Words on How to Approach the Truth and God (Excerpt 9)

As for Noah, Abraham and Job, who were recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible, what were the characteristics of their humanity? What characteristics of normal humanity did they have which made God find them acceptable? (They were especially possessed of conscience and reason.) That is entirely correct. Job lived until such a great age without God personally speaking to him at all and without God personally appearing to him, but Job could understand and feel everything that God did. In the end, he summarized some words about his knowledge of God: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). What do these words mean? They mean: “Jehovah is God, He is the Creator, He is my God, and when He speaks, even if I only understand half of what He says, I must listen to it and follow it to the letter.” God only found Job acceptable when Job’s knowledge of Him had arrived at this level. Job had such experiences and comprehensions, and he could also accept and submit to the trials that God put upon him. All of these things were achieved upon the basis of him having the conscience and reason of normal humanity. No matter whether he had seen God, no matter what God had done to him, and no matter whether God had tested him or had appeared to him, he always believed: “Jehovah is my God, and I must abide by that which God instructs and that in which God delights, no matter whether I understand it or not; I must follow His way, and I must listen to and submit to Him.” In the Book of Job it is recorded that Job’s children would often have banquets, and Job would never participate in them, but would instead pray and make burnt offerings for them. The fact that Job often did this proves that he knew in his heart that God loathes mankind’s indulgence in eating, drinking, and merry-making, and mankind’s life of banqueting. Job understood in his heart that this was the truth, and even though he had not directly heard God say this, he knew in his heart that this was what God meant. Since Job knew what God meant, he was able to listen to and submit to Him, he held to this at all times, and he never participated in the eating, drinking, and feasting. Did Job understand the truth? He didn’t. He was able to do this because he had the conscience and reason of normal humanity. In addition to conscience and reason, what was most crucial was that he had true faith in God. He recognized from the depths of his heart that God is the Creator, and what the Creator says is the will of God. In today’s terms, it is the truth, it is the highest instruction, and it is that by which man must abide. Regardless of whether or not man can comprehend what God means, or only a few words spoken by God, man should accept it and abide by it. This is precisely the reason that man should possess. When man possesses this reason, it is much easier for man to abide by God’s word, put His word into practice, and submit to His word. In doing so, there will be no difficulties, no suffering, and certainly no hindrances of any kind. Did Job understand much of the truth? Did he know God? Did he have knowledge of God’s possessions and being or His disposition and essence? Compared to people today, he did not know Him, and he understood very little. However, what Job did possess was the quality to put into practice all that he understood. After understanding something, he would be obedient and abiding. This was the most noble aspect of his humanity, and also that which people looked down upon the most. People think, “Did Job not just abstain from banqueting? Did he not just regularly make burnt offerings before God? In today’s terms, did he not just refrain from indulging in fleshly comforts?” This is nothing more than a superficial matter, but when you look at Job’s personal disposition, essence, and humanity behind these actions, you will understand that it is not a simple matter, nor is it so easy to achieve. If a normal person were to abstain from banqueting in order to save money, this would be easy to achieve. But Job was a wealthy man at the time. What rich man would choose not to have banquets? Why, then, could Job refrain from banqueting? (He knew that God loathed it. He was able to fear God and shun evil.) Indeed. In fearing God and shunning evil, what specifically did Job practice? He knew that those things that God loathed were all evil, so he abided by God’s word, and he would not do anything which God loathed. He would in no way do these things, no matter what anybody else said. This is what it means to fear God and shun evil. Why was Job able to fear God and shun evil? What was he thinking in his heart? How was he able to not do these evil things? He had a God-fearing heart. What does it mean to have a God-fearing heart? It means that his heart was afraid of God, could honor God as great, and that there was a place for God in his heart. He was not afraid that God would see it, nor that God would get angry. Rather, in his heart he honored God as great, was willing to satisfy God, and was willing to hold fast to God’s words. That is why he was able to fear God and shun evil. Everybody now can say the phrase “fearing God and shunning evil,” yet they do not know how Job accomplished it. In fact, Job treated “fearing God and shunning evil” as the most basic and important thing in believing in God. Therefore, he was able to hold fast to these words, as though he was holding fast to a commandment. He listened to God’s words because his heart honored God as great. No matter how unremarkable the words of God may have seemed in the eyes of man, even if they were just ordinary words, in Job’s heart, these words were from the supreme God; they were the greatest, most important words. Even if they are words people look down on, so long as they are God’s words, people should observe them—even if they are mocked or slandered because of it. Even if they encounter hardship or are persecuted, they must hold fast to His words until the end; they cannot give up on them. This is what it means to fear God. You must hold fast to every word God demands of man. As for those things God prohibits, or those things God loathes, it’s okay if you do not know about them, but if you know of them, then you should be able to absolutely not do those things. You should be able to hold fast, even if your family abandons you, unbelievers mock you, or those close to you ridicule and make fun of you. Why do you need to hold fast? What is your starting point? What are your principles? It is, “I must hold fast to God’s words and act according to His will. I will be firm in doing the things God likes, and be resolute in abandoning the things God loathes. If I do not know God’s will, that’s fine, but if I do know and understand His will, then I will be resolute in listening to and submitting to His words. No one will be able to hinder me, and I will not waver even if the world comes to an end.” This is what it means to fear God and shun evil.

