18. The Principles of Relying on God and Looking Up to Him

(1) It is necessary to know that God created all and is sovereign over all, and to have faith that all events and things are in His hands. Only thus can one truly rely on Him and look up to Him;

(2) Through the practice of relying on God and looking up to Him, one can see His acts and know His omnipotence and wisdom, coming gradually to revere Him and submit to Him;

(3) It is necessary to exalt Christ as great. Christ alone can express the truth. With faith that the words of God accomplish all, one is naturally able to follow and testify to Christ;

(4) When faced with trials and tribulations, it is necessary to seek the truth, and to pray to God in accordance with His words, in an attempt to grasp His will. Only by putting the truth into practice can one stand firm in their testimony.

Relevant Words of God:

The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things. This is something that most people haven’t grasped. What do they believe instead? “I study more, listen more and read a lot of God’s words, and I attend many meetings, learn many skills and many songs. Then I pray even more, fellowship with brothers and sisters even more, do my duties more, suffer more, pay a greater price, abandon even more things, and this is perhaps the greatest wisdom.” But you have overlooked the final aim of doing all this. Regardless of how much truth one understands, how many duties one has fulfilled, how much one has experienced while fulfilling those duties, how great or small one’s stature is, or what sort of environment one is in, what one cannot do without is that one must look up to God and rely on Him in everything one does. This is the greatest sort of wisdom. Why do I say this is the greatest wisdom? Even if one has come to understand many truths, will it do if one does not rely on God? Some people, after having believed in God a little longer, have come to understand some truths and undergone a few trials. They might have gained a bit of practical experience, but they do not know to rely on God, nor do they understand how to look up to and rely on Him. Do such people possess wisdom? They are the most foolish of people, and are the sort who think themselves clever; they do not fear God and shun evil. Some people say, “I understand many truths and possess truth reality. It’s okay just to do things in a principled manner. I am loyal to God, and I know how to get close to Him. Isn’t it enough that I rely on the truth?” “Relying on the truth” works fine, doctrinally speaking. However, there are many times and situations wherein people do not know what the truth is or what the truth principles are. All those with practical experience know this. For example, when you encounter some issue, you might not know how the truth relevant to this issue should be practiced or applied. What should you do at times like these? No matter how much practical experience you have, you cannot be in possession of the truth in all situations. No matter how many years you have believed in God, how many things you have experienced, and how much pruning, dealing, or disciplining you have experienced, are you the source of the truth? Some people say, “I know by heart all those well-known utterances and passages in the book, The Word Appears in the Flesh; I don’t need to rely on God or look up to Him. When the time comes, I’ll do just fine by relying on these words of God.” The words you have memorized are static, yet the environments you encounter—as well as your states—are dynamic. Having a grasp of the literal words and talking about many spiritual doctrines does not amount to an understanding of the truth, much less does it amount to comprehending God’s will in every situation. Thus, there is a very important lesson to be learned here: It is that people need to look up to God in all things, and that by doing so, they can achieve a reliance on God. Only by relying on God will they have a path to follow. Otherwise, you can do something correctly and in conformity with the truth principles, but if you do not rely on God, then your actions are but deeds of man, and they will not necessarily satisfy God. Because people have such a shallow understanding of the truth, they are likely to follow rules and cling obstinately to letters and doctrines by using that same truth when facing various situations. It is possible that they may complete many matters in general conformity with the truth principles, but God’s guidance cannot be seen in this, nor can the work of the Holy Spirit. There is a serious problem here, which is that people do many things in dependence on their experience and the rules they have understood, and on certain human imaginings. They can barely achieve the very best result, which comes through clearly understanding God’s will by looking up to Him and praying to Him, and then relying on His work and guidance. For this reason, I say that the greatest wisdom is to look up to God and rely on Him in all things.

Excerpted from “Believers Must Begin by Seeing Through the World’s Evil Trends” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

How should you practice looking up to God and relying on Him? Some people say: “I’m at a young age, my stature is small, and I have believed in God only for a short time. I don’t know how to look up to God, so looking to God is difficult for me. I don’t know how to rely on God, either.” Is this a problem? Is looking up to God an empty doctrine? Is it a formality? No. Some people say: “Most of the things we look to God for are our duties. We don’t need to look to God with regard to our own personal trifles. God doesn’t care about them.” Is this interpretation correct? (No, it’s wrong.) So in what things should people look up to God? (All things.) What does “all things” mean? (Irrespective of whether a matter is big or small, we must look to God and rely on God.) Some involve the things of normal humanity, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and eating. It’s fine for you to handle these things yourself, but you must pray and look up to God when you come across exceptional situations. Suppose your stomach is causing you discomfort today and it is affecting your duties. For this you must pray, saying: “Oh God, my stomach is causing me discomfort today. Did I eat the wrong thing, catch a chill or are You disciplining me for not being devoted to my duties? I pray to You for enlightenment and guidance.” You must cry out to God in this way; this is what “looking to God” is. But you mustn’t allow your looking to God to influence all of your activities of normal humanity. After praying and looking to God, you should go have your meal as usual. If you cannot eat your meal, then find something more suitable to eat. If your stomach hurts so much, then take some medicine, and you must also pray and seek. You must work with the things you should work with in normal humanity and not go looking for feelings. But you must still seek and look to God in this matter. Afterward, it’s possible that God will enlighten you by means of some matter, and you will realize unconsciously that you have shown some behavior during your duties that is not so good. After you have realized this, you should then reflect straight away. You must confess your sins and repent before God: “Oh God, my purpose is mixed when doing my duties, I rely on my self-will. I am so capricious and have affected the progress of my duties. I give thanks for Your discipline and for Your reproach. I won’t do this again. I pray to You to guide me and forgive me this one time.” After you pray, your heart is at peace. And unbeknownst to you, your illness gets better little by little. Man must do what they ought to do, but while they are doing it, they must not forget to rely on God—this is a way of practice. 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 Talks of Christ of the Last Days

