11. The Principles of Living Before God

(1) Every day, it is necessary to eat and drink of a passage or paragraph of God’s words, and then to seek and pray within them, and to commune with Him genuinely;

(2) Be able to seek the truth in whatever you encounter, and to pray to God and achieve quietude before Him, with a path on which to practice the truth;

(3) Be able to perform your duty in mutual love and harmony with others. If you encounter difficulties, you should come before God and seek the truth to resolve them;

(4) Accept God’s scrutiny in all things. Reflect on whether your words, manner, and deeds are in line with the truth, and come to truly know yourself;

(5) It is necessary to follow God’s way with all one’s heart and all one’s mind. Come to fear God and shun evil, and act according to principle. This is what it is to live before God.

Relevant Words of God:

You must often come before God, eat and drink and ponder His words, and accept His discipline and guidance of you. You must be able to submit to all the environments, people, things, and matters that God has arranged for you, and when it comes to matters you cannot quite fathom, you must frequently pray while seeking the truth; only by understanding God’s will can you find a way forward. You must be in reverence of God, and do cautiously what you should do; you must often be at peace before God, and not be dissolute. At the very least, when something happens to you, your first reaction should be to calm yourself, and then pray immediately. By praying, waiting, and seeking, you will attain an understanding of God’s will. This is an attitude that shows reverence toward God, is it not? If, deep down, you revere God and submit to God, and can be quiet before God and grasp His will, then by cooperating and practicing this way, you can be protected. You will not encounter temptation, or offend God, or do things that interrupt God’s management work, nor will you go so far as to provoke God’s loathing. With a God-fearing heart, you will be afraid of offending God; the moment you are faced with temptation, you will live before Him, trembling with dread, and hope that in all things you will be able to submit to Him and satisfy Him. Only by practicing like this, frequently living in such a state, and frequently being at peace before God will you be able to distance yourself from temptation and evil without even having to think about it.

Excerpted from “Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks

If, in their belief in God, people do not frequently live before Him, then they will not be able to have any reverence for Him, and so will be incapable of shunning evil. These things are connected. If your heart often lives before God, you will be held in check, and will fear God in many things. You will not go too far, or do anything that is dissolute. You will not do that which is loathed by God, and will not speak words that have no sense. If you accept God’s observation, and accept God’s discipline, you will avoid doing many evil things. As such, will you not have shunned evil? If, in your belief in God, you often exist in a state of bewilderment, not knowing whether God is in your heart, not knowing what you wish to do in your heart, and if you are incapable of being at peace before God, and don’t pray to God or seek the truth when something happens to you, if you often act according to your own will, live according to your satanic disposition and reveal your arrogant disposition, and if you do not accept God’s scrutiny or God’s discipline, and you do not obey God, then the hearts of such people will always live before Satan and be controlled by Satan and their corrupt disposition. Such people are therefore without the slightest reverence for God. They are simply incapable of shunning evil, and even if they don’t do evil things, everything they think is still evil, and it is unconnected to the truth and goes against the truth. So do such people basically have no connection to God? Though they are ruled by God, they have never reported before God, they have never treated God as God, they have never treated God as the Creator who rules over them, they have never acknowledged that God is their God and their Lord, and they have never considered worshiping God with their hearts. Such people don’t understand what it means to fear God, and they think it’s their right to commit evil, saying: “I’ll do what I want. I’ll take care of my own business, it’s not up to anyone else.” They think it’s their right to commit evil, and they treat faith in God as a kind of mantra, as a form of ceremony. Does this not make them unbelievers? They are unbelievers! In God’s heart, what are these people? (Unbelievers.) All day, everything they think is evil. They are the degenerates of God’s house, and God does not acknowledge them as people of the house of God.

