Tell Me, how do people obtain their wisdom? (It is given from God.) 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! See how 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 if you perform 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 a sort of revelation, where it’s really easy to grasp this thing; of course, there is some difficulty, but unconsciously everything about it comes to fruition, and you don’t know how that is, right? (Right.) 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 by man without his being conscious of it. Every person has experienced this; 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 on you is not inferior to anybody else; God is fair and righteous toward all. You see some people say, “How is it that other people so frequently obtain enlightenment? They are often given intelligence, wisdom, and revelation, and God guides them in what they do. I feel like I don’t feel it that much.” But, 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, right? (Right.) When you use your heart to seek to experience those things, you will discover them. God is working constantly, performing new works every day, isn’t this so? (Yes.) You see that 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—what is it—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. These things are what you obtain, right? (Right.) 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 seek to experience and seek to 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? At what level can I say most of your faith lingers, based on your current ages and the time that you have believed in God? 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—it lingers on these major areas, doesn’t it? But, your experience is not so detailed or concrete to say that you have truly experienced that God is with you 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, and you must continue to advance, continue to seek everything that God requires of 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, is this not so? (It is.)
Then, 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, aren’t you? 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 obtain nothing in the end and do not obtain truth? How can this be? They do not have real faith in God, and in the end they are full of complaining and fall into a passivity they cannot escape. Why? This is why: 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 you went to a banquet and people ask, “How was the banquet?” “Quite good, great, there were foods of every color, an explosion of beautiful color. The colors were great. There was red, white, green—and they were all quite vivid.” People say, “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?” “Yes, they were all great! The vegetables looked crispy, and very green. That fish, I could see the skin was all there, it was so fresh. It had a fresh fragrance.” Then the others say, “Did you get to eat it?” “Oh, it was great.” They say, “How was this banquet, really?” “Great, there was a lot there.” And that’s all the person concludes about the feast. The people who are like this, are they not pitiable? (They are.) Why are they pitiable? (They didn’t get to eat.) 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! This is exactly what it means: It refers to these 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. That’s what it is. You are familiar with this situation, aren’t you? It refers to this sort of people who in the end are the most pitiable and are cast off, regardless of how much of a contribution they have made or how far they’ve come. That is this type of person. It is not God who eliminates them; it is they who eliminate themselves. Is this not so? (It is.)
Then, how can people avoid this elimination? Have you thought about this question? Is it God being unrighteous? Is it God not being sympathetic or humane? (No.) When God sees people being so passive, so fallen, full of complaint toward God, not rising out of it, 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 earnestly seek.) 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, doesn’t it? It seems a little illogical; how is it that they walked the same path as the worldly? 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?” (It’s a person’s viewpoint on their pursuit; they pursue fame and gains and position, and these are all perspectives of Satan.) Yes, almost. 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 manage your own interests and obtain blessings. 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.) You are not, so do you have your standards and the direction of your path? What is your goal? But, 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? (No.) And yet, in their pursuit of the path to walk, people will unknowingly walk that path. Why is that? 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? (No.) Is this way of speaking not somewhat irresponsible? (It is.) 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 things should be avoided? What sorts of negative things should be avoided? More importantly, what sorts of positive things should be proactively done? You can drive your own progress in active areas. What things can you do and what path can you walk? That is the most important. I’ll leave this question for you to answer yourselves, and we will continue.
