Only by Often Living Before God Can One Have a Normal Relationship With Him
Most of you have believed in God for several years, and have more or less laid a foundation upon the true way. Now you are able to cast off the entanglements of family and the secular world to follow God. You are training to perform a duty in God’s house, you are willing to expend yourselves for God, and ready to strive toward the truth. This means that you have begun to understand things, and that you have a bit of conscience and reason. That is a good thing. The significance of performing a duty is so great! Whether or not you can do your duty well has a direct relationship to your salvation and perfection. It may be said that one can only attain life entry by experiencing God’s work while performing a duty, and that one can only gain God’s approval by performing their duty well. Therefore, demanding a bit more of you when it comes to your duties and pruning and dealing with you a little, will be of benefit to you. At the very least, you will make quicker life progress. It is not a bad thing that the demands put upon you are high, nor is it a bad thing to occasionally give you a difficult problem to test you. All of this is done to help you to grow in life and do God’s will, and so that you can have a better grasp of some professional knowledge and become more effective in your duty. If these demands were not made of you, what would be the result? You would only be able to preach doctrines and follow rules, and you would believe in God for many years without changing at all. In that case, when would you be able to progress? How could you perform your duty well? Not only would you make no progress regarding the truth, you would make no progress on the professional knowledge needed in your duty. Then, could you do your duty to an acceptable standard and bear testimony for God? As far as your present stature is concerned, your understanding of the truth is too shallow, and you have not grasped the principles for performing your duty. You are also very far from reaching the standards for performing your duty satisfactorily. And yet, you are unaware of this and feel as though you are doing well, and at times you are even extremely self-righteous and audacious. The words that you speak or the things that you do can’t see the light of day, and they are not in accordance with the truth principles. When someone points out one of your problems, you cannot accept it, nor do you seek the truth, and you even make excuses for yourself. What is the problem here? It is that you do not even possess the most rudimentary sense necessary to comport yourself properly. No matter what you are doing, it must, at the very least, be regarded as appropriate by most people. You must listen to everyone’s suggestions—if what they say is correct, then you must accept it, and then correct your mistakes. If everyone thinks that the results you have gotten are alright, and everyone approves of them, only then can your actions be considered acceptable. In this way, in one respect, you will be able to act in line with the principles while doing your duty, and you will become more mature and experienced at handling problems. In another respect, you will be able to learn more, and at the same time you will come to understand the truth and to enter into life. And so, when something befalls you, you must not be self-righteous. You must quiet yourself before God and learn a lesson. You must be able to let go of yourself in order to learn more. If you think, “I’m more of an expert at this than you, so I should be in charge, and you should all listen to me!”—what kind of disposition is that? It is arrogance and self-righteousness. It is a satanic, corrupt disposition and it is not something within the realm of normal humanity. So, what does it mean to not be self-righteous? (It means listening to everyone’s suggestions, and discussing things with everyone.) No matter what your personal thoughts and opinions are, if you blindly determine that they are correct and that they are the way that things should be done, that is arrogance and self-righteousness. If you have some ideas or opinions that you feel are correct, but you do not have complete faith in yourself, and you can confirm them through seeking and fellowship, that is what it means to not be self-righteous. Waiting to receive everyone’s support and approval before acting is the reasonable way of doing things. If someone disagrees with you, you should respond to it conscientiously, and be meticulous when it comes to the professional aspects of your work. You cannot turn a blind eye to it by saying, “Do you understand this better, or do I? I have been involved in this area of work for such a long time—should I not have a better understanding of it than you? What do you know about it? You don’t understand it!” That is not a good disposition, it is too arrogant and self-righteous. It is possible that the person who disagrees with you is an amateur, and that they do not have a good understanding of that area of work; you may be right and you may be doing things correctly, but it is your disposition that is the problem. What, then, is the right way to behave and act? How can you behave and act in accordance with the truth principles? You must put your ideas out on the table and let everyone see if there are any problems with them. If someone makes a suggestion, you must first accept it, and then let everyone confirm the correct path of practice. If nobody has any issues with it, you can then determine the most appropriate way of doing things and act in that way. If a problem is discovered, then you must solicit everyone’s opinions, and you should all seek the truth and fellowship on it together, and in that way, you will gain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. When your hearts are illuminated, and you have a better path, the results that