6. The Principles of Communing With God
(1) Pray to God in His words, seek the truth and attempt to grasp His will, and be able to obtain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This is true communion with God;
(2) In practicing and experiencing God’s words, one must learn to pray-read them, seeking the truth. By praying in this way, the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit are easily obtained;
(3) All the words of God are the truth. Only by praying often to God in His words can one achieve an understanding of His will and a path of practice;
(4) By praying to God and grasping His will amidst trials and refinement, and achieving genuine communion with Him, one can easily know and submit to God when engaging with Him.
Relevant Words of God:
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 Christ’s Talks
People may be able to carry out the practice of prayer and to understand the significance of prayer, but for prayer to be effective is no simple matter. Prayer is not a case of just going through the motions, following procedure, or reciting the words of God. That is to say, praying is not parroting certain words and it is not imitating others. In prayer, one must reach the state where one’s heart can be given to God, laying open one’s heart so that it may be moved by God. If prayer is to be effective, then it must be based on the reading of God’s words. Only by praying from within God’s words can one receive greater enlightenment and illumination. The manifestations of a true prayer are: Having a heart that yearns for all that God asks, and moreover desires to accomplish what He demands; detesting that which God detests and then, building on this foundation, gaining some understanding of it, and having some knowledge and clarity regarding the truths God expounds. Where there is resolution, faith, knowledge, and a path of practice following prayer, only then can it be called true prayer, and only this type of prayer can be effective. Yet prayer must be built upon the enjoyment of God’s words, it must be established on the foundation of communing with God in His words, and the heart must be able to seek God and become quiet before Him. Prayer of this kind has already entered the stage of true communion with God.
Excerpted from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must fellowship more, be able to eat and drink independently during your own spiritual devotions, and be able to grasp the key truths and put them into practice immediately. You must get a feel for the reality of My word: Grasp its very core and its principles, and do not slacken your grip. Always ponder, and always fellowship with Me, and gradually things will be revealed. You cannot come close to God for a little while and, then, without waiting for your heart to grow quiet before Him, be disturbed when something else happens to you. You are always confused and unclear about things, and unable to see My face; as such, you cannot gain a clear understanding of My heart—and even if you can understand it a bit, you are uncertain and still doubt. Only when I possess your heart in full, and your mind is no longer disturbed by any worldly things and you can wait with a clear and quiet mind, shall I make revelations to you, one by one, in accordance with My intentions. You must understand this path of closeness to Me. Whoever strikes or curses you, or however nice the things people offer you might be, it is unacceptable if they keep you from being close to God. Let your heart be in My grasp, and never leave My side. With this kind of closeness and fellowship, your parents, husband, children, other familial contact, and worldly entanglements will all float away. You will enjoy an almost indescribable sweetness in your heart, and you will experience a fragrant and delicious taste; moreover, you will truly be inseparable from Me. If you continue in this manner, you will understand what is in My heart. You will never lose your way as you continue to progress, for I am your way, and everything exists because of Me. How mature your life is, when you will be able to break away from worldliness, when you will be able to cast off your emotions, when you will be able to leave behind your husband and children, when your life will mature … all these things will happen in accordance with My time. There is no need to be anxious.
You must attain entry from the side of positivity. If you wait passively, then you are still being negative. You must be proactive in cooperating with Me; be diligent, and never be lazy. Always fellowship with Me and attain an even deeper intimacy with Me. If you do not understand, do not be impatient for quick results. It is not that I will not tell you; it is that I want to see whether you rely on Me when you are in My presence, and whether you are confident in your dependence on Me. You must always remain close to Me, and place all matters in My hands. Do not go back in vain. After you have been unconsciously close to Me for a period of time, My intentions shall be revealed to you. If you grasp them, then you will truly come face to face with Me, and you will truly have found My face. You will have much clarity and steadfastness within, and you will have something to rely on. You will then also possess power, as well as confidence, and you will have a path forward. Everything will come easily to you.
Excerpted from “Chapter 9” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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
When you look to God, it is possible that He does not give you any feeling or any clear ideas, much less any clear directions, but He allows you some understanding. Or maybe this time you have not understood anything, yet it is right that you look to God. People practicing in this way is not done to follow rules, but rather it is the need of their hearts and is how man should practice. It is not that you can obtain enlightenment and guidance every time you look to God and call on God; this spiritual state in man’s life is normal and natural, and looking to God is the normal interaction with God in people’s hearts.
