Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” (I)
“All those who do not seek obedience to God in their faith oppose God.” So what does it mean to be a person who seeks obedience to God? We all will encounter things in our daily lives, or perhaps we will come across some difficulties while performing our duties, and as soon as these difficulties befall us, we may ask, “How can I be obedient to God through this? How can I carry this thing out in a way that conforms to the intention of God?” It is at this time that we are seeking obedience to God. What does it mean to seek obedience to God? It means seeking how we should do something in a way that is obedient to God, how to practice conforming to God’s intention, this is seeking obedience to God. To put it simply, seeking obedience to God is, as we often have talked about, to seek the truth in all things to have a path of practice. Let me give you an example. Say there is a boy who believes in God. His dad doesn’t permit him to believe in God, but his mom is a believer and permits him to believe in God. Who do you think he ought to obey? He might try to make a wild guess, “Dad won’t allow it if I obey Mom; Mom won’t allow it if I obey Dad,” but he won’t know what to do. Seek the truth! It doesn’t matter whether it’s your mom or your dad, whoever speaks in accordance with the truth is who you should obey, that is who you should listen to, that is what we call being obedient to God. Some people find partners that are not believers, and their partners don’t allow them to believe in God. They might think to themselves: “Should I be obedient to God or to my partner? If I am to be obedient to God I should break it off with my partner, we should break up. If I am to be obedient to my partner, I will keep away from God and then I will certainly perish, and after I die I will descend to hell. Whom then should I be obedient to?” For this you must seek the truth. You should obey whoever is able to save you. If you obey your partner will your partner be able to save you? Seek the truth in all things, this is what is meant by seeking obedience to God. What does one think about when seeking obedience to God? “How do I act in a way that is obedient to God? How do I carry out my actions in a way that conforms to God’s intentions?” To ponder over these things is what we call seeking obedience to God. Some people say: “Wow, time is pressing nowadays! Here I am toiling away to make money to fill my stomach, but as soon as the great disasters come life will cease to exist, what could possibly be more important than life? Right, I should hurry to believe in God; it is important that I seek the truth.” But when it comes to seeking the truth, you are busy all day long making money, it’s only in your little bit of spare time that you are able to practice your faith in God, but this is not much of an experience. After work when you get back home you are exhausted, and after eating dinner you can barely think, so you just go to bed. Are you really still able to practice your faith in God? Even though you go along believing you do not obtain much, your progress is very slow, right? I’ve experienced this myself. People have 10 hours of energy in a day. If most of that energy is used to make a living and feed yourself, it will be guaranteed that you have very little to gain in your faith in God; your progress will be slow, and there isn’t enough time!
To seek obedience to God is to seek the truth in every difficult situation you face and to try to grasp God’s intention, and after grasping it, to carry out your actions in accordance with God’s demands. This is being obedient to God. Sometimes someone introduces someone else to you as a potential partner, saying: “You’re all grown up, you ought to settle down and start a family, look at how great this person is, everything about them is great.” Whenever this happens to you, you feel confused and wonder to yourself, “Do I actually want to find a partner or not? If I find a partner then I would be really happy, and my life wouldn’t be in vain. However, if I’m looking for a partner my energy will all be spent on them, and I won’t have any energy to practice my faith to God, I will not be able to expend myself for God, I will only bring some joys to my flesh for a little while.” What consequences will there be if you look for a partner now? To look for a partner and indulge in pleasure will ruin you in the end! You will be forfeiting your future, right? But some people might reply: “It is natural to look for a partner, how could God’s family not allow people to search for partners?” God’s family allows people to search for partners, who said you aren’t allowed? That is each individual’s choice. Why is this something that each of you must choose? Because right now we are in an extraordinary time! The days of the great disasters are upon us, disasters will befall us at once. The time has arrived that determines people’s end and their destination. It is an extraordinary time! What is a fitting analogy for this extraordinary time? It is like wartime, when the fighting is very intense, does someone ask themselves if they should look for a partner? Is it appropriate to look for a partner when the fighting is really intense? That is not the time to look for a partner. Now is the most pressing time of the work of God. The most crucial and the most dangerous days are upon us. These are a part of the most dangerous days, it is an extraordinary time. To pursue the truth you must have energy, and you must have time! You must understand these things clearly! Practicing your faith in God isn’t a done deal whenever you just say the words, you aren’t able to be saved just by saying you believe in God! It requires energy, it requires time, and you must suffer many hardships and you must pay a price. So, we can say that looking for a partner who is not a believer is a burden, it’s the same as looking for a burden, or looking for a weight to carry. Isn’t that how it is? When you’re looking for a partner, if who you are pursuing is a non-believer, then that is a situation that could spell your doom! So, if these things befall us is it okay to not seek the truth? You see someone looking for a partner, and then they find someone who is really difficult to deal with and who watches over them very closely. They have no time for meetings, nor do they have the time to perform their duty and expend themselves for God. Their partner doesn’t let them do any of this and has a firm control over them. Wouldn’t you say that this person’s fate is really tragic? Then what would you say was this person ruined by? They were ruined by marriage and by family. Marriage and family, it’s okay to say these are good things, but it’s even more okay to say these are bad things, for they are able to ruin you for an entire lifetime. Now can you see this? Nowadays there are many brothers and sisters who are single, they are devoted to expending themselves for God, and everyday their lives are very happy and blessed, they don’t carry any burdens and they don’t have any worries about future consequences. They are progressing in life as fast as possible. This is not so for those people who have families. They have many burdens, they are very troubled, and they have no means of escape. You say you can’t just not go to work and make money, but who told you to go get married? You married and started a family, so now you must raise a family. You have to do your utmost for your wife’s life, for her flesh, to keep her fed, so you toil and you labor on and on without end. It’s a burden that you carry on your back, and it can push down on you for a whole lifetime. Isn’t that so? So is looking for a partner a good thing?