In sum, now as you perform your duty is an important critical time for you to enter into life and truth and also for whether you can 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, isn’t it? (Yes.) Notice how time hurries forward day by day. From the time that humanity appeared until now, has time ever once moved backward one day? The answer is obvious; no one would say “Yes,” would they? Even fools understand that time moves forward. As time moves forward one day, you have one day less to live in this mortal world. After a year has passed by, you are one year older, which is the same as saying that your time as a person on earth, your time as a created being, your time being on this earth as a created being, your time living in this mortal world has been reduced by a year. What does that imply? Time is incredibly important to everyone, isn’t it?! You need to review and learn from how you plan for each day, how you schedule your time for each day, and how many things you obtain within a period of time. You cannot let time pass in vain. Ten years is gone in the blink of an eye, and then in two blinks twenty more years are gone. How old are you all now? (Twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six.) Oh, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, most of you are within this age range, right? (Right.) Having lived for twenty or thirty years, have you felt like time is long? Do you have any sort of feeling about time? (We feel like it goes quite fast.) It does go quite fast, doesn’t it? In a flash, there you are. In a flash, you have grown up this much. You aren’t aware of it yourself, “I am so old; have I become an adult yet? I am twenty-four or twenty-five, what should I be doing? Do I understand how things work now? Have I really grown up?” Even if people want to live life more slowly it’s difficult; it can’t be done, can it? (No.) What do we see from this? Time is too precious; it waits for no one! Don’t think, “No big deal, I’m still young!” “No big deal, it’s still early!” “No big deal, the day is still long!” That’s a problem. You are now twenty-something; do you feel any sense of urgency? Maybe not too much, yet; is that right? (Right.) Are any of you in your forties? Ask someone in his forties how it feels to have lived to this point. (God, I am forty-two this year. I feel like I have no consciousness of being forty-two. Sometimes I remember my age and feel like it went by too fast, like my mind isn’t that old, but my age has gotten there.) At this age, have you felt like any part of you, such as your body or mind, is not quite like it was when you were in your twenties? Is it obvious to you? (Yes. Every day I go up to the fifth floor from the basement and feel very tired. I breathe heavily when I go up, not like in those earlier years.) That’s only at forty-two. What will it be like at forty-six? And then another four years after that? (I imagine it will get worse.) You look thin. Your body should be pretty good, but you now feel a little aged, right? (Yes, I feel like I learn slowly now, too.) Oh, memory is not so great. How about your energy level? (My energy level is no good. Sometimes if I go to bed too late, then when I wake up in the morning my heart does not get going again after just a little rest like it did when I was young. My heart hurts, and my strength is noticeably less than it was in those earlier years.) Now, is this something you control? (No.) What causes this, then? (It’s just getting older. With the passage of time, strength and energy do not match what they were in those earlier years.) Do people want this? (No.) You say that people feel like this when they live to this age; is that how people plan it? (No.) Then how does this law come about? (It is appointed by God.) Yes. One’s age determines how his body feels; this has been appointed by God and cannot be transcended by anyone. An obvious feeling is that the body is not as strong as it used to be. It doesn’t have as much resistance as in the past, and it lacks energy. You twenty-something kids, don’t you be anxious. When you reach this age, you’ll be the same. Don’t laugh. At this age, you will be the same. 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, it will be even worse; in energy and other ways he will be incapable of accomplishing all he desires. So, the best age for saving up energy and for building a good foundation as required is from twenty to forty. Equip yourselves with the necessary truth and lay the necessary foundation. 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 time it happens that, one, your disposition stabilizes, and, two, you reach an old age. Living to this age you learn how to be considerate of God’s heart, don’t you? 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, and thus you start to ruminate over the things you originally assimilated and those things that you have not yet deeply entered into. Then, when you reach age sixty, you have even less strength, and you can’t expend much energy. You see now some youths are of young age, and they look like tiger children, imbued with inexhaustible energy. What do you feel when you see one of them now? “Ah, youth is great!” But time is unforgiving. Everybody misses youth but no one can return to it. People can only continue forward. But, when you are sixty and think back over your own behavior, you’ll think, “Oh, no, how was I like that back then? Seeing it now, my heart grows tired!” Is this not because of your advanced age? Do you have control over this? (No.) So, 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 a natural law, and correct. 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? Look at these twenty-something children. Each is full of vigor, full of energy. When they sing or shout they wish that every single hair could expend energy in the effort; they have inexhaustible energy! Now at this age you are energetic, and then when you are older and cannot be so physically active, 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 must think about this, right?
Those of you who have energy and are young should treasure this time, cherish it, and do not wait until going up to the second floor from the first makes you breathe heavily and have to rest three times. Do not wait until that time. It will be too late at the time when your intentions are plentiful but you lack the energy to fulfill them, won’t it? You see, when you are young, you can read God’s word for an hour, ponder on it, and have meetings—your energy is sufficient for this. So, you should lay up reserves now, right? Did you not hear what the forty-year-old said? Sometimes when she gets to bed late and wakes up in the morning her heart is uncomfortable, and she must rest more. This is a case of limited energy, isn’t it? If you don’t believe it, live another ten years or so: When you reach your fifties, it will be even worse than now, and your times of going empty will increase, won’t they? When you want to ponder God’s word, you will tire after pondering it for a while, and you will need to sleep a bit, to take a nap. So, days and time appear to be extremely precious. Energy appears to be extremely precious. Is this not so? (It is.)