9. I See the Path to Knowing God
Xiaocao Changzhi City, Shanxi Province
One day, I saw this following passage of God’s word in the piece “How Peter Came to Know Jesus”: “Over the time he followed Jesus, Peter observed and took to heart everything about His life: His actions, words, movements, and expressions. … From his time in contact with Jesus, Peter also realized that His character was different from that of an ordinary man. He always acted steadily and never with haste, never exaggerated nor underplayed a subject, and conducted His life in a way that was both normal and admirable. In conversation, Jesus was elegant and graceful, open and cheerful yet serene, and never lost His dignity in the execution of His work. Peter saw that Jesus was sometimes taciturn, yet other times talked incessantly. He was sometimes so happy that He became agile and lively like a dove, and yet sometimes so sad that He did not talk at all, as if He were a weather-beaten mother. At times He was filled with anger, like a brave soldier charging off to kill enemies, and sometimes even like a roaring lion. Sometimes He laughed; other times He prayed and wept. No matter how Jesus acted, Peter grew to have boundless love and respect for Him. Jesus’ laughter filled him up with happiness, His sorrow plunged him into grief, His anger frightened him, while His mercy, forgiveness, and strictness made him come to truly love Jesus, developing a true reverence and longing for Him. Of course, Peter only gradually came to realize all of this once he had lived alongside Jesus for a few years.” After reading this passage I thought: No wonder Peter could achieve knowledge of God! Turns out it was because during the time he lived alongside Jesus day and night, he personally witnessed Jesus’ every word and every move, and from that he discovered more of God’s adorableness. Now is also the era of when God becomes flesh to personally descend upon the world of man to work. If I could also have the fortune of being able to come into contact with God and spend time together like Peter had, then wouldn’t I also know God better? Oh! It’s a shame that now I can only read God’s word but cannot see the face of Christ. Then how would I be able to gain true knowledge of God?
Just when I was sad and disappointed over this and losing my confidence in God, His words enlightened me: “Knowing God must be done through reading God’s word and understanding God’s word. Some people say: ‘I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how can I know God?’ God’s word is actually an expression of God’s disposition. From God’s word you can see God’s love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and the way He saves them … because God’s word is expressed by God as opposed to God using man to write it out. It is personally expressed by God. It is God Himself expressing His own words and His inner voice. … expressing His disposition, His will, His thoughts, His love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and His expectations of mankind. Among God’s words.… Sometimes God speaks from a gentle and compassionate perspective, and people see God’s love for mankind; sometimes He speaks from a strict perspective, and people see God’s unoffendable disposition. Man is deplorably filthy and is not worthy of seeing God’s face, and is not worthy of coming before God. People’s coming before God now is purely out of God’s grace. God’s wisdom can be seen from the way God works and the meaning of His work. Even if people don’t come into contact with God, they will still be able to see these things in God’s word” (“Knowledge of the Incarnation” in Records of Christ’s Talks). God’s words made me suddenly see the light. Yes! God in the flesh of the last days has already used His word to express all His disposition to man, allowing man to see through God’s word His great power, His supremacy, His humility and hiddenness, and His adorableness, and moreover understand His joys and sorrows, and know all He has and is. This is sufficient to show that reading God’s word and experiencing God’s word is the only path to knowing God. If I move away from God’s word, then so what even if I see God in the flesh? Didn’t the Pharisees also see Jesus back then? So why did they nail Jesus to the cross? Wasn’t it because they didn’t listen to Jesus’ words, they were arrogant and stubbornly held on to their own conceptions and imaginations, and resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus based on that little bit of the scriptures they understood? On the other hand, Peter was able to know Jesus because he could let go of his own conceptions and imaginations, listen closely to the words of Lord Jesus, and was good at carefully contemplating every word and sentence uttered by Jesus. Through Lord Jesus’ utterances and work he got to know God’s disposition and all He has and is, ultimately gaining true knowledge of God. Doesn’t this ironclad fact sufficiently explain that man can only know God through His word? Moreover, given that the main work of God in the flesh of the last days is the work of the word, doesn’t this benefit me in getting to know God?
The more I thought back to my logical reasoning the more I felt my own wretchedness, foolishness, and childishness. Every day I held God’s word in my hands, ate and drank God’s word, read God’s word, and experienced God’s word, but I did not love God’s word dearly, thinking that I could only know God by seeing the face of Christ. I really was living a blessed life without appreciating it! Oh God! Thank You for revealing and turning around my wrong way of knowing and making me see the path to knowing God. From now on, I will long to read Your word, contemplate Your word, seek to understand Your joys and sorrows through Your word, and through discovering more of Your adorableness get to know You even deeper.