Sometimes, looking to God does not mean asking God to do something using specific words, or asking Him for specific guidance or protection. Rather, it is that when people encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there when people call on Him? When someone’s heart stirs and they have this thought: “Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative…,” when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in people, are their hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them. When someone encounters an especially thorny difficulty, when they have no one to turn to, and when they feel particularly helpless, they put their only hope in God. What are their prayers like? What is their state of mind? Are they sincere? Is there any adulteration at that time? It is only when you trust God as though He were the last straw that you clutch onto to save your life, hoping that He will help you, that your heart is sincere. Though you may not have said much, your heart has already stirred. That is, you give your sincere heart to God, and God listens. When God listens, He sees your difficulties, and He will enlighten you, guide you, and help you.
Excerpted from “Believers Must Begin by Seeing Through the World’s Evil Trends” in Records of Christ’s Talks
No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are doing it, what intention it is that directs you to do this thing, what the significance is in your doing it, what the nature of the matter is, and whether what you are doing is a positive thing or a negative thing. You must have a clear understanding of all these matters; this is quite necessary to be able to act with principle. If you are doing something to fulfill your duty, then you should ponder: How should I do this? How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not just doing it perfunctorily? You should draw close to God in this matter. Drawing close to God means seeking the truth in this matter, seeking the way to practice, seeking the will of God, and seeking how to satisfy God. This is how to draw close to God in everything you do. It does not involve performing a religious ceremony or an outward action. It is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “Thank God” when you have not done anything, but then when you are doing something, you continue to do it the way you want, then this type of thanks is just an outward action. When fulfilling your duty or working on something, you should always think: How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s will? It is for you to draw close to God through what you do, and, in doing so, to seek the principles and truth behind your actions as well as God’s will, and not stray from God in anything that you do. Only such a person truly believes in God. These days, whenever people come across things, regardless of what the actual situation is, they think they can do this and that, so they do not have God in their hearts, and they do it according to their own will. Regardless of whether their course of action is suitable or not, or whether it is in accordance with the truth or not, they just stubbornly press on, and act according to their personal intentions. It might usually seem that God is in their hearts, but when they do things, God is not in their hearts. Some people say, “I can’t draw close to God in the things I do. In the past, I was accustomed to performing religious ceremonies, and I tried to draw close to God, but it was to no effect. I could not draw near to Him.” Such people do not have God in their hearts; they only have themselves in their hearts, and they simply cannot put truth into practice in anything they do. Not acting in accordance with truth means doing things according to their own will, and doing things according to their own will means leaving God; that is, they do not have God in their hearts. Human ideas usually look good and right to people, and they appear as though they would not violate the truth very much. People feel that doing things in such a manner would be putting truth into practice; they feel that doing things that way would be submitting to God. Actually, they are not truly seeking God or praying to God about it, and they are not striving to do it well, in accordance with God’s requirements, in order to satisfy His will. They do not possess this true state, nor do they have such a desire. This is the greatest mistake people make in their practice. You believe in God, but you do not keep God in your heart. How is this not a sin? Are you not deceiving yourself? What sort of effects can you reap if you keep believing that way? Moreover, how can the significance of belief be manifested?
