelations, being pruned, and being dealt with by God in my experience which have made me see I have none of the reality of the truth, despite years of belief, nor has my disposition changed, nor can I truly obey God. I only seem capable of worrying about my fate, I can’t truly give my heart to God. My question is: How can I gain deeper entry into being an honest person? How can I give my heart to God and stop worrying about my future fate?
Answer: This is a question from a seeker of truth. He has some entry into how to be honest, and he lies less and fools around in his duties less than he did. That’s progress, isn’t it? Fooling around less, lying less, these are gaining entry, these are real changes, so what’s the problem that confuses him? “I’ve also faced revelations, being pruned, and being dealt with by God in my experience which have made me see I have none of the reality of the truth, despite years of belief, nor has my disposition changed, nor can I truly obey God. I only seem capable of worrying about my fate, I can’t truly give my heart to God.” He is anxious when he realizes he has this problem, and he wants to solve it as quickly as possible, he wants to know how to practice so he can gain deeper entry into being an honest person. This problem is a fact faced by many who pursue the truth, they all want to know how to practice so they can gain deeper entry into being honest and achieve real change. This is human psychology, everyone hopes for it, and today you see more and more people striving for the truth, that is, there are more who truly thirst and yearn for righteousness, it’s not a small number. We just exposed some problems and spoke about some people’s practical states, which kind of people God pities, and which kind of people can be saved, and now we understand these issues. Those who can be saved are those capable of saying what’s in their hearts, facing the facts, and seeking the truth. These are honest people, their desire to seek the truth is genuine, and their desire and yearning to solve problems is genuine. These are the typical attitudes of those who pursue the truth.
So, let’s fellowship about what kind of experience can give you deeper entry into being honest. There’s something we always used to say, “It’s not easy to know yourself.” Why do we say it isn’t easy to know ourselves? It’s impossible to do with our own understanding, because much of the time people are controlled by their nature, and when your nature is in control, it’s impossible to predict what might happen or what you might do tomorrow or the day after, there’s no way for anyone to guess. If someone doesn’t even know what he might do, does he have any real understanding of himself? Absolutely not. That’s why most of the time we have to rely on God’s work to reveal these things. Everything that happens to us is planned and arranged by God. Every day and every hour, everything we experience is according to God’s plans and arrangements. The people, events, and things in our lives are lessons placed there so we can learn, experience, and gain deeper entry in these lessons. During these lessons, if you are someone who pursues the truth, you will learn the lessons. What do we mean by learning lessons? Learning lessons here refers to making progress in the truth, understanding and gaining truth. Without learning these lessons, you can’t gain the truth. If you experience tremendous failures and setbacks, but don’t gain any of the truth, you’ll have suffered and experienced for nothing. Some go to jail for years without gaining the truth; some are eliminated from leadership positions time and again, yet they never gain the truth; some are abandoned and expelled by the church and disdained by God’s chosen people, and they gain none of the truth. Why does this happen? Because they don’t seek the truth and they don’t study their lessons, they do none of their homework. Those who go to school but don’t do their homework are eliminated and held back; those who believe in God but don’t do their homework or study their lessons are eliminated. Isn’t that the case? Then if you are pruned and dealt with through all the people, events, and things you encounter, and you obey God’s judgment and chastisement, seek truth in all things, and do your homework, won’t your entry into the truth gradually become deeper? Your entry into all aspects of the truth will grow deeper, won’t it? Some lessons are to teach us to obey God, some are to teach us to know ourselves, and some are to teach us how to be honest people, and the more lessons we learn in one aspect, the more entry and progress we will gain into that aspect. That’s to say that experience to gain deeper entry into being an honest person is accomplished by studying your lessons, do you understand?