Excerpted from “Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Over the course of a day, how many hours do you spend in which you are genuinely before God? How much of your day is actually given to God? How much is given to the flesh? Having one’s heart always oriented toward God is the first step to being on the right track of being perfected by Him. If you can devote your heart, body, and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate of His will—not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your own personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household, taking God’s word as the principle and foundation in everything—then by doing so, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will then be a person before God who receives His praise. The people God likes are those who are absolute toward Him; they are the ones who can be devoted solely to Him. Those whom God loathes are the ones who are half-hearted toward Him and who rebel against Him. He loathes those who believe in Him and always want to enjoy Him while yet being unable to completely expend themselves for His sake. He loathes those who say they love Him but who rebel against Him in their hearts; He loathes those who use eloquent, flowery words to engage in deception. Those who are not genuinely dedicated to God or who have not truly submitted before Him are treacherous and overly arrogant by nature. Those who cannot be genuinely submissive in front of the normal, practical God are even more arrogant, and they especially are the dutiful progeny of the archangel. People who truly expend themselves for God lay out their entire being before Him; they genuinely submit to all of His utterances, and are able to put His words into practice. They make God’s words the foundation of their existence, and they are able to search earnestly within God’s words to find out which parts to practice. Such are people who truly live before God.

Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Today, all who cannot accept God’s scrutiny cannot receive His approval, and those who do not know God incarnate cannot be perfected. Look at all that you do, and see if it can be brought before God. If you cannot bring all that you do before God, this shows that you are an evildoer. Can evildoers be perfected? All that you do, every action, every intention, and every reaction should be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness to God, how you eat and drink of God’s words, your fellowship with your brothers and sisters, and your life within the church—and your service in partnership can be brought before God for His scrutiny. It is such practice that will help you achieve growth in life. The process of accepting God’s scrutiny is the process of purification. The more you can accept God’s scrutiny, the more you are purified and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not be drawn into debauchery, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His scrutiny, the greater are Satan’s humiliation and your ability to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s scrutiny is a path of practice people should follow. No matter what you do, even when communing with your brothers and sisters, you can bring your acts before God and seek His scrutiny and aim to obey God Himself; this will make what you practice much more correct. Only if you bring all you do before God and accept God’s scrutiny can you be someone who lives in the presence of God.

Excerpted from “God Perfects Those Who Are After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Regardless of what problems you face, do not always protect your own interests; rather, learn to seek the truth and self-reflect. No matter what corruptions are revealed in you, you cannot let them go unchecked; it is best if you can reflect upon and recognize your corrupt essence. If, in everyday situations, your thoughts dwell on how to resolve your corrupt disposition, how to practice the truth, and what the principles of the truth are, then you are capable of learning how to use the truth to resolve your problems in accordance with God’s words. In doing so, you will gradually enter reality. If your mind is filled with thoughts of how to attain a higher position, or what to do in front of others to get them to admire you, then you are on the wrong path. It means you are doing things for Satan; you are rendering service. If your mind is filled with thoughts of how to change so that you will be more and more like a human, be in line with God’s intentions, be capable of submitting to Him and revering Him, and show restraint and accept His scrutiny in everything you do, then your condition will get better and better. This is what it means to be one who lives before God. As such, there are two paths: One merely emphasizes behavior, fulfilling one’s own ambitions, desires, intents, and plans; this is living before Satan and living under its domain. The other path emphasizes how to satisfy God’s will, enter the reality of the truth, submit to God, and have no misconceptions or disobedience toward Him, so that one reveres God and performs one’s duty well. This is what it means to live before God.

Excerpted from “Only by Practicing the Truth Can One Possess Normal Humanity” in Records of Christ’s Talks