you achieve will be better than before. Is this not the guidance of God? It is a marvelous thing! If you can avoid being self-righteous, if you can let go of your imaginings and ideas, and if you can listen to others’ correct opinions, you will be able to obtain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Your heart will be illuminated and you will be able to find the correct path. You will have a way forward, and when you put it into practice, it will definitely be in accordance with the truth. Through such practice and experience you will learn how to practice the truth, and at the same time you will learn something new about that area of work. Is this not a good thing? Through this you will realize that when things happen to you, you must not be self-righteous and you must seek the truth, and that if you are self-righteous and do not accept the truth, everyone will detest you and God will certainly loathe you. Is this not a lesson learned? If you always pursue in this way and practice the truth, you will keep honing the professional skills that you use in your duty, you will get better and better results in your duty, and God will enlighten and bless you, and allow you to gain even more. In addition to that, you will have a path for practicing the truth, and when you know how to practice the truth, you will gradually grasp the principles. When you know which actions will lead to God’s enlightenment and guidance, which will lead to His hatred and dismissal, and which will lead to His approval and blessings, you will have a way forward. When people receive God’s blessings and enlightenment, their life progress will quicken. They will receive God’s enlightenment and guidance every day, and there will be peace and happiness in their hearts. Will this not bring them pleasure? When your actions can be presented before God, and accepted by God, you will feel pleasure in your heart, and inwardly, you will have peace and happiness. This peace and happiness are feelings that God has given you, they are a sensation bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit.
Being arrogant and self-righteous is man’s most conspicuous satanic disposition, and if people do not accept the truth, they will have no way of cleansing it. People all have arrogant and self-righteous dispositions, and they are always conceited. No matter what they think, or what they say, or how they see things, they always think that their own points of view and their own attitudes are correct, and that what others say is not as good or as right as what they say. They always cling to their own opinions, and no matter who speaks, they will not listen to them. Even if what someone else says is correct, or in line with the truth, they will not accept it; they will only appear to be listening but they will not really adopt the idea, and when it comes time to act, they will still do things their own way, always thinking that what they say is right and reasonable. It is possible that what you say is, indeed, right and reasonable, or that what you have done is right and faultless, but what kind of disposition have you revealed? Is it not one of arrogance and self-righteousness? If you do not cast off this arrogant and self-righteous disposition, will it not affect your performance of your duty? Will it not affect your practice of the truth? If you do not resolve your arrogant and self-righteous disposition, will it not cause you serious setbacks in the future? You will definitely experience setbacks, this is inevitable. Tell Me, can God see such behavior of man? God is more than able to see it! God not only scrutinizes the depths of people’s hearts, He also observes their every word and deed at all times and places. What will God say when He sees this behavior of yours? God will say: “You are intransigent! It’s understandable that you might cling to your own ideas when you do not know that you are mistaken, but when you clearly know that you are mistaken and you still cling to your ideas, and would die before repenting, you are just a stubborn fool, and you are in trouble. If, no matter who makes a suggestion, you always adopt a negative, resistant attitude toward it, and do not accept even a little bit of the truth, and if your heart is completely resistant, closed, and dismissive, then you are so ridiculous, you are an absurd person! You are too difficult to deal with!” In what way are you difficult to deal with? You are difficult to deal with because what you are displaying is not an erroneous approach, or an erroneous behavior, but an outpouring of your disposition. An outpouring of what disposition? A disposition in which you are sick of the truth, and hate the truth. Once you have been identified as a person who hates the truth, in God’s eyes you are in trouble, and He will detest, reject, and ignore you. From people’s perspective, the most they will say is: “This person’s disposition is bad, they are incredibly obstinate, intransigent, and arrogant! This person is hard to get along with and does not love the truth. They have never accepted the truth and they do not put the truth into practice.” At the most, everyone will give you this appraisal, but can this appraisal decide your fate? The appraisal that people give you cannot decide your fate, but there is one thing that you must not forget: God scrutinizes people’s hearts, and at the same time God observes their every word and deed. If God defines you in this way, and says that you hate the truth, if He does not merely say that you have a bit of a corrupt disposition, or that you are a little disobedient, is this not a very serious problem? (It is serious.) This means trouble, and this trouble does not lie in the way that people see you, or how they appraise you, it lies in how God views your corrupt disposition of hating the truth. So, how does God view it? Has God merely determined that you hate and do not love the