Only in the Frequent Reading of God's Words and Contemplation of the Truth Is There a Way Ahead (Part Two)

At present, are there many temptations for people who live in this society? Temptations surround you on all sides, all sorts of evil currents, all sorts of discourses, all sorts of thoughts and viewpoints, all sorts of misleading and enticements from all sorts of people, all sorts of devilish faces worn by all sorts of people. These are all temptations you face. For example, people may do favors for you, make you rich, become friends with you, go on dates with you, give you money, give you a job, invite you to dance, show you courtesy, or give you gifts. All these things are possibly temptations. If things don’t go well, you will fall into the trap. If you are not internally equipped with some truth and lack any real stature, you will not be able to see these things for what they are, and they will all be traps and temptations for you. In one respect, if you don’t possess the truth, you won’t be able to see through Satan’s tricks, and you won’t be able to see the satanic faces of different kinds of people. You will not be able to overcome Satan, rebel against the flesh, and attain submission to God. In another respect, lacking the truth reality, you will be unable to resist all the varied evil currents, evil viewpoints, and absurd thoughts and sayings. When confronted with these, it will be like a sudden cold snap. Maybe you will only catch a mild cold, or maybe something more serious—you may even suffer a potentially life-threatening cold stroke.[a] Maybe you will lose your faith entirely. If you are lacking in the truth, just a few words from Satans and devils of the world of nonbelievers will leave you confused and bewildered. You will question whether or not you should believe in God and whether such faith is correct. It may be that, gathering today, you are in a good state, but then tomorrow, you go home and watch two episodes of a television show. You have been lured away. At night, you forget to pray before sleeping, and your mind is completely occupied with the plot of the television show. If you continue to watch the television for two days, your heart is already far from God. You no longer wish to read God’s word or fellowship about the truth. You don’t even want to pray to God. In your heart, you are always saying, “When will I be able to do something? When can I start some important cause? My life doesn’t have to be in vain!” Is that a change of heart? Originally, you wanted to understand more about the truth so that you could spread the gospel and bear witness for God. Why have you now changed? Just by watching movies and television programs, you allow Satan to take hold of your heart. Your stature is small indeed. Do you think you have the stature to resist these evil tides? Now God shows grace to you and takes you into His house to perform your duty. Don’t forget your stature. At present, you are a flower in a greenhouse, unable to withstand the wind and rain outside. If people cannot recognize and withstand these temptations, Satan can take them captive at any time, in any place. Such is the small stature and pitiful state of man. As you do not possess the truth reality and lack understanding of the truth, all the words of Satan are as poison to you. If you give them your ear, they will be irremovably trapped inside your heart. In your heart, you say, “I will stop up my ears and seal my eyes,” but you can’t escape the temptation of Satan. You don’t live in a vacuum. If you hear Satan’s words, you won’t be able to resist. You will fall into the trap. Your prayers and curses on yourself will be of no avail. You can’t resist. Such things can influence your thoughts and influence your actions. They can block the path of your pursuit of truth. They can even control you, prevent you from expending yourself for God, render you negative and weak, and keep you far away from God. In the end, you will be worthless and despair of all hope.