Is seeking the truth in all things a simple matter? It is not a simple matter. You must seek the truth in marriage, you must seek the truth in your treatment of the unbelievers, you must seek the truth in how you look upon the situation of the entire world and all of mankind. In addition, you must also seek the truth in how you treat your own family, in your physical relationship with your close relatives. But most importantly you must seek the truth in your performance of your duty, because only by performing your duty in an approved way can you be an approved creation. If your performance of your duty is not able to satisfy the demands of God, this will affect your being saved, as well as your outcome and destination. It is extremely important to seek the truth in all things! What result will we attain by seeking the truth in all things? First, it allows us to handle matters in a principled way; second, it allows us to get into the reality of the truth; third, it allows us to use the truth to solve all of the difficulties and problems we face; fourth, it allows us to come to an understanding of God, and to change our life disposition. Altogether there are four kinds of benefits, so seeking the truth in all things is the most important principle when it comes to practicing your faith in God. Do you understand? Everybody reflect on this question: Are you someone who seeks the truth in all things? In what things do you seek the truth? Do you try to grasp God’s intentions? Have you learned how to obey God? Do you have any of these kinds of experiential testimonies? Everyone who does have these kinds of experiential testimonies please raise your hand. We are not talking about seeking it through everything, just through some things. “When I seek the truth I really understand, God really enlightens me, and I can taste the sweetness of seeking the truth.” If you’ve had this kind of experience raise your hand. Look around, some people have raised their hands; this shows that some of you have started to enter the reality of the truth. But there are some people that will say: “I seek the truth in all things; some truths I obey, and then there are some that I understand but that I do not obey, I have not put them into practice.” Does this kind of thing happen? Not only does it happen, but it happens a lot. I too went through this. There were truths that I understood and practiced, but there were some that at the time I did not put into practice. At that time my stature was very small, so I didn’t do them, but after several years I have put them into practice. So, for some truths pertaining to life entry, you cannot put them into practice by trying just one or two times. For some truths, you will fail for several years, and only after having experienced them for several years will you finally succeed. For example, this is the experience I have gone through trying to be an honest person, I don’t know how many times I failed, but through my experience I have now gotten to a point where I basically don’t tell any lies, or at least I tell very few lies. If someone asks me: “Can you guarantee 100% that you absolutely will not tell a lie?” I cannot guarantee 100% that I will absolutely not tell a lie, but basically I don’t lie, just once in a while I wouldn’t go so far as to say I haven’t lied. What does this tell us? There are no perfect people, we are all imperfect, even after believing for 30 years I am still not perfect, this is the truth. But I pray to God, and I say: “Dear God, You must still cleanse me, to make me attain cleanliness that is thorough, and allow my life disposition to go through even better changes and transformations.” I am dissatisfied with my present self. Seeking the truth is endless, this is the truth! If someone is completely satisfied with themselves, if they dare say that they are fundamentally holy and pure, that they fundamentally tell no lies, that they fundamentally are not crooked or deceitful, that at most times they are able to obey God, and especially concerning the most important matters they are able to guarantee that they can obey God, then that is okay, then they have already been saved and perfected. Who dare say those who have been perfected are perfect people? One cannot rely on man’s conceptions and imaginations to look at being perfected, and say that those that have been perfected have become saints, that they are absolutely holy and pure, that they don’t even have one speck of filthy corruption, that they are completely cleansed. Is this the right kind of viewpoint to have? Remember, you cannot always rely on your conceptions and imaginations to look at things. That is not the truth. God’s demands on people are fair and reasonable, they are things that people can attain. God’s demands on people are not as high as people imagine them to be, nor are they as low as people imagine them to be. Religious people imagine God’s demands to be quite low, “It doesn’t matter what sins you commit, God will always forgive you. God is love.” Isn’t that very low? God’s demands are not as low as those religious people imagine them to be, nor are they as high as imagined by some of those among us. However, God’s demands are unconditionally the truth, they are fair and reasonable, and they can be attained through hard work and by paying a price.