So now I ask you, how can we experience to gain deeper entry into being an honest person? Are there any methods? I’ll tell you, one fastest way is to accept being pruned and dealt with, learning your lessons through trials and refinement is another, and there’s one more, learning your lessons through failure and setback. Imagine someone holds a leadership position, and then suddenly someone else beats him from his place and replaces him. Why did that happen? Because of what we just talked about. He should think about why, he should ponder and reflect until he understands, and once he does, perfect, he has learned his lesson, he understands why he failed and was replaced, he understands why he was pruned and dealt with and why he was rejected, and once he understands, once that is illuminated, he sees the true condition of his own corruption, the essence of his nature, and what kind of person he is, everything is revealed. Isn’t that the fastest way to learn the lesson? What were the fastest ways to learn we talked about? First, being pruned and dealt with. When someone reprimands you to your face, when their finger points at your nose as they reprimand you, you’ll understand instantly, you have no objections, nothing to say. You fall to your knees, pray, confess your sins to God, and repent. I’ve said this is one of the fastest ways, you understand instantly, you see results instantly, the effect is instantaneous. Another way is failures and setbacks, here no one deals with you, you simply contemplate alone, and for two or three days you are unable to sleep because this bothers you, it bothers you so much you can’t escape it, it tears you up inside! This is also one of the fastest ways, isn’t it? And is deeper entry into life not the result these things achieve? Isn’t that what these things do for you? These things are always the turning point for people’s entry into life, and in our lives! If a major failure or setback becomes the turning point in someone’s life, is this a blessing or disaster, a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a good thing. Some people lack penetration, and when they are pruned and dealt with, when they encounter failures and setbacks, their negativity is mind-blowing, “I’m through! I’m done believing!” They want to take their toys and smash them. What kind of a person is this? Someone who is weak. He suffers failure and setback, he is pruned and dealt with, and he feels too ashamed to live, he wants to kill himself, end it all, die and forget it. What a loser! He doesn’t know that this is his chance to study. “I’ve worked so hard for so long, I’ve been driven by my enthusiasm for so long, and now I have a result, I have a conclusion, so I should study it and find out why I failed, I need to learn lessons, this is homework I have to do.” We mature in life through these experiences. We mature and change amidst these kinds of lessons. Are the people, things, and events that surround every one of us through which God works not part of God’s overall arrangements? God gives you words to eat and drink, contemplate, and weigh, but He also uses all kinds of people, things, events, circumstances, and unexpected turns to supplement His word to help you seek the truth and gain practical entry into truth. Both elements are complementary. God’s arrangements are seamless, they utilize everything! So the people, things, and events around us all serve to give us practical entry into God’s word and the truth, is that fair to say? Seen from this perspective, the great red dragon serves us, as a foil. Our fleshly relatives, parents, and friends and family who are unbelievers all serve us by helping us grow in life. This is why God has arranged so many people, things, and events around us, to perfect us and grant us salvation by giving us lessons to study. I’ll give you an example. When I first started believing in the Lord Jesus, I spread the gospel without principle, I witnessed to those possessed by demons, the sick, everyone I knew, and as a result I suffered more than a few dead ends, failures, and lectures, nor did I gain many people, maybe two out of ten. What did I learn from my failures? Don’t preach to those who have the work of evil spirits. Don’t preach to the seriously ill, because if they don’t recover, they blame God. Don’t force others to believe, just fellowship about the truth. Those who can accept it will, so allow those who don’t accept to make their choice. Don’t kill the sprout with overfeeding, it’s the same as if you were a salesman, don’t do that. This is one of the most important principles to know in performing your duties, and in general! When I watered the church, I was desperate for my brothers and sisters to understand the truth right away, I wanted to see them mature instantly, and the result was that I spoiled the bud with overwatering, that didn’t work on some people. Such people, in a moment of passion, quit their jobs, got divorced, they forsook everything, and in the end that caused problems. I watered without an understanding of principle. But those were the failures that made me understand my methods were of man, and not after God’s heart, so gradually, I changed. Isn’t that the natural law for growth in life? Haven’t you had the same experience? I experienced many failures and setbacks, I was often pruned and dealt with, and even more so I experienced the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, trials, and refinement, too much to count. After all that, I grew into who I am today, I’ve understood some of the truth and gained some entry, but not deeply enough, and even though I have some reality of the truth, it’s nothing I can boast about. It all came from God’s grace and pity, it has nothing to do with how good, persistent, or intelligent I am.
So in terms of how can we experience to gain deeper entry into being an honest person, do you understand the method now? Have we found faster ways to do it? Are there any supernatural methods? No. We have to experience, learn our lessons, seek the truth in all things, hand ourselves over to God, and accept God’s observation. Day by day, we will understand more of the truth, our understanding will grow deeper, and we will lie less, be pruned and dealt with less, and finally see our love for God grow more true, we will become more effective in our duties, and our loyalty to God will grow deeper. In the end, we will be able to live without our wives or husbands, but not without God. We can leave and cast aside everything, but not God or His word. We just need to experience, and we will reach this point in our lives, do you understand? Learn the lesson in all things. When things happen, if we don’t learn the lesson, if we let it pass without studying it, we will never grow up, and never gain anything!