Chapter 71. Now Is the Critical Time for Performing One’s Duty and Obtaining Truth
Tell Me, how do people obtain their wisdom? (It is given from God.) Do you admit that sometimes there are some things that seem impossible to a person, that he is disinclined to seek to learn, but that he still learns unconsciously and unintentionally? You learn something that people consider quite difficult, something that unbelievers typically do not master no matter how long they study. It’s something really difficult to break into, but you have learned it unconsciously, without perceiving either how God brought it about or that you have exerted yourself—this sort of experience is not uncommon, is it? (No.) How can this be? (God’s guidance.) Yes, it is given from God. The things God gives to people are boundless; any blessing He gives you, any grace He gives you, is enough to enjoy for a lifetime and cannot be used up. People often say, “The supply of God does not run out and is not used up.” Perhaps you have not yet experienced this saying, but when you’ve performed your duty for many years, you may learn it. Not that it was particularly difficult to work or learn a skill in the secular world, but that was not like now where it seems like you receive a sort of inspiration, where it’s really easy to grasp something; of course, there is some difficulty, but unconsciously everything comes to fruition, and you don’t know how that is. Even before you realized it was given to you by God, you had already received much; you had already been able to do a few different things. Perhaps these things were nothing earth-shattering, maybe they weren’t worth a boast or a mention, but the facts tell everyone that the wisdom God gives to man is obtained and enjoyed by man without his being conscious of it. These things don’t require you to feel them or list them out on paper—there’s no need. Go get some experience. Use your heart to seek this experience. As long as you use your heart to seek experience and seek it attentively, then without your being conscious of it your heart will discover that what God works in you is not inferior to anybody else; God is fair and righteous toward all. Some people say, “How is it that other people so frequently obtain enlightenment, and are often given intelligence, wisdom, and inspiration, and that God guides them in what they do? Why is that I feel like I don’t feel it that much?” If you go taste of what God works in you and experience it attentively, you will perceive that God has done many works around you and at your side; it’s just that sometimes people are thoughtless, and they overlook them. When you use your heart to seek to experience, you will discover that God is working constantly, performing new works every day. When people are of small stature or their life experience is shallow, what they feel is some of the graces and blessings God gives to people. After you have experienced these graces and blessings for years, your perception will grow more and more acute, and you will understand more and more truth, and by then what you feel is not only the graces, not only the blessings from God or His simple guidance, but you will feel that the truths you have obtained relative to knowing God are becoming deeper and deeper, that you are understanding God’s heart more and more, and that you are seeing truth more and more clearly. Up to now, have you ever felt that you’ve obtained these things? (We’ve felt it a little.) That’s good that you’ve felt it a little. If you can feel that then your faith is increasing. If you couldn’t feel that, then you must keep working at it, pray more, use your heart to experience and feel. The deeper people feel what God does and the more they understand, then the deeper they will feel the real existence of God and His works. This is how one’s faith increases. Is this not so? (It is.) Then, at what degree does your faith now linger? It can be said that based on your current ages and the time that you have believed in God, most of your faith lingers on these major areas: Believing that there is a God in heaven, believing that there is a God in the heavens and earth and all things, and really believing that humankind was created by God, that God reigns over all things and everything. But, your experience is not so detailed or concrete to say that you have truly experienced that God is at your side or that God is guiding you in all that you do, is it? (No.) So, you must keep working at it. You cannot just believe that it is certain and doubtless that there is a God and that God exists, that God can complete a person, that God rules over all things. If your faith is stuck at this level, then your life will not progress. You must continue to advance, continue to seek every requirement that God has for man and the principles of every matter, and you must experience the truth, the life, and the way which God bestows upon humankind. Only in this way can you clearly and distinctly experience that God is not an empty nothingness as imagined.
