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) It is necessary to perform your duty in peaceful cooperation with others and in submission to the truth. 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 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 by Constantly Living Before God Can One Walk the Path to Salvation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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 they be incapable of shunning evil. These things are connected. If deep down you often live before God, you will be held in check, and will fear Him in many things. You will not go too far or do anything that is dissolute, nor will you do anything which is loathed by God or speak words that are not sensible. If you accept God’s scrutiny, and accept His 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 He is in your heart and not knowing what you wish to do deep down; if you are incapable of being at peace before God, and do not pray or seek the truth whenever 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 discipline, and do not submit, then deep down people like this will always live before Satan and be controlled by Satan and by their corrupt disposition. Such people are therefore without the slightest reverence for God. They are simply incapable of shunning evil, and even if they do not do evil things, everything they think is still evil, and is both unconnected to the truth and runs against it. Do such people, then, fundamentally have no connection to God? Though they are ruled by Him, they have never reported before Him; they have never treated God as God, they have never treated Him as the Creator who rules over them, they have never acknowledged that He is their God and their Lord, and they have never considered worshiping Him in earnest. Such people do not understand what it means to fear God, and they think it is their right to commit evil. They say, “I’ll do what I want. I’ll take care of my own business, it’s not up to anyone else.” Meanwhile, they treat faith in God as a kind of mantra, a form of ceremony. Does this not make them nonbelievers? They are nonbelievers! And what does God name these people in His heart? All day long, everything they think is evil. They are the degenerates of the house of God, and He does not acknowledge such people as members of His house.

Excerpted from “Only by Constantly Living Before God Can One Walk the Path to Salvation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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

How does God scrutinize people’s hearts? He does not look only with His eyes; He sets environments for you, touching your heart with His hands. And why do I say this? Because when God sets an environment for you, He looks at whether you feel aversion and revulsion, or joy and obedience; He looks to see if you wait quietly, or seek the truth; God looks at how your heart changes, and what direction your heart is growing in. The changes in your heart, your every thought and idea about the people, events, and things He sets out for you, every change in your feelings—God can sense it all. You have not told anyone these things, or prayed about them. You only thought about them in your heart, in your own world—but God knows them well, and they are as clear as day to Him. People look at you with their eyes, but God touches your heart with His heart; that is how close He is to you. If you can sense that you are being scrutinized by God, then you are living before God. If you feel nothing, then you are living in your own world, in which case you are in trouble. You do not live before God, there is a distance between you and God, you are far from Him, your hearts are not close, they do not touch, you do not accept God’s scrutiny—and God also knows this, He can sense it acutely. Thus, when you are possessed of resolve and purpose, and wish to be perfected by God and become one who follows His will, as well as one who fears God and shuns evil—once you have this resolve and are frequently praying and asking for such things, and are living before God and do not shun Him or leave Him, then these things will become clear to you, and He will be aware of this. Some people say, “This is clear to me; is God aware of it?” Such words have no credence. Saying that proves that you have never communicated with God, and that there is no relationship between you and Him. Why do I say there is no relationship? Because you do not live before God, and therefore you have no sense of whether or not God is with you, whether He is guiding you, whether He is protecting you, whether He rebukes you when you do something wrong. If you can feel none of this, then you are not living before God. If you only think for yourself, and are absorbed in yourself, then you are living in your own world, not before God, and there is no relationship between you and God.

Excerpted from “If You Cannot Always Live Before God, You Are a Nonbeliever” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Entering into the truth reality is not a simple matter. The key is to focus on seeking the truth and putting the truth into practice. You have to hold these things in your heart every day. 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 truth principles 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 truth reality, 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 Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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