Now you think that you are loyal to God. You have the ambition, the determination, and the ideal of satisfying God. But how will you cope when you meet the trials of God? You say you will submit, but when God places a difficulty in front of you that does not conform to your notions and fancies, what can you do when you are unable to submit to Him? When God rewards people, it suits their psychological needs and conforms to their notions and tastes, so people can submit to Him. But when God takes things from you, how will you respond? Can you stand steadfast in your witness in the midst of the trials of God and in the environment He has fashioned for you? Will this be a problem? When you say, “I will surely stand firm in my witness,” your words are ostentation, foolishness, ignorance, and stupidity. Do you know what God wants to do with you? Do you know why God wishes to test you? What does He want to reveal in you? You say, “I have the will to receive suffering, I am ready, I do not fear any trial God may give me,” but then something occurs suddenly that you never expected, something you never prepared for. Then what is the use of your preparation? None at all. Say your health has always been good. You have done your duty for many years and God has protected you from all diseases. Your path has been a smooth one. Suddenly, one day you go for a check-up and the doctors find some strange disease, which they later diagnose as a terminal illness. In your heart, it is as if some force has redirected mighty streams and overturned a great ocean. “None of the brothers and sisters in the church have this disease,” you say. “I have believed in God the longest, been the most active in performing my duty, and suffered the most. How can it be that I have this disease?” After pondering the matter, you realize that this must be a trial from God and you should submit. Right now, you still have the faith to pray to God. But after you pray for a time and still are not healed, you determine, “This is God letting me die. God wants to take my life!” Will you still submit to God now? (Not likely.) You will cry, “My God! I don’t want to die. I haven’t lived enough. I’m still young. I’ve only experienced half my life. Give me a few more years. There is still a lot I can do!” It is useless to pray that God will heal you. No matter how many exams you undergo, they will show your illness is terminal. With treatment, you will die. Without treatment, you will still die. What will you do then? Many times, when God tests people, they start by thinking the actions of God are right and good, but when the conclusion becomes clear, they think, “Maybe it truly is God’s wish for me to die. If God wants me to die, let me die!” So they just passively, helplessly wait to die. What kind of attitude is this waiting for death? Is there any element of submission in it? (No, it is a mere acceptance of fate.) Are such people actually willing to die? (They are not.) So why are they waiting for death? When death comes, they have no choice but to die. If they have no choice, they can only accept it. This “acceptance” is an attitude of passive opposition, not an act of bearing witness. Some people say, “God has let me die, so what witness do I have left to give?” Though God lets you die, are you not a created being of God? Would you abandon your duty? Have you completed your duty? Have you done your duty well? What kind of heart must you have in order to stand firm in the witness that is due of a created being? (Let me speak of my experience. A few days ago, I had a toothache so bad that I couldn’t sleep for three days due to the pain. Yet I still had to do my duty every day. The disorienting pain in my head was truly almost more than I could bear. I complained a bit in my heart. I felt that I had done my duty very well, so why was this happening to me? At the time, I felt that I could not grasp the intention of God. Some brothers and sisters urged me to reflect on and know myself, so I kept praying to and seeking God. I didn’t find that I had rebelled against God in anything. Later, I thought of the words of Job to his wife during his time of trials, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Job was able to testify for God during his trials. I considered myself and saw how I could praise God when things went well for me, but became negative and rebelled against God in times of adversity. I felt that this was not the way of a qualified created being, and at this time, my conscience finally stirred. I had the will to rebel against the flesh and satisfy God. I thought that, even if I was sick, I should still submit to God. No matter the pain, I must willingly persist in doing my duty. This was my own experience.) No matter what trials confront you, you must come before God—this is right. You must reflect on yourself while not delaying the performance of your duty. Do not only reflect and never perform your duty, neglecting the important to concentrate on the insignificant—that is the way of foolishness. No matter what trial befalls you, you must treat it as a burden given to you by God. Say some people are beset by great sickness and unbearable suffering, some even face death. How should they approach this kind of situation? In many cases, the trials of God are burdens He gives to people. However great the burden bestowed upon you by God, that is the weight of burden you should undertake, for God understands you, and knows you will be able to bear it. The burden given to you by God will not exceed your stature or the limits of your endurance, so there is no question that you will be able to bear it. No matter what manner of burden God gives you, what kind of trial, remember one thing: Whether or not you understand God’s intentions and whether or not you are enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit after you pray, whether or not this trial is God disciplining you or warning you, it does not matter if you do not understand. As long as you do not delay in performing your duty and can loyally hold fast to your duty, God will be satisfied, and you will stand firm in your testimony. Seeing that they are suffering from a serious illness and are going to die, some people think to themselves: “It was to avoid death that I started believing in God—but it turns out that even after all these years of performing my duty, He’s going to let me die. I should get on with my own business, do the things I have always wanted to do, and enjoy the things I have not enjoyed in this life. I can put off my duty.” What attitude is this? You have been performing your duty for all these years, you have listened to all these sermons, and still you have not understood the truth. One trial topples you, brings you to your knees, and lays you bare. Is such a person worthy of being cared for by God? (They are unworthy.) They are totally without loyalty. So what is the duty they have spent all these years performing known as? It is known as “laboring,” and they have just been exerting themselves. If, in your faith in God and pursuit of the truth, you are able to say, “Whatever sickness or disagreeable event God allows to befall me—no matter what God does—I must submit, and stay in my place as a created being. Before all else, I must put this aspect of the truth—submission—into practice, I must implement it, and live out the reality of submission to God. Moreover, I must not cast aside what God has commissioned to me and the duty I should perform. Even on my last breath, I must hold fast to my duty,” is this not bearing testimony? When you have this kind of resolve and this kind of state, are you still able to complain about God? No, you are not. At such a time, you will think to yourself, “God gives me this breath, He has provided for and protected me all these years, He has taken much pain from me, given me much grace, and many truths. I have understood truths and mysteries that people have not understood for generations. I have gained so much from God, so I must repay God! Before, my stature was too small, I understood nothing, and everything I did was hurtful to God. I may not have another chance to repay God in the future. No matter how much time I have left to live, I must offer the little strength I have and do what I can for God, so that God can see that all these years of providing for me have not been in vain, but have borne fruit. Let me bring comfort to God, and no longer hurt or disappoint Him.” How about thinking this way? Do not think about how to save yourself or escape, thinking, “When will this illness be cured? When it is, I shall do my best to perform my duty and be loyal. How can I be loyal when I’m ill? How can I perform the duty of a created being?” As long as you have a single breath, are you not capable of performing your duty? As long as you have a single breath, are you capable of not bringing shame upon God? As long as you have a single breath, as long as your mind is lucid, are you capable of not complaining about God? (Yes.) It is easy to say “Yes” now, but it will not be so easy when this really happens to you. And so, you must pursue the truth, often work hard on the truth, and spend more time thinking, “How can I satisfy God’s intentions? How can I repay God’s love? How can I perform the duty of a created being?” What is a created being? Is the responsibility of a created being merely to listen to the words of God? No—it is to live out the words of God. God has given you so much truth, so much of the way, and so much life, so that you may live out these things, and bear testimony to Him. This is what ought to be done by a created being, and it is your responsibility and obligation. You must contemplate these things frequently; if you always contemplate them, you will go deeper into all aspects of the truth.