truth, and that is all? Is it that simple? Where does the truth come from? Who does the truth represent? (It represents God.) Ponder on this: If a person hates the truth, then from God’s perspective, how will He view them? (As His enemy.) Is this not a serious problem? When a person hates the truth, they hate God! Why do I say that they hate God? Did they curse God? Did they oppose God to His face? Did they judge or condemn Him behind His back? Not necessarily. So why do I say that pouring forth a disposition that hates the truth is to hate God? This is not making a mountain out of a molehill, it is the reality of the situation. It is like the hypocritical Pharisees who nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross because they hated the truth—the consequences that followed were terrible. What this means is that if a person has a disposition that is sick of the truth and hates the truth, it may pour forth from them anytime and anywhere, and if they live by it, will they not oppose God? When they are confronted with something that involves the truth or making a choice, if they cannot accept the truth, and they live by their corrupt disposition, they will naturally oppose God, and betray Him, because their corrupt disposition is one that hates God and hates the truth. If you have such a disposition, then even when it comes to words spoken by God, you will question them, and want to analyze and dissect them. Then you will be suspicious of God’s words, and say, “Are these really God’s words? They don’t look like the truth to me, they don’t necessarily all seem correct to me!” In this way, has your disposition of hating the truth not poured forth? When you think in this way, can you submit to God? You definitely cannot. If you cannot submit to God, is He still your God? He is not. Then, what will God be to you? You will treat Him like a research subject, someone to be doubted, someone to condemn; you will treat Him like an ordinary and regular person, and condemn Him as such. In doing so, you will become someone who resists and blasphemes against God. What kind of disposition causes this? It is caused by an arrogant disposition that has become inflated to a certain degree; not only will your satanic disposition be pouring forth from you, your satanic face will also be completely laid bare. What happens to the relationship between God and a person who has reached the stage of resisting God, and whose rebelliousness against God has reached a certain degree? It becomes a hostile relationship where a person places God in opposition to themselves. If, in your belief in God, you cannot accept and obey the truth, then God is not your God. If you refuse the truth and reject it, then you will have already become someone who resists God. Can God still save you, then? He definitely cannot. God gives you an opportunity to receive His salvation and does not see you as an enemy, but you cannot accept the truth and you place God in opposition to you; your inability to accept God as your truth and as your path makes you a person who resists God. How should this problem be resolved? You must quickly repent and change course. For example, when you encounter a problem or a difficulty while performing your duty and you do not know how to resolve it, you must not blindly ponder on it, you must first quiet yourself before God, pray and seek from Him, and see what God’s words say about it. If, after reading God’s words, you still do not understand, and do not know what truths this issue pertains to, you must hold fast to one principle—that is, first obey, have no personal ideas or thoughts, wait with a peaceful heart, and see how God intends and wants to act. When you do not understand the truth, you should seek it, and you should wait for God, rather than acting blindly and carelessly. If someone gives you a suggestion when you do not understand the truth, and tells you how to act in accordance with the truth, you should first accept it and allow everyone to fellowship on it, and see if this path is correct or not, and whether it is in accordance with the truth principles or not. If you confirm that it is in accordance with the truth, then practice in that way; if you determine that it does not accord with the truth, then do not practice in that way. It is as simple as that. When you seek the truth, you should seek from many people. If anyone has something to say, you should listen to them, and treat all of their words seriously. Do not ignore or snub them, because this relates to matters within the scope of your duty and you must treat this seriously. This is the right attitude and the right state. When you are in the right state, and you do not reveal a disposition that is sick of the truth and hates the truth, then practicing in this way will supplant your corrupt disposition. This is practicing the truth. If you practice the truth in this way, what fruits will it bear? (We will be guided by the Holy Spirit.) Receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit is one aspect. Sometimes the matter will be very simple and can be achieved using your own mind; after others finish giving you their suggestions and you understand, you will be able to rectify things and act in accordance with the principles. People may think that this is a small matter, but to God it is a great matter. Why do I say this? Because, when you practice in this way, to God you are a person who can practice the truth, a person who loves the truth, and a person who is not sick of the truth—when God sees into your heart, He also sees your disposition, and this is a great matter. In other words, when you do your duty and act in the presence of God, what you live out and pour forth are all truth realities that people should possess. The attitudes, thoughts, and states that you possess in everything you do are the most important things for God, and they are what God scrutinizes.