However weak and passive you are, however aggrieved and negative you’re feeling, tell it to God. Don’t treat God like a stranger; you can hide it from anyone, but don’t hide it from God, for God is the only One you can depend on, He is the only One who can save you. Only if people come before God will these things be solved. Relying on others is of no use. And so, when people encounter that which is most likely to make them weak and passive, the wisest of all are those who can come before God and rely on God. It is only the foolish who keep themselves farthest from God and hide themselves most from Him when major, crucial events arise and their need to confide in Him is greatest, brooding about these things in their hearts. And what happens as they keep brooding about them? These grievances become opposition, and opposition becomes resistance and a clamor against Him. These people become incompatible with God, and their relationship with God is completely broken. But when you encounter such weakness and passivity, you choose to still come before God, you accept God’s sovereignty over you, you accept His orchestrations and arrangements, yours is an attitude of obedience, and when God sees your sincerity and when He sees your weakness, He knows how to guide you, how to bring you out of weakness and passivity. And so, under God’s guidance, these things become triflingly easy; without you even realizing it, God helps you dispel them, you unconsciously find a way out, and unconsciously grow stronger, and are no longer weak. When you look back, you wonder how your weakness at that time could have been so childish. But that’s just how childish people are. Without God’s support, they will never be able to change from childishness and stupidity to maturity. Only when, in the course of experiencing these childish things, people gradually accept and submit to God’s sovereignty, and actively face these matters head on, searching for principle and the will of God—rather than it being the case that the more they encounter such things, the more they stray from God, the more they hide from God, and the more they resist and oppose God, and they neither say anything to God nor read His words, none of this being their state—only then will people become increasingly mature, and become more and more grown up.

Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (17)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Almighty God dominates all things and occurrences! As long as we look up to Him in our hearts at all times and enter the spirit and fellowship with Him, He will show us all the things we seek, and His will is sure to be revealed to us. Our hearts will then be in joy and peace, steady with perfect clarity. It is crucial to be capable of acting in accordance with His words. Only being capable of grasping His will and of living in dependence on His words counts as true experience.

Excerpted from “Chapter 7” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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

The purpose of everything that is arranged at present is to train you so that you may grow in your lives, to make your spirits keen and sharp, and to open your spiritual eyes so that you will recognize what things come from God. What comes from God enables you to serve with capability and burden, and to be steadfast in spirit. All things that do not come from Me are empty; they give you nothing, they cause a void in your spirit and make you lose your faith, and put distance between you and Me, trapping you in your own mind. You can now transcend everything in the secular world when you live in the spirit, but to live in your mind is to be taken in by Satan; this is a dead end. It is very simple now: Look upon Me with your heart, and your spirit will immediately grow strong. You will have a path to practice, and I will guide your every step. My word shall be revealed to you at all times and in all places. No matter where or when, or how adverse the environment is, I will make you see clearly, and My heart shall be revealed to you if you look to Me with yours; in this manner, you will run down the road ahead and never lose your way.

Excerpted from “Chapter 13” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

It is not that your faith is good or pure, but rather, My work is wondrous! Everything is due to My mercy! You must not have the slightest corrupt disposition of selfishness or arrogance, otherwise I will not work on you. You must understand clearly that whether men fall or stand strong is not because of them; it is because of Me. Today, if you do not clearly understand this step, you will certainly fail to enter the kingdom! You must understand that what is being done today is the wondrous work of God; it has nothing to do with man. What do the actions of man count for? When they are not being selfish, arrogant, and prideful, they are interrupting God’s management and destroying His plans. Oh, the corrupt ones! You must come to rely on Me today; if you do not, today I shall tell you that you will never achieve anything! All shall be in vain and your undertakings shall be worthless!

Excerpted from “Chapter 38” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

People spend most of their time living in a state of unconsciousness. They do not know whether they should rely on God or on themselves. They then tend to choose to rely on themselves and the beneficial conditions and environments around them, as well as on any people, events, and things that are to their advantage. This is what people are best at. What they are worst at is relying on God and looking up to Him, because they feel looking up to God to be too much of a bother—they cannot see, they cannot touch—and they feel that doing so is vague and unrealistic. Thus, in this aspect of their lessons, people perform the worst, and their entry to it is the shallowest. If you do not learn how to look up to and rely on God, you will never see God work in you, guide you, or enlighten you. If you cannot see these things, then questions such as “whether God exists and whether He guides everything in the life of mankind” will, in the depths of your heart, end with a question mark rather than a period or exclamation mark. “Does God guide everything in the life of mankind?” “Does God observe the depths of man’s heart?” For what reason do you make these into questions? If you do not truly rely on or look up to God, you will not be able to give rise to genuine faith in Him. If you cannot give rise to genuine faith in Him, then for you, those question marks will forever be there, accompanying everything God does, and there will be no periods.

Excerpted from “Believers Must Begin by Seeing Through the World’s Evil Trends” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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Next: 19. The Principles of Safeguarding a Normal Relationship With God

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