If people do not take the path of pursuing the truth and do not work hard to obtain the truth, sooner or later they will stumble and fall. It will be hard to stand upright because the problems they encounter cannot be solved by relying on the little bit of knowledge and doctrines they possess. No matter how well you can speak about doctrines, you will not be able to solve real difficulties. You must constantly contemplate the various truths to achieve a penetrating clarity. Only then can you use the truth to solve whatever problems you meet with. Those who truly understand the truth don’t talk about words and doctrines. They can discern all things and see them clearly, and they act with confidence in all they do. If you don’t know how to seek the truth in the situations you encounter and always act according to your own will, there is no way for you to understand the truth. To understand the truth, you must constantly ponder how to use the truth to solve problems in the performance of your duties. If you don’t contemplate in this manner, can you attain these truths? If you don’t contemplate God’s words, no matter how many sermons you hear, no matter how many doctrines you understand, you will always stay at the level of words and doctrines. If you know how to speak of these words and doctrines, this can often trick you into thinking that your faith in God has already borne fruit and your stature is very high, because you are passionate and vigorous now. But when confronted by the facts, that is, when facing trials and tribulations, you will come to see how little protection these words and doctrines afford you. They cannot protect you from a single trial, let alone ensure you can smoothly pass each test that God gives to man. Rather, you will feel that these words and doctrines have led you to ruin. At such times, you will see how little you understand of the truth and that you have not yet entered the truth reality. Often, when they confront trials and cannot see a way forward, people finally feel their helplessness without the truth and feel how useless was all their talk of doctrines. Only then do they see how much they lack and how pitiful they are. When everything is safe and untroubled, you always feel that you understand everything. You feel that your faith is not in vain and that you have gained a lot from it. You feel that, whatever happens, you don’t have anything to be worried about. In fact, you simply understand some words and doctrines, which is of no use whatsoever. In the face of disaster and calamity, you will be at a loss, not knowing how to face the situation. When praying to God, you will not know what to say or what to ask for. You cannot find the path. This shows how pitiful man is. Your heart is empty of God’s words and you lack the work of the Holy Spirit. Already, you are in darkness. Your faith in God has gained you nothing, and now you are as destitute as a beggar. Only then do you feel that your faith in God over all those years was completely devoid of the truth reality. Now you have been completely revealed. If many years of belief in God leave you in such a state, you are destined to be eliminated.

February 12, 2017


a. Cold stroke, a term used in traditional Chinese medicine which refers to severe, potentially life-threatening, internal cold caused by external elements.

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