Is it not vile that some people like to split hairs and go down blind alleys whenever something happens to them? This is a big problem. Clear-minded people will not make this mistake, but this is what absurd people are like. They always imagine that others are making things difficult for them, that others are deliberately giving them a hard time, so they always antagonize other people. Is this not a deviation? They do not put in effort when it comes to the truth, they prefer to quibble about unimportant things when something happens to them, demanding explanations, trying to save face, and they always use human solutions to approach these matters. This is the greatest obstacle to life entry. If you believe in God this way, or practice this way, you will never attain the truth because you never come before God. You never come before God to receive all that God has set out for you, nor do you use the truth to approach all this, instead you use human solutions to approach things. Therefore, in the eyes of God, you have strayed too far from Him. Not only has your heart strayed from Him, your entire being does not live in His presence. This is how God views those who always over-analyze things and split hairs. There are those who are glib, smooth-talkers, whose minds are quick and shrewd, who think, “I’m well-spoken. Other people all really admire and esteem me, and hold me in high regard. People usually listen to me.” Is this useful? You have built up your prestige among people, but the way that you behave before God does not please Him. God says that you are a nonbeliever, and that you hate the truth. Among people, you may be sophisticated and smooth, you might handle things very well, and get along with anyone; you may always be able to find a way to handle and take care of things no matter what the situation, but you do not come before God and seek the truth to resolve problems. People like this are very troublesome. God has only one thing to say in assessment of people like you: “You are a nonbeliever, you are trying to take advantage of this opportunity to gain blessings under the guise of believing in God. You are not a person who accepts the truth.” What do you think of this kind of assessment? Is it what you want? It definitely is not. It is possible that some people do not care, and say, “It doesn’t matter how God sees us, we can’t see God anyway. Our most immediate problem is to first get on good terms with the people around us. Once we have established a firm foothold for ourselves, we can then win over the leaders and workers, so that everyone admires us.” What sort of person is this? Are they someone who believes in God? They certainly are not; they are a nonbeliever. Those who believe in God must always live in the presence of God; no matter what issues they encounter, they must come before God to seek the truth so that in the end God says, “You are someone who loves the truth, who pleases God, and who God finds acceptable. God has seen your heart and He has also seen your obedience.” What do you think of this kind of assessment? Only people like this can receive God’s praise. Can you completely understand this? I tell you that no matter what duty a believer in God performs—whether they handle external matters, or a duty that relates to the various work or fields of expertise of the house of God—if they do not frequently come before God, and live in His presence, and they do not dare to accept His scrutiny, and they do not seek the truth from God, then they are a nonbeliever, and they are no different from an unbeliever. Are you able to understand this point? It is possible that there are some people now who cannot fulfill a duty because their environment is not suitable; they live in the environment of unbelievers, and yet they still frequently receive God’s enlightenment and guidance. How can this be? The most critical things are that they are able to pray to God, eat and drink the words of God, seek the truth and practice it, and maintain a normal relationship with God. These are the things that are key to determining if a person can live always in the presence of God. If you often cannot feel God and you are frequently weak and negative, or if you are often dissolute, or if you do not bear any burdens in your duty, and you are always muddled, is this a good state or a bad state? Is it a state of living before God, or a state of not living before God at all? (It is a state of not living before God.) So, you must measure this—do you often live before God or not? If you very seldom do, and you don’t even pray, or read the words of God, this spells trouble, it means that you are an unbeliever. Some people seldom keep their minds on proper affairs, they are dissolute and unrestrained, and when things happen to them, they are always confused and do not know how to seek the truth. They do not even know whether they have gotten results in the performance of their duties or not. They do not know which of their daily actions offend God, which are found to be acceptable by God, and which are loathed by God. They just muddle through day after day. What do you think