How can people maintain a relationship with God? And what should they rely on to do this? They should rely on supplicating God, praying to God, and communicating with God in their hearts. With a relationship such as this, people live always before God, and such people are very peaceful. Some people spend their whole time in external actions, busying themselves with external tasks. After one or two days without the spiritual life, they feel nothing; after three or five days, or one or two months, they still feel nothing; they have not prayed, made supplication, or held spiritual communion. Supplication is when something happens to you, and you ask God to help you, guide you, provide for you, enlighten you, and allow you to understand His will and know what to do in line with the truth. The scope of prayer is wider: Sometimes you speak the words in your heart, talking to God of your difficulties or negativity and weakness; so, too, do you pray to God when you are rebellious, or else you speak to Him of the things that happen to you each day, whether they are clear to you or not. This is praying. The scope of prayer is basically talking and opening up to God. Sometimes it is done at regular times, sometimes not; you can pray whenever and wherever you wish. Spiritual communion is not overly formal. Sometimes it is because you have a problem, sometimes not. Sometimes it involves words, sometimes not. When you have a problem, you talk of it with God and pray; when you do not have a problem, you think of how God loves people, how He is concerned about people, how He rebukes people. You may commune with God at any time or place. This is what spiritual communion is. Sometimes, when you are out and about and you think of something that upsets you, you do not have to get down on your knees or close your eyes. You just have to say to God in your heart: “O God, please guide me in this. I am weak, I cannot overcome it.” Your heart is moved; you speak but a few simple words, and God knows. Sometimes you miss home and say, “O God! I really miss home….” You do not say who specifically you miss. You just feel down, and speak of this to God. Problems can only be solved when you pray to God and say what is in your heart. Can talking to other people solve problems? It is okay if you encounter someone who understands the truth, but if they do not—if you encounter someone negative and weak—you could have an effect on them. If you speak to God, God will comfort you, and move you. If you are able to read God’s words quietly before God, then you will be able to understand the truth and solve the problem. God’s words will allow you to find a way through, to get past this little hurdle. The hurdle will not trip you up, it will not restrain you, nor will it affect your performance of your duty. There are times when you suddenly feel a little down or uneasy inside. At such times, do not hesitate to pray to God. It may be that you make no supplication to God, there may be nothing you wish God to do or enlighten you with—you just speak to God and open up to Him at any time, wherever you are. What must you feel at all times? It is, “God is always with me, He has never left me, I can feel it. No matter where I am or what I’m doing—I could be taking a rest, or be in a gathering, or be performing my duty—in my heart, I know that my hand is led by God, that He has never left me.” Sometimes, recalling how you have passed each day over the past few years, you feel that your stature has grown, that you have been guided by God, that God’s love has protected you throughout. Thinking these things, you pray in your heart, offering thanks to God: “O God, I thank You! I am so weak and frail, so profoundly corrupt. Without You to guide me like this, I would not have made it to today relying on myself.” Is this not spiritual communion? If people can often commune in this way, will they not have much to say to God? They would not go many days without anything to say to God. When you have nothing to say to God, God is absent from your heart. If God is in your heart, and you have faith in God, then you will be able to speak of everything in your heart to Him, including those things you would speak of to your confidants. In fact, God is your closest confidant. If you treat God as your closest confidant, as your family whom you depend on most, rely on most, trust most, confide in most, whom you are closest to, then it will be impossible for you to have nothing to say to God. If you always have something to say to God, will you not always live before God? If you can always live before God, then at every moment, you will sense how God guides you, how He cares for and protects you, how He brings you peace and joy, how He blesses you, how He enlightens you, and how He rebukes you, disciplines you, chastens you, and judges and chastises you; all this will be clear and evident to you in your heart. You will not just muddle through each day, knowing nothing, only saying you believe in God, performing your duty and attending gatherings only for appearance’s sake, reading God’s words and praying on a daily basis, simply going through the motions—yours will not simply be this kind of external religious ceremony. Instead, in your heart, you will look to God and pray to God at every moment, you will commune with God at all times, and you will be able to submit to God, and live before God.

Excerpted from “If You Cannot Always Live Before God, You Are a Nonbeliever” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

If you spend some time experiencing before God, and come to understand God’s work and His disposition, you will unconsciously gain much insight, and your stature will gradually grow. You will understand many spiritual things better, and you will be clearer about God’s work in particular. You will accept God’s words, God’s work, God’s every action, God’s disposition, and what God is and has as your own life. If all you do is wander in the world, your wings will grow ever harder, and your resistance against God will become ever greater; how then can God use you? Because there is too much of “in my opinion” in you, God does not use you. The more you are in the presence of God, the more experiences you will have. If you still live in the world like a beast—your mouth professing belief in God but your heart somewhere else—and if you still study the worldly philosophies for living, then will all your previous labors not have been for nothing? Therefore, the more that people are in the presence of God, the easier they are to be perfected by God. This is the path by which the Holy Spirit does His work. If you do not understand this, it will be impossible for you to enter onto the right track, and being perfected by God will be out of the question. You will not be able to have a normal spiritual life; it will be as if you are handicapped, and you will have only your own hard work and none of God’s work. Is this not a mistake in your experiencing? You do not necessarily have to pray to be in the presence of God; sometimes it is in your contemplating God or pondering His work, sometimes in your dealing with some matter, and sometimes through your being revealed in an event, that you come into God’s presence. Most people say, “Am I not in the presence of God, since I often pray?” Many people pray endlessly “in the presence of God.” Though prayers may be always on their lips, they do not really live in God’s presence. This is the only means by which such people can maintain their conditions in the presence of God; they are utterly incapable of using their hearts to engage with God at all times, and nor are they able to come before God by means of experiencing, whether through pondering, silent contemplation, or using their minds to engage with the God within their hearts, by being mindful of God’s burden. They just offer prayers to God in heaven with their mouths. Most people’s hearts are bereft of God, and God is only there when they draw close to Him; most of the time, God is not there at all. Is this not the manifestation of not having God in one’s heart? If they really had God in their hearts, could they do the things that robbers and beasts do? If a person really reveres God, they will bring their true heart into contact with God, and their thoughts and ideas will always be occupied by God’s words. They will not make mistakes in either speech or action, and will not do anything that obviously opposes God. Such is the standard for being a believer.