In your daily lives, when you experience God’s work and pray to Him, you do it carelessly—you pray to God while you work. Can this be called giving your heart to God? You are thinking about household matters or affairs of the flesh; you are always of two minds. Can this be considered quieting your heart in the presence of God? This is because your heart is always fixated on external affairs, and is not able to return before God. If you would have your heart truly at peace before God, then you must do the work of conscious cooperation. This is to say that every one of you must have a time for your devotions, a time when you put aside people, events, and things; settle your heart and quiet yourself before God. Everyone must keep individual devotional notes, recording their knowledge of God’s word and how their spirit is moved, regardless of whether they are profound or superficial; everyone must consciously quiet their heart before God. If you can dedicate one or two hours each day to true spiritual life, then your life that day will feel enriched and your heart will be bright and clear. If you live this kind of spiritual life every day, then your heart will be able to return more into God’s possession, your spirit will become stronger and stronger, your condition will constantly improve, you will become more capable of walking the path on which the Holy Spirit leads, and God will bestow increased blessings upon you. The purpose of your spiritual life is consciously to gain the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is not to observe rules or conduct religious rituals, but truly to act in concert with God, truly to discipline your body—this is what man should do, so you should do this with the utmost effort. The better your cooperation and the more effort you commit, the more your heart will be able to return to God and the better you will be able to quiet your heart before Him. At a certain point, God will gain your heart completely. No one will be able to sway or capture your heart, and you will belong completely to God. If you walk this path, then God’s word will reveal itself to you at all times and enlighten you about everything that you do not understand—this can all be achieved through your cooperation. This is why God always says, “All who act in concert with Me, I will reward twice over.” You must see this path clearly. If you wish to walk the right path, then you must do all that you can to satisfy God. You must do all that you can to attain a spiritual life. At the start, you may not achieve great results in this pursuit, but you must not allow yourself to regress or wallow in negativity—you must keep working hard! The more you live a spiritual life, the more your heart will be occupied by the words of God, always concerned with these matters, always bearing this burden. After that, reveal your innermost truth to God through your spiritual life; tell Him what you are willing to do, what you are thinking about, your understanding and view of His word. Do not hold back anything, not even a little bit! Practice speaking the words within your heart and revealing your true feelings to God; if it is in your heart, then by all means, say it. The more you speak in this way, the more you will feel God’s loveliness, and God will tug more strongly on your heart. When this happens, you will feel that God is dearer to you than anyone else. You will never leave God’s side, no matter what. If you practice this kind of spiritual devotional on a daily basis and do not put it out of your mind, but treat it as a matter of great importance in your life, then God’s word will occupy your heart. This is what it means to be touched by the Holy Spirit. It will be as if your heart has always been possessed by God, as if that which you love is always in your heart. No one can take that away from you. When this happens, God will truly live inside you and have a place within your heart.

Excerpted from “A Normal Spiritual Life Leads People Onto the Right Track” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The criteria that people must meet in order to be made use of by God are as follows: Their heart turns to God, they carry the burden of the words of God, they have a heart of yearning, and they have the resolve to seek the truth. Only people such as this can gain the work of the Holy Spirit and they frequently gain enlightenment and illumination. The people God makes use of appear from the outside to be irrational and to not have normal relationships with others, though they speak with propriety, do not speak carelessly, and can always keep a quiet heart before God. This is exactly the kind of person who is sufficient to be used by the Holy Spirit. This “irrational” person God speaks of seems not to have normal relationships with others, and they do not give due regard to outward love or outward practices, but when they communicate spiritual matters they are able to open their heart and selflessly provide others with the illumination and enlightenment they have acquired from their actual experience before God. This is how they express their love for God and satisfy God’s will. When others are all slandering and ridiculing them, they are able to avoid being controlled by outside people, matters, or things, and can still be quiet before God. Such a person seems to have their own unique insights. Regardless of what other people do, their heart never leaves God. When others are chatting cheerfully and humorously, their heart still remains before God, contemplating God’s word or praying in silence to the God in their heart, seeking God’s intentions. They never attach importance to maintaining normal relationships with other people. Such a person seems to have no philosophy for living. On the outside, this person is lively, lovable, and innocent, but also possesses a sense of calmness. This is the likeness of the kind of person God makes use of. Things like the philosophy for living or “normal reason” simply do not work in this type of person; this is a type of person who has devoted their whole heart to God’s word, and seems to only have God in their heart. This is the type of person that God refers to as a person “without reason,” and it is precisely this kind of person that is used by God. The mark of a person who is being made use of by God is: No matter when or where, their heart is always before God, and no matter how dissolute others may be, how much they indulge their lust and their flesh, still the heart of this person never leaves God, and they do not follow the crowd.

Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you do have God in your heart, then you can say to God the things you can say to your intimates—God is your closest confidant. When you allow God to become your closest confidant, your closest friend, the family who you can most depend on, most lean on, and who is most trustworthy, most intimate and close, then it will be impossible not to have things to say to Him. When you always have things to say to God, aren’t you then able to always live before God? When you are able to always live before God, then at all times you will be able to perceive how God is guiding you, how God is protecting you, how He looks after you, how He becomes your peace and joy, gives you blessings and enlightens you, how God reproaches you, disciplines you, punishes you, judges and chastises you. When you are always living before God, your heart will very clearly and distinctly know what God is doing in you. You won’t have a day where you are all muddle-headed and don’t know anything, just saying the words “I believe in God, I do my duty, I attend meetings, I read every day and pray every day.” You won’t merely go through all these processes or merely have this kind of external behavior.

Excerpted from “Those Who Cannot Live Always Before God Are Nonbelievers” in Records of Christ’s Talks

When God sees someone’s heart, He doesn’t just use His eyes; He arranges environments for you and He touches your heart with His hands. Why do I say this? When God arranges an environment for you, He looks to see whether your heart is disgusted by it, hates it, likes it or is obedient, or whether it waits quietly, or seeks the truth—He sees how your heart changes and in which direction it goes. The changes in your heart, every change of the thoughts and ideas in your heart about the people, matters, and things God arranges for you, and every single change in mood you have—God can sense it all. Although you may not have told anyone and may not have prayed, instead just thinking these thoughts in your own heart or in your own world, yet to God it is all clear and He sees it clearly with one glance. People use their eyes to see you, and God uses His heart to touch your heart—He is this close to you. And if you are able to sense God’s scrutiny, then you are living before God. If you can’t sense it at all and you live within your own world, then you’re in trouble. You’re not living before God, you are distant from God and far away from Him, you do not draw close to Him in your heart or have your heart come close to His heart, and you don’t accept God’s scrutiny. And God knows this! God is entirely capable of sensing all this. Therefore, when you have the resolution and the goal to be perfected by God, to become someone who carries out God’s will, someone who fears God and shuns evil, when you are able to often pray on this matter and implore for it, when you are able to live before God, not go far from God or leave God, then you are clear about this, and God knows about it as well. Some people say: “I am clear about it, but I don’t know if God knows about it.” This doesn’t hold water. So what’s the situation here? If you are clear about it yourself, and you don’t know if God knows about it, then you have no relationship with God. Understand? Why do I say you have no relationship with God? You are not living before God, therefore you are unable to sense whether God is with you, whether God is guiding you or protecting you, and whether God is reproaching you when you do something wrong. You can’t feel any of these things, so this means that you are not living before God. You just think by yourself and become intoxicated with your own thoughts; that is living in your own world and not living before God, and there is no relationship between you and God.