of this state? Do people who live in these kinds of states have hearts that fear God? Can there be any principles to what they do? Can they do reasonable things? When they are fulfilling their duties can they say, “I must be restrained, I must do my duty well, I must do it with all my heart and with all my strength”? Can they achieve devotion? (They cannot.) What are such people doing, then? They are only laboring! Have such people obtained the truth? (They have not.) That is a great loss. How can this group of fools not know to pursue the truth? They have believed in God for ten or twenty years and heard so many sermons, yet they do not know what is to be gained through belief in God, how they should pursue the truth, how they should practice the truth, or how they should fulfill their duties. If they are not even clear about these important things, are they not a bit foolish? They are so dull-witted and numb. They have no reaction to the truth at all, and this is dangerous. What is the most important thing about believing in God? It is to obtain the truth. What problems will be resolved when a person obtains the truth? Primarily it will be the problem of their sins, and the problem of their corrupt dispositions, and all the difficulties in their belief in God, and their mistaken points of view. All of these problems can be resolved. When a person obtains the truth, where should they put it to use? It should be used in the fulfillment of their duty, and in bearing testimony for God—these are the most important things. Right now, you may lack true knowledge of this, you may have not yet recognized the value or significance of the truth, but one day you will.
Have you read the Book of Job? When you were reading it, did you feel moved? Did you experience a kind of longing that made you wish to become a person like Job? (Yes.) How long can this kind of state and mood last for? A day or two, or a month or two, or perhaps a year or two? (Two or three days.) So this kind of state and mood will disappear after two or three days? You must pray when you feel moved, and tell God that you wish to be a person like Job, that you wish to understand the truth, attain knowledge of God, and become a person who fears God and shuns evil. You must implore God to bring this about in you, imploring Him to guide you, to provide you with the right environments, to give you strength, and to guard you so that you may stand firm in every situation that you meet, not resist God, and instead perform acts of fearing God and shunning evil, and satisfy His will. You must always pray and supplicate to God for the sake of this goal and for the things that you hope to achieve, and when God sees your genuine heart, He will act. Do not be afraid when God acts. God could not possibly cover your body with boils and strip you of everything you have, as He did when He tested Job. God will not do that; He will gradually place more upon you according to your stature. You must call upon God earnestly—don’t just call upon Him for two days after you’ve read the Book of Job and are still feeling moved by it, and then forget about it on the third day when you’re no longer reading it, and cease to keep it in your heart. If you do, that spells trouble for you! If you admire people like Job, and you want to be that kind of person, then you must have a path for how to become that kind of person, you must lay your heart before God and then pray for this often, and ponder on it often, and then eat and drink the words that God has spoken about Job, consistently and repeatedly contemplating them, and after that you must fellowship with people who have experience and knowledge of this kind. You must work hard toward this goal. How should you work hard? If you merely sit watching and waiting, that is not working hard. You must put it into practice, you must dedicate effort to it, at the same time harboring a resolve to endure suffering and a heart of longing, and then offer up your prayers for this, asking God to act. If God does not act, then no matter how much drive people have, it will be of no avail. How will God act? God will begin to orchestrate and arrange environments for you as befits your stature. You must tell God what goal you wish to achieve in your faith, and what kind of resolutions you have. Have you prayed and supplicated to God for this? How long did you pray and supplicate to God for? If you just say a couple of prayers, once in a while, and when you see that God has not acted, you think, “Forget it, I’ll just let things be. Whatever happens, happens, I’ll just go with the flow. I don’t care what befalls me,” that won’t do, and you are not sincere. If all you have is two minutes of enthusiasm, can God act for you and help to arrange environments for you? God would not do that! God wants to see your sincerity, and to see how long your sincerity and perseverance can hold up, and whether your heart is genuine or false. God will wait. He hears your prayers and supplications, He hears the resolutions and desires that you confide in Him, but until He has seen your resolve to endure suffering, He will not