12. What is meant by “leave everything behind and follow God”?
Relevant Words of God:
You can devote your heart and body and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate to His will. Not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household. In everything you can take God’s word as the principle, as the foundation. That way, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will be someone who gains God’s praise before Him.
from “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality Are Those Who Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You believe in God and follow God, and so in your heart you must love God. You must cast aside your corrupt disposition, must seek to fulfill God’s desire, and must perform the duty of a creature of God. Since you believe in and follow God, you should offer everything to Him, and should not make personal choices or demands, and you should achieve the fulfillment of God’s desire. Since you were created, you should obey the Lord that created you, for you are inherently without dominion over yourself, and have no ability to control your destiny. Since you are a person that believes in God, you should seek holiness and change. Since you are a creature of God, you should adhere to your duty, and keep your place, and must not overstep your duty. This is not to constrain you, or to suppress you through doctrine, but is the path through which you can perform your duty, and can be achieved—and should be achieved—by all those who do righteousness.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
9. Your thoughts ought to be of the work of the church. You should put aside the prospects of your own flesh, be decisive about family matters, wholeheartedly devote yourself to the work of God, and put God’s work first and your own life second. This is the decency of a saint.
from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
God has the following requirement on all people who believe in Him: follow God with complete abandon. From the Age of Grace to the Age of Kingdom, there have been so many people who abandoned everything to follow God. Only these people are worthy of the name saints, who are the people of God during the Age of Kingdom. What does it mean to abandon everything and follow God? It is to present your whole heart, to give your entire being to God, and to fully immerse yourself in God’s work and spend yourself for God. This is the true meaning of abandoning everything to follow God. There are people who believe that only those who have no family and who have no concerns can abandon everything, and that people who have a family, who are married, have parents, a wife, and children cannot abandon everything and follow God. This way of thinking is incorrect. First, people must know that God’s demands on people are fair and reasonable. He has not requested that all people who have families, have parents, have a wife and children forsake their families. Rather He requests that people give of their hearts, and offer themselves up. They should perform their duty to the fullest, not being controlled by any person, event, or thing. This is tantamount to abandoning everything and following God. God does not try to make people do things they are not willing to do. It is enough for a person to exert all his effort to satisfy God. It is only natural that one must cast aside that which should be cast aside. If, for now, one cannot abandon something, it is necessary only not to be controlled by that thing. If the heart is still restricted and one cannot fully perform his duty, this does not qualify as abandoning everything. Within this abandoning everything there is the question of loyalty to God. If you truly are a person who is loyal to God, your heart will be able to not be restricted by your family, wife (or husband), or children. Many brothers and sisters have family involvement, but their hearts are not restricted by their families, and they perform their duty very well. Though they go away occasionally to care for their families, basically they do not delay performance of their duty. Can you say that they do not abandon everything and follow God? Truly it is a difficulty to have a family, and no one can deny this. However, if the heart is able to be loyal to God, they will be able to shake off all entanglements of family. Though the flesh undergoes some hardship, one receives great blessings from God for the advancement of their life. And what do those people who cling to enjoyment of the flesh get? Ultimately they get nothing. And how does one deal with hardship of the flesh? It can be said that any amount of hardship that his flesh endures is a good thing. As long as God can be satisfied, then his spirit can be joyful. The greatest pain of all would be to offend God because of clinging to pleasures of the flesh. All people who abandon everything and give to God will receive gratification because they have fully performed their human duty and satisfied God. Moreover, they will attain God’s commendation, because God blesses in a great way all people who sincerely expend themselves for Him. Those who cling to enjoyments of the family and flesh and cannot abandon everything and follow God are all people who are loyal to the devil Satan, who will certainly not be saved by God, and even less will have God’s blessing.
from The Fellowship From the Above
Dedicating one’s entire being to expend for God should be based on one’s own choice. Some people dedicate themselves to spread the gospel, others serve in churches. Some people dedicate their entire being to expend for God full time. Others can only expend themselves for God part of the time. This all depends on the choices people are willing to make; God’s family does not force people to do things. If you are suited to do a job for God’s house, then God’s family will call on you; whether or not you are willing to answer the call is up to you. If there is someone willing to devote themselves, they must heed the arrangements of God’s family. God’s family can arrange work for a person according to his strengths. If that person does a good job, then he may be kept on. If a person is not up to the task, then God’s family can give them another job to do. God’s family arranges work for each person according to their background and strengths. God’s family will not assign tasks to the incompetent. People must learn to obey and submit to God’s orchestration.
from “The Principles for Establishing a Church and the Management of Church Life” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God