The precondition for people to be able to shun evil is having a God-fearing heart. How is a God-fearing heart made? By honoring God as great. What does it mean to honor God as great? It is when one knows that God has sovereignty over all things, and their heart fears God. As a result, they are able to use God’s words when evaluating any situation, and use God’s words as their standard and criterion. This is what it means to honor God as great. In simple terms, honoring God as great is to have God in your heart, for your heart to dwell on God, to not forget yourself in the things you do, and to not try to strike out on your own, but rather to let God take charge. In everything, you think, “I believe in God and follow God. I am but a small created being which God has chosen. I should let go of views, recommendations, and decisions that come from my own will, and let God be my Master. God is my Lord, my rock, and the bright light which guides my way in everything I do. I must do things according to His words and will, not put myself first.” This is what it means to have God in your heart. When you want to do something, do not act on impulse or rashly. First think about what God’s words say, if God would loathe your actions, and whether your actions are in line with His will. In your heart, first ask yourself, think, and ponder; do not be rash. To be rash is to be impulsive, and to be motivated by hotheadedness and the will of man. If you are always rash and impulsive, it shows that God is not in your heart. Then when you say you honor God as great, are these not empty words? Where is your reality? You have no reality, and you cannot honor God as great. You act like the lord of the manor on all matters, doing as you will at every turn. In which case, if you say you have a God-fearing heart, isn’t this nonsense? You are tricking people with these words. If a person has a God-fearing heart, how does it actually manifest itself? By honoring God as great. The concrete manifestation of honoring God as great is that God has a place in their heart—the foremost place. In their heart they allow God to be their Master and to hold authority. When something happens, they have a heart of submission to God. They are not rash, nor impulsive, and they do not act impetuously; but rather, they are able to face it calmly, and quiet themselves before God to seek the truth principles. Whether you do things according to God’s word or your own will, and whether you allow your own will or God’s word to take charge, depends on whether God is in your heart. You say God is in your heart, but when something happens, you act blindly, letting yourself have the final word, and pushing God to the side. Is this the manifestation of a heart that has God in it? There are some people who are able to pray to God when something happens, but after praying, they keep mulling things over, thinking, “I think this is what I should do. I think that is what I should do.” You always follow your own will, and do not listen to anyone no matter how they fellowship with you. Is this not the manifestation of lacking a God-fearing heart? Because you do not seek the truth principles and do not practice the truth, when you say you honor God as great, and have a God-fearing heart, they are just empty words. People whose hearts do not have God, and who are unable to honor God as great, are people who do not have a God-fearing heart. People who are unable to seek the truth when something happens, and who do not have a heart of submission to God, are all people who lack a conscience and reason. If one truly has a conscience and reason, when something happens, they will naturally be able to seek the truth. They first must think, “I believe in God. I have come to seek God’s salvation. Because I have a corrupted disposition, I always treat myself as the sole authority in whatever I do; I always go against God’s will. I must repent. I cannot continue to rebel against God in this way. I must learn how to be submissive to God. I must seek what God’s words say, and what the truth principles are.” These are the thoughts and aspirations that arise from the reason of normal humanity. These are the principles and the attitude with which you should do things. When you possess the reason of normal humanity, then you possess this attitude; when you do not possess the reason of normal humanity, then you do not possess this attitude. That is why possessing the reason of normal humanity is crucial and very important. It is directly related to people understanding the truth and achieving salvation.

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