How do you say that a person’s faith is produced? How is a person’s genuine belief in God produced? Have you experienced this? (Seeing more of God’s works; knowing God more; being able to believe that one’s everyday surroundings are arranged by God Himself.) First, you must learn how to apply God’s word and experience God’s word in all things. Go taste and experience every word spoken by God and His every requirement of humankind. Go see whether what God says is really the case; you must prove it, and in the process of proving it you will unconsciously discover that every word God speaks is very true and clear and can clearly and truly supply your life. It can guide your daily life. It is your path. It is the direction of your life. As you experience this process, you are actually using your own experiences and impressions to prove that the words God has spoken are truth and are the life of humankind. The more you prove that, the greater will be your faith in God. Have you experienced this? (We have experienced this.) If you are unable to experience this, then your faith in God is stuck on the words, and those are empty. Why is it that some people believe for over twenty years but in the end they obtain nothing, do not obtain truth, do not have real faith in God, and they are full of complaining and fall into a passivity they cannot escape? How can this be? Their faith in God was stuck on external action; they do not know what it is to believe in God, how to experience God’s word, or how to treat God’s word or the truths God expresses. They do not apply them. It’s just like going to a banquet; after you came back, people ask, “How was the banquet?” “Quite good, great, there were foods of every color, red, white, green—and they were all quite vivid.” “Well, did you eat anything?” “The smell was great; I smelled it.” “Did you taste anything? Which was good, the fish? The meat? Or the vegetables?” “They were all great! The vegetables looked crispy. That fish, I could see the skin was all there, it had a fresh fragrance.” Then the others say, “Did you get to eat it? How was this banquet, really?” “Great, there was a lot there.” And that’s all the person concludes about the feast. Are such people not pitiable? (They are.) Why are they pitiable? There’s a hymn—what does it say? (“Sit at a banquet and suffer great famine.”) Yes, that’s it. You remembered. That’s it! It refers to people who believe in God yet do nothing to put truth into practice. Those who do not put truth into practice are attending a rich banquet but suffering a great famine. You are familiar with this situation, aren’t you? Regardless of how much of a contribution they have made or how many miles they’ve traveled, in the end they are the most pitiable who will be cast off. It is not God who eliminates them; it is they who eliminate themselves.
Then, how can people avoid this elimination? Have you thought about this question? Is it because God is unrighteous that they are cast off and eliminated? Is it because God is not sympathetic or humane? (No.) When God sees people being so passive, so fallen, full of complaint toward God, not rising out of passivity, sitting at a banquet and suffering famine, how do you say God feels? (Sorrowful.) Sorrowful. How else? (Sad for them.) God feels sad for these people when He sees them! Both loathing and sadness. At the time, these people gave up their homes and occupations, ran, and expended themselves, some even giving up their youth. Twenty years of youth all passed by, they paid no small price, but why did they obtain nothing in the end? For what reason, in the end? (They did not seek truth.) It’s that those people did not attend to their proper duties: They acted outwardly, in pursuit of fame and gains, taking the same path as the worldly in the pursuit of fame and gains. This sounds a little awkward, and it seems a little illogical. They believe in God, follow God, so how did they walk the path of the worldly? Try to understand this phrase, and analyze it: What does it mean that they have “walked the path of the worldly”? (They pursued fame and gains and position, and these are all perspectives of Satan.) Almost there. It means that you believe in God but you still do not pursue truth. You still seek to act externally, to stand out, to stand out from others. You seek to obtain blessings, and you perform your duty in order to manage your own interests. There is no difference between this and the path of the worldly, their motives, and viewpoints; this is how it is from God’s perspective, regardless of how you follow and regardless of where you are. Would you say that these people are, in fact, pitiable, lamentable, or detestable? (They are all of those.) Then, are you willing to walk their path? (No.) So do you have your standards and the direction of your path? What is your goal? Avoiding walking such a path is not something as simple as a few words. Nobody wants to walk that path. Nobody wants to see themselves in that situation after ten or twenty years. Nobody is willing to see themselves this way, are they? And yet, people will unknowingly walk that path. Why is that? (It’s a matter of nature.) Nature is one aspect of it. Another is that you need to figure out what kind of path a person’s nature inclines him to walk and what measures he can take to avoid walking that path. This is something people should ponder, and they should not just simplify it by saying “It’s a matter of nature—a person takes the path of the type of person he is” and leave it at that. Is that a sufficient explanation? Is this way of speaking not somewhat irresponsible? Since there are past examples for warning, why do people now still not ponder thus, “It was wrong for those people to walk that path, so what kind of path should I walk? I can’t follow in their tracks!”? What sorts of negative things should be avoided? More importantly, what should you do proactively to drive your own progress in active areas, what path should you walk? That is the most important. I’ll leave this question for you to answer yourselves.