Excerpted from “Seeking God’s Will Is for the Sake of Practicing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Having genuine communion with God primarily involves dedicating one’s heart to Him, opening their heart to God in all matters and telling Him what is on their mind, and in everything they encounter and all the duties they perform, always grasping His will through prayer, and paying the price in order to submit to Him and satisfy Him. As such, the path they walk in life is one of serving God. Only those who believe in Him and can achieve this sort of result and are in possession of this sort of reality are people who truly commune with God. People who commune with Him are people who genuinely want Him; on the one hand, they have the resolve to serve Him, and on the other, they are people who are devoted to Him. God has a place in the hearts of such people, and they fear Him; in all matters, therefore, they can grasp God’s will, seek the truth, and do things to satisfy Him. Those who live before God like this are people who have true communion with Him. If a person, in all things, has not genuinely opened up their heart to God in prayer and is not in the process of seeking the truth, and if that person’s prayers and supplications are all done for the needs of the flesh and to satisfy their own desires, or if they implore for God’s protection and salvation when encountering hardship or disaster, then this sort of person has not genuinely communed with God. Communing with God refers to seeking the truth to satisfy Him. It means that no matter what happens to you, you act in complete accordance with God’s intentions and follow His will, and get to where you are compatible with Him. Now let us have another look at how we have prayed in the past: Those in which we have truly communed with God are too few, as are those in which we have tried to grasp His will, sought the truth, and sought how to satisfy Him. Too often have we implored God, made demands of Him, and asked Him for protection. This is sufficient evidence of the fact that our past prayers were not examples of genuine communion with God; rather, they were one-sided supplications with the purpose of satisfying the flesh. Truly communing with God is a lesson that we must enter in our pursuit of salvation, entering the truth, and serving Him to follow His will. If you seek to be saved and perfected, you must first succeed in having genuine communion with God. What is the primary practice to achieve true communion with God through prayer? One aspect of it is that you must do it simply and openly, giving your heart to Him; furthermore, you must seek the truth and to grasp God’s will. Only if you have succeeded in these two things will you genuinely commune with Him. If you do not seek the truth or try to grasp God’s will in everything you encounter, and just go with the flow of your own imaginings and preferences, acting however you want, then is this practicing the truth? If you are not practicing the truth, it shows that you have not submitted to God; if you are not seeking the truth, it shows that your actions cannot satisfy Him, but instead are done to satisfy yourself and your flesh. To genuinely commune with God, you must seek the truth through prayer and grasp His will through prayer, and then succeed in submitting to Him. Only people who have this kind of interaction and relationship with God are those who truly commune with Him.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
True communion with God involves several different practices: One must fellowship and pray about knowing one’s own corrupt essence through God’s words; one must fellowship and pray about resolving one’s corruption and satisfying God in one’s duty; one must fellowship and pray in a way that can discern the nature essence of the great red dragon and the devil Satan and discern their poisons; one must fellowship and pray about being able to accept God’s scrutiny and satisfying God in all matters related to the truth; one must fellowship and pray about seeking the truth and grasping God’s will in all things; one must fellowship and pray about seeking to enter into God’s words and living out the reality of God’s words in life experiences; one must fellowship and pray about having true understanding of what God has and is; one must fellowship and pray about focusing on forsaking the flesh and practicing God’s words to attain salvation and be perfected; and one must engage in true prayer to seek God’s will, live out God’s words, and stand witness through all manner of trials. If someone has entered into all these aspects of prayer, then they are someone who truly communes with God; if, however, someone has not entered into any of these aspects of prayer, then this proves that they are without true prayer and have not entered onto the right track of communing with God. Only by truly communing with God through prayer can one obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and ultimately know God and be perfected. If someone is unable to truly commune with God through prayer, then it may be said that such a person lives outside the words of God. When someone lives outside the words of God, then no matter how much they pray or for how many years they pray, it is all worthless, and they will ultimately be unable to attain the salvation of God—this is something people must be clear on. Therefore, if we want now to pursue the truth and attain the salvation of God, then we must enter onto the right track of prayer and achieve true communion with God. The most important principle when it comes to having true communion with God is to have true fellowship and prayer with God through His words. All the words we use in our prayers to God are founded upon our eating and drinking of God’s words, and we must bring everything we ought to seek in God’s words to pray before Him, and in this way, we will set foot upon the right track in our prayers. There are four primary practices of entering the right track of communing with God: Firstly and most importantly, we must read God’s words with a prayerful heart; secondly, we must fellowship about the truth with a prayerful heart; thirdly, we must perform our duties with a prayerful heart; and fourthly, we must live before God with a prayerful heart. Regardless of what we do each day, we must be able to frequently fellowship with God in our hearts, pray to God often, accept God’s scrutiny with a prayerful heart, reflect upon our own actions and behavior with a prayerful heart, and fellowship with God with a prayerful heart; doing these things will ensure that we will live before God. These are the four practices those who commune with God must undertake. If these four practices bear fruit, then one’s prayers will enter onto the right track and one will then have true communion with God.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life