Excerpted from “On Experience” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In their faith, if people wish to attain salvation, the crux of the matter is whether they are God-fearing and whether He has a place in their hearts. If your heart is incapable of living before Him, or if there is no normal relationship between you and God, then you will never be saved. Your path to salvation will be blocked; you will have reached a dead end. Your belief in God will be useless if it exists in name only, and it will not matter how much doctrine you are able to speak, how much you have suffered, or how great your natural gifts are. God will say, “Depart from Me, you evildoer.” You will have been classed as an evildoer. You have no connection to God; He is not your Ruler, He is not your Creator, He is not your God, He is not the One you worship, and He is not the One you follow. You follow Satan and demons. You are your own lord. Ultimately, people like you will be eliminated, detested, rejected, and punished by God. He does not save such people. Only when people accept that God is their Lord and Ruler, only when they accept that He is the truth and the source of man’s way and life, and only when all that they do and the path that they walk are connected to the truth, to God, to submission before Him, and to following His way—only then will they be saved. Otherwise, they shall be condemned by God. Is it alright for people to hope to just get lucky? Is it okay for them to always cling to their own notions? Is it okay for them to constantly hold on to vague and abstract imaginings? (No.) Do not think you can just get lucky; if you want to attain salvation in your faith in God, there is no other path to take. …

What impassions you after having listened to these sermons does not matter; when all is said and done, the only right path is the path that makes you fear God and shun evil. If you believe in God but your faith has nothing to do with Him, if He is not your Lord and not your Creator, if you do not accept that He is the Ruler of your fate, do not submit to all that is set out for your by Him, do not accept the fact that He is the truth, then your dream of salvation is in tatters. If you walk this path, then you are on the path of destruction. Suppose what you focus on, pursue, and pray and supplicate for each day gives you an increasing sense that you should submit to the Creator, that God is your Lord. And suppose you gladly accept and obey His sovereignty and orchestration for you, submitting to what God arranges for you ever more gladly, your state becoming increasingly normal, your relationship with God becoming ever closer, your love for Him ever purer, and you then have ever fewer extravagant desires, complaints, and misunderstandings toward God, you commit less and less evil, increasingly shunning it, and your fear of God becomes ever more genuine. Now what would this mean? It would mean that you have set foot upon the path of salvation. If you think that there is nothing wrong with what you seek, and that the path you are following is the right one, but then, after all your seeking, you have not been disciplined by God and cannot sense His judgment and chastisement, unwilling to be examined by Him and wishing to be your own boss, then this is not the right path. If, the more you seek, the greater your sense that you must live before God at every moment, and you are fearful that one day you will do something wrong, that as soon as you are not careful you might offend God and be in trouble, and will then surely be forsaken by Him, and that there is nothing more terrifying than this, and you feel that when people believe in God, they must not stray from Him, and that if they do stray from His discipline, dealing, pruning, judgment, and chastisement, then it will be the same as losing the care and protection of God—if you realize these things, you will then pray to God and say, “O God! I beg You to judge and chastise me, to reprimand and discipline me, to scrutinize me at all times, to grant me reverence for You, and to make me shun evil.” What do you think of this path? This is the right path. Thus, you should measure yourselves against this standard: Are you on the path of salvation? (No.) Is it easy to walk the path of salvation? (We must rely on God for His guidance.) You must rely on God, and it also depends on your own cooperation. If, after hearing this message, you feel that you have yet to set foot upon the path to salvation but are not worried, and think nothing of it, and feel that sooner or later the day will come when you do—if this is how you see things, then you will have trouble walking the path of salvation. What should your resolve be, then, to be able to set foot upon this path? You should say, “I haven’t started on the path of salvation, so I’m in danger! God says that people must live before Him at all times, that they must pray more, that deep down they must be at peace, and not be impetuous. I should start practicing like this right away.” This is getting close to being on the right track, is it not? It is exactly that simple! The people who put God’s words into practice as soon as they hear them are the ones who love the truth. What sort of people remain obstinate, uncaring, and apathetic after hearing His words, treating them with a frivolous attitude and letting them go in one ear and out the other? Are these people not muddle-headed? People always ask if there are any shortcuts to attaining salvation through faith. I tell you there are not, and I have told you of such a simple path—but after hearing of it, if you still do not put it into practice, then you do not know what is good or bad. Can such people be saved? (No.) It cannot be said that they absolutely will not be saved, but they will certainly encounter great difficulty. One day they might wake up, think things over, and say, “I haven’t taken my faith in God seriously all these years; He asks that people live before Him at all times, but I don’t. I should hurry up and pray!” They are alarmed, and they realize that they must start engaging properly, and it is not too late! However, do not wait until old age renders you immobile and you no longer have energy to start seeking; wasting optimal time on unimportant things simply is not worth it. When the time comes, you will have no destination or outcome, and there will be no time to regret having missed out on the best time to attain salvation!

Excerpted from “Only by Constantly Living Before God Can One Walk the Path to Salvation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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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