act. If, after you’re done praying to God, you just disappear without having done anything, would God act under these circumstances? Most definitely not. You have to pray and supplicate to God more, putting effort into this and pondering on it, and then savor in detail the environments that God has prepared for you; they will come upon you, little by little, and God will begin to act. If you do not have a genuine heart, then this will not work. You may say, “How I admire Job, and how I admire Peter!” but what good is your admiration? You can admire them all you like, but you are not them, and all your admiration will not make God do the same work on you as He did on them, because you are not the same kind of person as them. You do not possess their resolve, or their humanity, or the hearts with which they yearned for and pursued the truth. Only when you come to possess these things will God endow you with more.
Do you now have the resolve to pursue the truth, to gain the truth, and to achieve salvation and be perfected by God? (Yes.) How great is your resolve? How long can you maintain it? (When I am in a good state, I have resolve, but when I encounter things that do not correspond with my notions or the interests of my flesh, or when I undergo some refinement or have some difficulties, I get trapped in a state of negativity, and the faith and resolve that I had in the beginning disappear bit by bit.) This will not do. You are too weak. You must reach a place where, no matter what circumstances you encounter, they cannot change your resolve. Only then will you be someone who truly loves and pursues the truth. If, when something befalls you and you encounter a little difficulty, you retreat, become negative and dejected, and let go of your resolve, this will not do. You must have the strength of one who is ready to put their life on the line, and say, “No matter what happens—even if I die, I will not abandon the truth or my goal to pursue the truth.” Then nothing will be able to stop you. If you really encounter difficulties, and you are driven into a corner, God will act. In addition, you must have this understanding: “No matter what I encounter, they are all lessons that I must learn in my pursuit of the truth—they have been arranged by God. I may be weak, but I am not negative, and I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to learn these lessons. I am grateful to God for setting out this situation for me. I cannot let go of my resolve to follow God and gain the truth. Were I to give it up, that would be the same as conceding to Satan, ruining myself, and betraying God.” This is the kind of resolve you must have. Whatever small matters you encounter, they are all little episodes in the development of your life. You must not let them block the direction of your progress. When you meet with difficulties you can seek and wait, but the direction of your progress must not change, is that not right? (It is.) No matter what others say, or how they treat you, and no matter how God treats you, your resolve must not change. If God says, “You do not accept the truth at all, I loathe you,” and you say, “God loathes me, so what meaning does my life have? I may as well die and be done with it!” you would be misunderstanding God. It is true that God loathes you, but you should fight on, you should accept the truth, and you should fulfill your duty. Then you will not be a good-for-nothing and God will not detest and reject you. Right now, your stature is still too small and you have not yet achieved the standards required for God to test you. What is the only thing that you can do? You must pray: “God, please guide me and enlighten me so that I understand Your will, and have the faith and perseverance to walk the path of pursuing the truth, and so that I may fear God and shun evil. Although I am weak and my stature is immature, I beg You to give me strength and protect me so that I can follow You to the end.” You must come before God often to pray. Other people may crave worldly things, indulge their flesh, and follow worldly trends, but you must not accompany them—just focus on fulfilling your own duty. When others are feeling negative and they do not fulfill their duties, you must not feel constrained, and you should seek the truth to help them. When others indulge in comfort you must not envy them, you must only concern yourself with living before God. When others pursue prestige, profit, and status, you should pray for them and help them, quiet your heart before God and not let these things influence you. No matter what happens around you, you should pray to God about all things. You should always seek the truth, restrain yourself, ensure that you are living in the presence of God, and have a normal relationship with God. God scrutinizes people at all times, and the Holy Spirit works within these kinds of people. How does God scrutinize a person’s heart? He not only looks with His eyes, He sets up environments for you and touches your heart with His hand. Why do I say this? Because when God sets up an environment for you, God sees whether you resent and hate it, or