Now as you perform your duty is an important critical time for you to enter into life and also for whether you can enter into and obtain truth; it is also an excellent opportunity. If you miss this opportunity then it’s difficult to say whether you will achieve these things. Time hurries forward day by day. From the time that humanity appeared until now, has time ever once moved backward one day? No, right? As time moves forward one day, you have one day less to live in this mortal world. After a year has passed by, it means that your time as a person on earth, your time living on this earth and in this mortal world as a created being has been reduced by a year. What does that imply? Time is incredibly important to everyone. You need to review how you’ve scheduled your time for each day, and how many things you’ve obtained within a period of time. You cannot let time pass in vain. Ten years is gone in the blink of an eye. Even if people want to live life more slowly, it can’t be done. Time is too precious; it waits for no one! Don’t think, “No big deal, the day is still long!” That’s a problem. Those of you who are now twenty-something may not feel any sense of urgency; what about those who are in your forties? Do you now obviously feel that any part of you, such as your body or mind, is not quite like it was when you were in your twenties? (Yes, my strength and energy do not match what they were in those earlier years.) What causes this, then? Do people want this? Is that how people plan it? (No.) Then how does this law come about? (It is appointed by God.) One’s age determines how his body feels; this has been appointed by God and cannot be transcended by anyone. This is a law of nature.
What do I mean by that? I’m telling you that you cannot hold out against the passage of days. In this human lifetime, if God decrees that one live to the age of eighty, then at forty that person will already lack the physical capacity to do all he intends. At fifty or sixty, in energy and other ways he will be even less incapable of accomplishing all he desires. So, the best age for equipping oneself with truth and saving up energy and for building a good foundation is from twenty to forty. Equip yourselves with the necessary truth and lay the necessary foundation during this time. After you are forty, you will start to think back on the things of that time; you will ruminate over the foolish, ignorant, and immature things you did, the things that hurt God’s heart, and the things that did not please Him. At that age, one aspect is that your disposition stabilizes, and another aspect is that you learn how to be considerate of God’s heart. As a person grows old, his thought naturally matures and becomes completely different from how he thought as a vigorous youth, when his thought did not take others into consideration. When you reach age sixty, you then start to ruminate over the things you still did not get deeper into, still did not understand, still did not achieve when you were forty. Your continuously deepening as your age advances is correct, and it is a natural law. But, if you have not laid a good foundation now, if you have not understood or obtained what you should have, then when you reach that age, your mind will be empty, and you will have nothing left. You will not have obtained anything; you will have no capital to invest in pondering and thinking about these things. Do you understand? Now you’re young, full of vigor, full of energy. You have inexhaustible energy in performing your duties. When you are older and lacking in energy, when you ponder on what you can still do, what duties you are able to perform, what more you can do for God’s gospel work or God’s management plan, you have to think about this, right? So, time and energy appear to be extremely precious now. Those of you who have energy and are young should treasure this time, cherish it. Do not wait until going up to the second floor from the first makes you breathe heavily. Do not wait until your intentions are plentiful but you lack the energy to fulfill them. It will be too late at that time.