Excerpted from “Those Who Cannot Live Always Before God Are Nonbelievers” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Having heard these messages, it’s not important what you are taken by; ultimately, when all is said and done, that which makes you fear God and shun evil is the right path—and it is the only right path. You keep believing, to the point that you have no connection to God, and God is not your Lord and Creator, you do not accept that God rules your fate, and do not obey all that God arranges for you, you do not acknowledge the fact that God is the truth—if so, your dream of salvation will have been shattered. If you walk such a path, it will be the path of destruction—do you understand? What does it mean if you say, “Everything I focus on and pursue, and everything I pray and ask for each day—it increasingly makes me feel that I ought to obey the Creator. God is my Lord, and I am willing to accept and obey God’s dominion over me, what God sets out for me, and everything He arranges for me. I am increasingly able to obey, I am more and more willing, my state is more and more normal, I have a closer and closer relationship with God, my love of God is more and more pure, my extravagant desires, and complaints and misunderstandings toward God are fewer and fewer, I commit less and less evil, I shun evil more and more, and my fear of God is more and more true”? (That a person walks the path of salvation.) It means that a person walks the path of salvation. You feel that your pursuit is right, that the path of your pursuit is very good, very high level—and yet, after pursuing and pursuing, walking on and on, there is no discipline, you see nothing of God’s judgment and chastisement, you can’t sense it, nor are you willing to accept God’s observation, and you want to be your own lord. Is this the right path? (No.) If you increasingly feel that you must live before God at all times, if you are deeply afraid that one day you’ll do something wrong, that as soon as you stop being careful you’ll do something that offends God, making you feel that when someone believes in God they can’t leave God, and cannot depart from before God—that if they do leave God and His discipline, and pruning, and judgment and chastisement, then that is equivalent to losing God’s protection and care. If, one day, you realize this, you will beg of God: “O God! I beg You to judge and chastise me, I beg You to reproach and discipline me, I beg You to look upon me at all times, making me fear You and shun evil.” What of this path? Is it the right path? (Yes.) Yes—it is the right path. So have a go at measuring yourselves according to this standard. Is it easy to measure yourselves in this way? Do you walk the path of salvation? (No.) Have you reached the edge of it? (No.) You’re not. So is it easy to walk the path of salvation? (We must rely on God’s leadership.) You must rely on both God and yourselves. When people hear this message, they say, “What? I still don’t walk the path of salvation? Whether I do or don’t doesn’t matter—what’s the big deal, anyway? I’m going to get there sooner or later, there’s no need to panic.” What of this view? When you have this attitude you’re in deep trouble. You’ll have a hard time setting foot upon the path of salvation—it won’t be easy. So what resolution should you have to set foot upon this path? “Ah, at the moment I have yet to walk the path of salvation—I’m in quite a bit of danger! What did God just say? He told people that they must live before God at all times. So how can they live before God at all times? By praying a lot, being at peace, and not being impetuous. Well then, from this very second I’m going to start putting this into practice.” Does this mean you’ve reached the edge of the path of salvation? When some people hear this, they say, “Ah, so it’s that simple!” It really is that simple! What kind of people go and put this into practice after hearing it? Are they good people? (Yes.) They are good people—they are people who love the truth. After hearing this, if people remain set in their ways, if they’re still hardened and unresponsive, if they don’t pay any attention, and treat it lightly, letting it go in one ear and out the other, are they good people? (No.) If they’re not good, what kind of people are they? Are they ignoramuses and good-for-nothings? (Yes.) People always ask, “Are there any shortcuts in believing in God and being saved?” and I say there are not. So, having told you of this simple path, what are you if you don’t go and put it into practice after hearing it? You’re useless, right? You don’t know good from bad, you really are trash. Can such people be saved? (No.) It can’t be said for sure that they can’t—but it’s fair to say they’ll have a hard time. One day, perhaps, when they wake up, they’ll have a think, and say: “I’m all grown up now—what am I doing? I spend the whole time neglecting my duties. What did God say the other day? People must live before God at all times. Where am I living now? I’m not living before God. I’m still napping, still dreaming. I should hurry up and pray!” They’ve awoken, grown up, they know not to be negligent in their duties. See? It’s not too late. But don’t leave it too late. If you wait until you’re seventy, or eighty, or ninety, when you’re so old you can’t move, and your speech has slowed down, as have your thoughts, when you have trouble walking, and have no energy—if you only start pursuing then, having wasted the best years of your life by neglecting your duties, then it’s not worth it—you have no destination, no end, you have missed the best time for salvation. It’s too late for regrets!

Excerpted from “Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Previous: 10. The Principles of Being Quiet Before God

Next: 12. The Principles of Confirming the Holy Spirit Is at Work

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