like and submit to it, whether you passively wait or actively seek the truth. God watches how your heart and your thoughts change, and in which direction they develop. The state in your heart is sometimes positive, and sometimes negative. If you can accept the truth, you will be able to receive from God the people, events and things, and the various environments that He sets out for you, and you will be able to approach them correctly. By reading God’s words, and through contemplation, all of your thoughts and ideas, all of your opinions, and all of your moods will change based on God’s words. You will be clear about this, and God will also scrutinize all of it. Even though you will not have spoken of it to any person, or prayed about it, and you will only think this in your heart and in your own world, from God’s perspective it will already be very clear—it will be obvious to Him. People look at you with their eyes, but God touches your heart with His, that is how close to you He is. If you can feel God’s scrutiny, you are living in the presence of God. If you cannot feel His scrutiny at all, you are living in your own world, and you are living by your own feelings and corrupt dispositions, and then you are in trouble. If you do not live in the presence of God, if there is a great distance between you and God, and you are far from Him, if you do not give any consideration at all for God’s will, and if you do not accept God’s scrutiny, God will know all this. It will be all too easy for Him to perceive this. So, when you have resolve and a goal, and you are willing to be perfected by God, and to become a person who follows God’s will and fears God and shuns evil, when you have this resolve, and you can pray and supplicate for these things often, and live in the presence of God, never distancing yourself from God or leaving Him, you are clear about these things, and God knows them too. Some people say, “I am clear about it myself, but does God know it or not?” This question is invalid. If you say this, it proves that you have never communicated with God and that there is absolutely no relationship between you and God. Why do I say there is no relationship between you and God? You have not lived before God and therefore you cannot sense if He is with you or not, whether He is guiding you, whether He is protecting you, and whether He has rebuked you when you have done something wrong. If you have no sense of these things, then you do not live before God, you are just imagining this and indulging yourself—you are living in your own world, and not before God, and there is no relationship at all between you and God.
How can people maintain a normal relationship with God? What does maintaining it depend on? It depends on them supplicating, praying, and interacting with God in their hearts. This kind of relationship allows people to always live before God. Therefore, in order to establish a normal relationship with God, people must first be quiet. Some people are always doing things outside, and only busying themselves with external affairs. If they do not have any spiritual life for one or two days, they will not be aware of it. They will still not be aware of it after three or four days, or even after one or two months. This is because they have not prayed, or supplicated, or communicated with God. Supplicating is when something happens to you and you want God to help you, to guide you, to provide for you, to enlighten you, to make you understand His will, know what the truth is, understand what the truth principles are, and know how to practice the truth—this is the kind of supplication that accords with God’s will. Prayer covers a relatively broad range. Sometimes you may talk about things that are in your heart—when you encounter difficulties or when you are feeling negative and weak, you can talk to God about these things from the heart; you can also pray to God at times when you are being disobedient, or you can talk to God about the things that befall you every day, both those that you can see through to, and those that you cannot—this is called prayer. Prayer is talking to God about what is in your heart or seeking the truth from God. Sometimes it is carried out at a fixed time, sometimes it is not at any fixed time; you can pray anytime and anywhere. Spiritual fellowship does not take any particular form: There may be something bothering you, or there may not; you may have something you want to say, or you may not. When there is something bothering you, you should talk to God about it, and say a prayer. Ordinarily, you should try to contemplate on questions like how God loves man, how He worries about man, why He prunes and deals with man, what it really means to obey God, and so on, communicating with God at all times and all places, praying to God, and seeking from Him. This is spiritual fellowship, or “spirit fellowship” for short. Sometimes, you may think of something that upsets you very much while you are on the road; you do not need to kneel down or close your eyes. You can just speak to God in your heart, “God, this thing has befallen me and I don’t know the proper way of dealing with it, so I ask Your guidance in this matter.” When you feel a movement in your heart, and you speak a few heartfelt words about it to God, then He will know. Sometimes you may feel homesick and you say, “God, I am so homesick.” You do not say who you are missing specifically, it is just that you feel sad and you are telling God about it. You can only solve your problems if you pray to God and tell Him what is in your heart. Can you solve your problems by talking to another person? It will not be so bad if you meet with someone who understands the truth—not only will you be able to solve your problems, you will also benefit from it. But if you meet with someone who does not understand the truth, you will not be able to solve your problems, and it may also impact them. If you speak to God, God will comfort you and move you. If you can quiet yourself before God, and read His words, and then contemplate and pray, you will be able to understand the truth and solve your problems. God’s words can help you to find a path to overcome your difficulties, and when you cross this small hurdle, you will not stumble, and it will not constrain you, nor will it influence your performance of your duty. There will be times when you suddenly feel low in spirit and a little bit dark. When this happens, you should pray to God immediately, and draw close to Him, which means speaking to Him about what is in your heart and confiding in Him at all times and wherever you are. In this way your state can be reversed. You must have faith: “God is by my side at every single moment, He has never left me, I can feel it. No matter where I am or what I’m doing—whether I am in a gathering or performing my duty—I know in my heart that God is leading me by the hand, and that He has never left me.” Sometimes, when you recall how you passed each day like this over the years, you will feel that your stature has grown, that God has been guiding you, and God’s love has always been protecting you. As you think of these things, you will then pray in your heart, offering thanks to God: “Oh God, I thank You! I am too weak, timid, and too profoundly corrupt. If I did not have You to guide me like this, there is no way that I could have made it to today by myself.” Is this not spiritual fellowship? If people can fellowship with God often in this way, will they not have much to say to God? They would not go many days without having a single thing 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 all of the words in your heart to Him, including those things you would speak of to your confidants. God is, in fact, your closest confidant. If you treat God as your closest confidant, as the family that you depend on the most, that you find the most dependable, the most trustworthy, and that you are most intimate with, then it will be impossible for you to have nothing to say to God. If you always have something to say to God, won’t you always be living in His presence? If you always live in God’s presence, then you will be able to sense at every moment how God enlightens and guides you, how He cares for and protects you, and brings you peace and joy, how He blesses you, and how He rebukes you, disciplines you, chastens you, and judges and chastises you. All of this will be clear and evident to you. If you just muddle through every day, believing in God in word only, without having God in your heart, and if you just perform your duty and attend gatherings on an external level, and read the words of God and pray every day, simply going through these motions, then this is not belief in God—none of these religious rituals that you observe have any relationship to the truth. Those who believe in God should carefully read a passage of God’s words every day, and pray and fellowship within these words. They should gain a little illumination from God’s words every day, and understand a bit of the truth. In particular, they should be able to seek the truth and handle matters according to the principles while fulfilling their duties, and be able to gain life experience every day, and experience God’s work. That is a true believer and a person who follows God.
Which issue is the most important and the most in need of resolution in your belief in God? It is the issue of your normal relationship with God. If you believe in God, but He is not in your heart, and you have disconnected your relationship with Him, and you do not treat God like your most intimate, trusted, and closest family member and confidant, then God is not your God. Practice according to My words for a period of time and look to see if your inner state has changed. By practicing according to My words you can ensure that you live in the presence of God, that you have a normal condition and a normal state. When a person’s state is normal, and they are not influenced by any events, people, and things, or different environments that befall them in all stages of their life experience, and they are able to persist in performing their duty normally, they have true stature and they are someone who has entered into the truth reality.
July 13, 2017